Hi - it used to be if a Jet Blue fare dropped in price between the date you booked it and the date of the flight, you could call them and either the difference in points would be given back to you, or the difference in money would be put in a "travel bank", to be used within a year. No Charge.
My strategy was; book the flight when the price/point value was reasonable, keep watching, call them every time I saw the fare drop, and get my points or money credited. No Charge every time.
As of August, you are now limited to a two-week window. This means if you book a flight, and the price/point value drops within two weeks, you get your points or money credited with no charge. Outside of that window, it is now a $75 charge per ticket.
Now that my wife and I will be going to Aruba every February, I will be keeping a close eye on when to book for the best prices, and keep notes from year to year.
If I am mistaken with this, please let me know. But it did bite me this year.
Here's how I dealt with this change from Jet Blue.
I noticed over the years that there is often a big difference between the prices for the two legs of a trip (non-stop). This year I decided to by the legs separately. Our trip is Jan/Feb 2015. I booked the first leg of the trip in August for less than $250 per person. Then I kept watch on the return leg prices for months until I finally booked the return leg when it dropped to a reasonable price.
I monitored the prices for each leg for their two week windows then stopped looking.
Unfortunately, that's not the only change planned at Jet Blue (see link below). In 2015, Jet Blue will charge for 1st bag and begin to add more seats to its planes (= reduced leg room). This is sad to see because the travel bank, free bag, and extra leg room were the primary reasons my husband and I flew Jet Blue. We loved this service so much that we would drive 3hrs just to reach an airport that had Jet Blue service. The changes are very sad to see and JetBlue has lost the key attributes which used to differentiate the carrier from other airlines. http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2...age-fees/?_r=0#
We have now changed to Southwest to fly to Aruba. Southwest still has free bags and offers refunds/travel banks if airfare goes down after you purchase. So if you haven't searched in your area yet...be sure to check the Southwest options before you purchase your ticket with JetBlue.
We have been booking the two legs separately for a few years now. We typically acquire a bunch of points throughout the year, but usually not enough to cover the 4 legs (2 people, 2 legs). So, 2 or 3 legs get covered by points, the remainder in dollars. I haven't noticed the price differences for Aruba, but I have seen it going to St. Maarten and Barbados.
I kept track this year of the price changes over the course of a couple of months, and will keep it for reference before booking next year's (2016) flights. Seems like for February, when we will now be going, the fares were the cheapest in November, but that was for this coming trip (2015).
I have seen the fares with Southwest, and they look pretty good. But we have two issues: 1) we have a Jet Blue Amex card, and it's the only one we use. We try to not charge a lot of stuff, but when we do charge things, we have been going for the Jet Blue points. Opening up a Southwest charge card isn't something we want to do, and then we would have to split what limited charges we do have between the two cards. 2) the "cattle-call" boarding system of Southwest has not been a very pleasant experience for us in the past. BUT, if the savings by flying Southwest become too much to pass up, the boarding will become a non-factor. We have also considered flying Jet Blue going to Aruba because it's non-stop (ya wanna get there in a hurry, right??), and possibly coming back Southwest.
The SWA cattle call is annoying indeed
We typically fly SWA and everything goes on that
Visa card ...groceries , gas, cable, cell, utilities, HOA monthly maintenance,
health ins, life ins, auto ins. We accumulate about 3000 points a month. For our May
trip the point cost was 13000 each plus tax. Then SWA gives us 6000 point on our anniversary date.
Previously we did the same with AA but no more!
There are many that love JB but I wonder how many will jump ship now that JB
has new guidelines