The founder of JetBlue is finally launching his new airline this month with 39 routes and $39 fares – but it won't be JetBlue 2.0
  • Breeze Airways is finally taking to the skies with its first flight scheduled for May 27.
  • The airline’s bases will be in Tampa, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Norfolk, Virginia; and Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Flights will be mostly bare bones with Breeze charging extra for baggage and seat assignments.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

America has yet another brand new airline.


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JetBlue founder David Neeleman has taken the wraps off of his fifth airline venture after more than a year of waiting since it was first announced. Breeze Airways will finally start flights on May 27 and aims to put a “seriously nice” and tech-focused spin on ultra-low-cost flying just in time for the summer travel season.

The first flight will depart from Tampa, Florida bound for Charleston, South Carolina, and continue on to Hartford, Connecticut. It’s the first of 39 routes that Breeze will launch between May 27 and July 22, connecting underserved cities throughout the US with non-stop flights to the places leisure travelers want to be.

Read More: JetBlue founder David Neeleman reveals how his new airline can succeed by flying weird routes for low prices

But if followers of Neeleman are expecting a 2021-reboot of JetBlue, they’ll be sadly mistaken. Breeze will operate under an ultra-low-cost business model where nearly everything from a seat assignment to checked baggage will cost extra. It’s slated to be almost the complete opposite of JetBlue.

Here’s what travelers can expect from Breeze.

A route network spanning from the Atlantic Ocean to San Antonio, Texas

Breeze plans to take advantage of the leisure travel boom in the US by connecting smaller, underserved cities with non-stop flights to vacation and tourist destinations.

The cities of Tampa, Florida; Norfolk, Virginia; and New Orleans, Louisiana will be the first four bases for the airline from which most of its flights will either start or end.

Here’s where Breeze is flying:

Between Tampa, Florida and:

  • Charleston, South Carolina starting May 27;
  • Louisville, Kentucky starting May 28;
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma starting June 4;
  • Norfolk, Virginia starting June 10;
  • Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas starting June 17;
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio starting June 26;
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma starting July 1;
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 3; and
  • Huntsville, Alabama starting July 22.
  • Richmond, Virginia starting July 22;

Between Charleston, South Carolina and:

  • Hartford, Connecticut starting May 27;
  • Tampa, Florida starting May 27;
  • Louisville, Kentucky starting May 28;
  • Norfolk, Virginia starting June 10;
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio starting July 8;
  • New Orleans starting July 8;
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 8;
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starting July 8;
  • Richmond, Virginia starting July 8;
  • Huntsville, Alabama starting July 15; and
  • Providence, Rhode Island starting July 22.

Between Norfolk, Virginia and:

  • Charleston, South Carolina starting June 10;
  • Tampa, Florida starting June 10;
  • Hartford, Connecticut starting July 15;
  • New Orleans, Louisiana starting July 22;
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 22;
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starting July 22; and
  • Providence, Rhode Island starting July 29.

Between New Orleans and:

  • Charleston, South Carolina starting July 8;
  • Louisville, Kentucky starting July 15;
  • Akron/Canton, Ohio starting July 15;
  • Huntsville, Alabama starting July 15.
  • Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas starting July 15;
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma starting July 15;
  • Richmond, Virginia starting July 8;
  • Tulsa, Oklahoma starting July 8);
  • Norfolk, Virginia starting July 15; and
  • Columbus, Ohio starting July 16; and

Breeze will also fly between many of the cities it serves outside of its four main bases. Those routes include:

  • Between Bentonville/Fayetteville, Arkansas and San Antonio, Texas starting July 15;
  • Between San Antonio, Texas and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma July 15;
  • Between Tulsa, Oklahoma and San Antonio, Texas starting July 15;
  • Between Hartford, Connecticut and Columbus, Ohio starting July 22;
  • Between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Hartford, Connecticut starting July 22; and
  • Between Providence, Rhode Island and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania starting July 29.

Don’t expect JetBlue levels of legroom

Breeze plans to operate two types of aircraft this summer: the Embraer E190 and Embraer E195. Both are near-identical and will offer a lot of the same amenities but will differ in their seating arrangements.

