Thursday, April 02, 2009

$28 SFO-JFK on JetBlue, Must Buy Today, First Come First Served, Hurry! Hurry! Oops, Sorry, All Sold Out!

[Photo: Crazy Eddie, of the defunct appliance/electronics store chain]

Whew! Here's an example of how frantic the airline fare universe has become. It's like a veritable blue-light special at the old Kmart, but with Crazy Eddie on the loudspeaker:

For today only, JetBlue is selling seats for $14 each way on non-stop flights between San Francisco and both New York City/JFK and L.A./Long Beach through April 8.

Holy cow! But, uh, read the fine print and you'll see that the number of seats available is extremely, and I do mean extremely, limited. In fact, my guess would be that JetBlue is going to annoy more travelers than it pleases with this one.

[UPDATE 12:45 pm: Sure enough, by noon today JetBlue said the transcon flights were sold out already, which I am sure has generated some dismay among would-be passengers. I predict JetBlue is going to get some serious blowback on this stunt.]

The $14 fares to/from San Francisco are available until 11:59 p.m. MDT today, April 2, 2009, "or until availability is gone, whichever is first," JetBlue says. Travel must take place between today and April 8, 2009. Sale fares are available for one day only and "availability is limited." Fares are valid for one-way, non-stop travel between San Francisco (SFO) and New York City (JFK) and between San Francisco (SFO) and L.A./Long Beach (LGB).

Git the smellin' salts! Them prices is insaaaaaane!

Air travel is starting to sound like Crazy Eddie on those old commercials.

But here's the fine print, which you might imagine being delivered in those amazing rat-a-tat voices at 300 words a minute that TV pitchmen use:

"Taxes, Fees and Restrictions Apply. Offer ends April 2, 2009 at 11:59 PM MT or until availability is gone, whichever is first. Offer is valid only for nonstop one-way fares between San Francisco and New York and between San Francisco and Long Beach: All travel must be purchased by April 2, 2009, 11:59 PM MT. Travel must take place between April 2, 2009 and April 8, 2009. Travel must be completed by April 8, 2009. Availability at the advertised fares is limited as follows: 140 seats are available for SFO to JFK, 60 seats are available for JFK to SFO, 800 seats are available for LGB to SFO and 800 seats are available for SFO to LGB. Fares may not available on all days or on all flights during the April 2, 2009 through April 9, 2009 travel period. Fares are subject to change without notice. Travel costs $15 more per person if purchased by telephone, or at an airport or city ticket office. All fares must be purchased at time of reservation, and are one-way, nonrefundable, and nontransferable. Cancellations and changes can be made prior to scheduled departure for $100 per person at 1-800-JETBLUE or at, with applicable fare adjustment. Cancellations are for a JetBlue travel credit only, which is valid for one year. If a reservation is not changed or canceled prior to scheduled departure, all money associated with the reservation is forfeited. Fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of up to $5 each way and a Federal Segment Tax of $3.60 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. All taxes and fees must be paid at the time of purchase. JetBlue reserves the right to deny boarding to passengers without proper documentation. A second bag fee of $20 applies. DIRECTV(r) service is not available on flights outside the continental US. Other restrictions apply."

Dude! Take a breath!


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