Jet America Jets Never

The alarm was sounded when Jet America cancelled their July/August flights, and now, it seems, the cheapo airline will not be taking off after all, ever. The problem? The Clearwater, FL-based company didn’t end up being able to secure slots at the Newark airport and had to fold before even getting off the ground. See ya never, $9 flights.

We are reluctantly suspending our public charter operations effective today,” said John Weikle, CEO, who has been with the company since April. “Finalizing the slots required to support our charter program at Newark has taken longer than expected and we have decided to suspend our flights in order to refocus on different markets.” And company spokesman Bryan Glazer added”

“It is unfortunate that so many consumers’ will be affected. This was unavoidable. I worked closely with the executives of JetAmerica for several months and know they did their very best to overcome the challenges that the slot situation posed. But in the end, the business plan never called for paying for more than a half million dollars for slots. All customers will receive automatic refunds within 7-14 business days. Any customer not receiving a full refund in 14 days should call 727-451-3970.”

Boo hoo, Jet America, I was looking forward to testing out the American version of Ryanair.

$9 Flights on Jet America

imageWatch out Jet Blue, Southwest, and Virgin America — upstart Jet America is after your customers. Jet America is following in the footsteps of airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair, offering ridiculously low prices on flights, then nickel and diming the hell out of you. Each flight will offer nine $9 one-way seats, and as of now, the airline flies between Lansing, New York (Newark), Detroit, Toledo, Minneapolis, South Bend, and Orlando. Fees start ticking as soon as you choose flights. There’s already a $5 “convenience fee” to book online, which is better than the $20 fee to book on the phone, so either way you slice it, your $9 ticket will jump to $14, if not $29.

Baggage fees are $20 each way, and everything from surf boards to bicycles to pets are $50 each. Also, an unaccompanied minor will cost $50, but a “lap child” is still free. Phew. The nine $9 seats are hard to come by, when I tried to book some flights in August out of Newark this morning, all I could come up with was $39 each way tickets, which is already getting into Southwest’s territory. Looks like this bargain airline could be great if you travel light and plan ahead, but otherwise it might not be such a great bargain. Also, don’t confuse Jet America with Jet America LTD — the private jet airliner. Flights start on July 13.