The aircraft will only feature economy seats and will be split between standard legroom “nice” seats and extra-legroom “nicer” seats, which come at a premium.

Breeze’s smaller Embraer E190, which many JetBlue flyers will recognize, will carry 108 seats. Nice seats on the E190 will offer 29 inches of legroom, compared to JetBlue’s 32 inches, and nicer seats will offer between 33 and 39 inches of legroom.

The larger Embraer E195 aircraft will carry 118 seats and legroom at each will be greater. Nice seats on the aircraft offer 31 inches of legroom while nicer seats will offer between 34 and 39.

Seeking out the E195 aircraft won’t be easy as there are only three of those aircraft versus 13 E190s.

Navigating Breeze’s fee structure

Breeze plans to charge incredibly cheap fares for its flights, and that means there will be lots of fees to pay for extras.

Flyers will have to pay to bring a bag larger than a purse or backpack. The fees, however, are lower than most airlines charge at only $20, regardless of carrying on or checking a bag, but increase to $25 if the flight is longer than three hours.

If a bag is checked at the airport, it will incur a $50 fee. And another $50 fee will be charged if a bag is added by Breeze airport staff.

Securing an advance seat assignment will also incur a fee, with prices starting at $10. But there are no middle seats on Breeze’s Embraer aircraft so those that don’t pay up will either be assigned an aisle or window seat for free.

Families with children under 12 can also select advance seats for free.

Bringing a pet onboard will also incur a $75 fee.

Printing a boarding pass at the airport will incur a $3 fee per customer and a $9 fee per customer if helped by Breeze airport staff.

What won’t incur a fee, however, are changes and cancellations. Breeze fares are fully changeable and cancelable up to 15 minutes before departure.

Travelers that cancel a ticket will have up to 24 months to use its value.

Flight attendants will be degree-seeking college students

Breeze started a unique work-study to recruit its flight attendants that saw the airline partner with Utah Valley University and allow its online students to work as cabin crew. The degree-seeking students will work the airline’s flights by day and take online classes by night.

In return, the students-turned-cabin-crew will earn $6,000 in tuition reimbursement, a monthly stupid of $1,200, and only have to work for 15 days out of the month, among other benefits. What they won’t be given is a full-time job at Breeze at the end of their academic career, and will have to reapply for a full-time position or find work elsewhere.

But not all of Breeze’s cabin crew will be students. The airline opened up the program to non-student applicants after lower than expected recruitment numbers.

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA union, told Bloomberg that the program could pose safety issues due to the potential age of the applicants. Breeze’s minimum age for hiring flight attendants is 18 years old.

But the airline stood by its flight attendant training program that has been approved by the Department of Transportation, saying that all of its flight attendants will be trained and capable of performing the required duties.

“If you’re a fully trained flight attendant, you’re a fully trained flight attendant,” airline spokesperson Gareth Edmondson-Jones told Insider. “It’s not like if you’re 18 years old, you can’t be a flight attendant.”

Entertainment will be available through mobile devices

Breeze aircraft will not feature the seatback screens for which Neeleman made JetBlue famous. But in-flight entertainment will still be offered through mobile devices, powered by Global Eagle.

On-demand television shows, games, and a real-time flight map will be offered. Live television will not be available.

More than 150 shows will be available to watch and content will be updated quarterly.

In-flight WiFi won’t be available on Breeze’s Embraer aircraft but the service will be offered in the fall on the airline’s Airbus A220 aircraft.

Premium snacks will be offered onboard

JetBlue is known for offering brand-name snacks and so will Breeze. Kind bars and Utz pretzels will both be served onboard but the airline hasn’t said whether they’ll be free of charge.

Breeze has also not given any information on whether a drink service will be offered.

Fares will be low, but not the lowest

Breeze is launching its first 39 routes with fares as low as $39. There’s no competition on 95 percent of Breeze’s routes so direct comparisons aren’t available but other ultra-low-cost carriers routinely offer flights for lower fares.

Frontier Airlines, for example, offers fares as low as $15 sometimes on its East Coast flights. Spirit Airlines similarly offers fares less than Breeze’s introductory rates.

And only a certain number of $39 fares will be available. Once they’re gone, fares will jump depending on how many seats have been sold.

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