US Markets Loading... H M S In the news
- Breeze Airways officially launched its first flight on Thursday from Tampa, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina.
- It's the fifth airline from aviation entrepreneur David Neeleman, who started JetBlue Airways, with a focus on hub-skipping leisure flights.
- Fares are as low as $39 with 39 new routes starting between May 27 and July 29.
David Neeleman has done it again.
Breeze Airways made its long-awaited debut on Thursday, flying two of its 39 planned routes that will launch between May 27 and July 29.
It's the fifth airline launched by Neeleman, a serial aviation entrepreneur that was the man behind JetBlue Airways and Morris Air in the US, WestJet in Canada, and Azul Brazilian Airlines in Brazil, as well as a stint with TAP Air Portugal.
Read More: How JetBlue's founder plans to offer low prices without a low-end experience on his newest airline, Breeze
Just in time for the summer travel season, consumers from the East Coast to as far as San Antonio, Texas will soon have Breeze as another option for air travel. Fares start at just $39 and routes are mostly leisure-focused, taking flyers while bypassing busy airline hubs.
Read More: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
Convenience is a key selling point for the airline, in addition to its low fares. Flights are point-to-point and don't require routing through airport hubs.
"Connecting flights," for example, isn't a phrase in Breeze's vocabulary, as part of the airline's strategy to be "seriously nice."
I flew on the very first flight of Breeze Airways from Tampa, Florida to Charleston, South Carolina. Here's what it was like.
Breeze chose Tampa, Florida as its main from which to start flights. A total of 10 routes are planned for the city to destinations like Charleston, South Carolina; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Louisville, Kentucky.
I arrived at the airport the night before Breeze's inaugural flight and caught a look at the airline's check-in counter. It was very bare-bones and the airline didn't have any check-in kiosks.
But that's all part of Breeze's tech-focused strategy to have flyers use its mobile application instead of relying on airline employees. It helps keep costs down by hiring fewer airport staff.
The Breeze app itself is very intuitive but there were some glitches. Users, including myself, reported not being able to book flights or check-in via the app.
Breeze doesn't have a phone number so flyers will have to text or message the airline, which also isn't yet available on the app. Clicking "support" will redirect flyers to the airline's mobile website.
But I was able to get my mobile boarding pass eventually and was all set to jet.
I arrived back at the airport the next morning for the first flight, Breeze Airways flight 1 with service from Tampa to Charleston, and went up to the counter to get a paper copy of the boarding pass.
Breeze agents were "nice" and didn't charge the $3 fee to print a boarding pass but I assumed that was because this was the first flight. A boarding pass fee is common among ultra-low-cost carriers but very few actually charge the fee in practice.
And in a nice treat, Breeze had already been accepted into the Transportation Security Administration's PreCheck program.
Before the flight, Neeleman popped open a bottle of champagne and christened the aircraft. Breeze Airways was officially ready for takeoff.
Boarding then began for the historic flight, with the airline boarding in zones. The Breeze app also doesn't interface with Apple Wallet or other digital wallets, so flyers can't yet save their boarding passes to their devices for easy access.
I walked onto the plane and was truly shocked at how basic it was. Breeze's aircraft are incredibly flashy on the outside, in perhaps the most colorful airline livery in the skies, but the interior was mostly devoid of color.
There was not a hint of blue on the plane except for the safety cards, flight attendant uniforms, and the Breeze placards on the beverage carts.
The seats were plush and comfortable, however, and that was the most important part.
The Embraer E195 —which most JetBlue flyers will recognize since its smaller sibling, the E190, currently flies for the New York-based airline —is arranged in a 2-2 configuration.
It's all aisles and window seats with no middle seats in sight.
The first five rows of the aircraft, as well as the exit row, feature between 34 and 39 inches of pitch, depending on the row. Breeze calls these seats "nicer" seats.
Standard seats on the E195 offer 31 inches of pitch. Breeze calls them "nice" seats.
When booking a ticket, there are two choices: "nice" and "nicer." Nice fares only come with a ticket to ride and a personal item while a "Nicer" fare comes with a free extra legroom seat, one free checked bag, free carry-on bag, and priority boarding.
I was on a nice fare in a nice seat with 31 inches of pitch and it was quite comfortable with lots of cushioning. Seats also recline but there are no adjustable headrests.
These seats, unfortunately, will not stay. New, slimmer seats will replace the comfortable and plush ones that we experienced on the inaugural flight.
Once those seats installed, the Embraer E195's capacity will jump from 118 seats to 122 seats.
Flight attendants warmly welcomed us aboard and they, too, had to be nice. Once again, Neeleman had billed this airline to be seriously nice and the cabin crew would play a large role in that.
After all were settled, the boarding door was closed and we pushed back for an on-time departure. Tampa International Airport gave Breeze a water cannon salute to send the first flight off, and then it was on to Charleston.
Takeoff was smooth and we quickly turned north over Tampa Bay towards South Carolina. The flight time was only 57 minutes.
Flight attendants came around with wooden baskets to start the in-flight meal service. On offer were Utz potato chips and Kind bars, as well as small bottles of water.
There was nothing overly exciting about the snacks. No local flair or blue chips, but anything is better than nothing, especially when the ticket is so cheap.
The complementary offering will only be temporary, however, and a buy-on-board program will be rolled out over the summer.
Once the service ended, there was nothing else to keep a passenger entertained besides the view out of the window.
In-flight entertainment was supposed to be available through a streaming service, but it won't be ready until later in the summer.
The flight attendants and pilots, however, were spectacularly kind. They were the breath of fresh air on this airline.
Before we knew it, we had touched down in Charleston, and a new airline was officially brought into the world.
All in all, flying Breeze was not anything truly special. The flight and cabin crew were impeccably nice but the rest was of the experience was average considering the lack of the tech that was promised.
There's not much people can't put up with on a flight that's less than two hours for $39, even more so for a flight between, say, Tampa and Charleston that's only 57 minutes. But David Neeleman promised a "high-tech company that just happens to fly airplanes.," as well as extras like in-flight entertainment, and that's not what the first flyers received.
Breeze's biggest issue, from a passenger perspective, may be the fact that it is still a work-in-progress. The app isn't all the way there, aircraft aren't fitted with the final seat products, and in-flight entertainment isn't available.
And repeat customers will ultimately notice. "The core component of a brand promise is consistency," industry analyst Henry Harteveldt told Insider in a prior interview.
In its current state, I would absolutely pick Breeze over other ultra-low-cost carriers and even some full-service airlines if the price was right. Though, that might change if the airline's product changes for the worse.
Do you get a free carry-on with Breeze? ›
On short routes, Breeze Airways charges a flat fee of $20 per bag, regardless of route or whether you check the bag or plan to carry it on: Carry-on bag: $20. First checked bag: $20. Second checked bag: $20.What is the difference between nice and nicer on Breeze airlines? ›
Breeze offers three classes on its cabins: Nice, Nicer, and Nicest. With Nice, passengers are treated to a standard economy seat, while Nicer seats have extra legroom and allow for a carry-on bag, one checked bag, a drink and snack, and priority boarding.Do you get a personal item on breeze? ›
One personal item is allowed – a small purse or bag that fits under the seat. All other bags have a fee. Pay for your luggage while booking your ticket if you know you want to bring a carry-on or checked bag.Does Neeleman still own JetBlue? ›
|David G. Neeleman|
|Relatives||Zach Wilson (nephew)|
There are no inflight entertainment screens on the A220. Instead, the airline plans to offer inflight streaming to passengers' own devices, along with Wi-Fi internet connectivity.What does Breeze charge for bags? ›
It includes only a small personal item, and you will be charged $29 extra if you wish to bring a standard-sized carry-on item, and a reasonable $35 fee for a checked bag (up to 3 bags - 2nd bag will cost $40, a 3rd bag will cost $50).What is the nicest fare on Breeze Airlines? ›
A "Nice" fare means seat selection fees can range from $10 to $40. This option does not include a checked bag, which will cost you $20 regardless of weight. A "Nicer" fare includes a checked bag and free seat selection, extra legroom, priority boarding and a water bottle and KIND bar.Is food served on Breeze Airways? ›
Food & Drink
Breeze Airways offers complimentary water and snacks on all of its flights. Onboard the Airbus A220, the airline offers food and drink on all flights, with a range of hot and cold snacks and hot, cold, alcoholic and soft drinks on offer.
$4,627. The estimated total pay for a Flight Attendant at Breeze Airways is $4,627 per month. This number represents the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model and based on salaries collected from our users. The estimated base pay is $3,844 per month.Do you get a free personal item? ›
Every airline carrier has its own set of luggage restrictions and fees. However, all of them have one thing in common: you're allowed to take one personal item free of charge.
Is a free personal item a backpack? ›
The short answer: Yes, a backpack is generally considered a personal item if it fits under the seat in front of you. Most airlines offer a few examples of things that fit into the “personal item” category, such as a purse, laptop bag, or a briefcase, but they don't usually include “backpack” on those lists.Is a personal item bag free? ›
Most travelers can bring one full-size carry-on bag and one personal item on their flight for free. However, there are exceptions, including for customers traveling on Basic Economy tickets. Learn more about carry-on bags.Do Mormons own JetBlue? ›
Mormon in America: JetBlue founder on going from missionary to entrepreneur. From JetBlue to Marriott to Dell, these businesses have all been led by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. JetBlue founder David Neeleman said that his Mormon faith impacts how he does business.Does John Travolta own a plane? ›
John Travolta plane collection – Boeing and Gulfstream
The Boeing 727 costs $24 million. In an interview with an aviation magazine, Travolta said he was certified to fly 11 different jet types, including the Lear and the Gulfstream. Speaking of Gulfstream jets, the actor has actually owned three of them.
Joseph Lau owned Boeing 747-8 VIP
Joseph Lau owns the biggest private jet on earth. The business tycoon's private plane is worth $367 million. However, the aircraft was originally priced at $153 million, but the price increased after Lau added modifications to it, worth $214.
In its COVID-19 Travel Information Guide in the support section of its website, the “Face Masks” section notes that “face masks are no longer required on Breeze flights for both guests and team members.” The updated policy also asks customers to “be kind and respectful of individual choices and remember that wearing a ...What are the seats like on Breeze Airways? ›
Breeze Airways Nicer Class – Seating and Interior
Breeze's Nicer seats consist of 12 rows of extra legroom seats in a 2×2 configuration. Needless to say, 48 out of 108 seats sure is a premium-heavy configuration. Most Nicer seats have 33″ of pitch, though the exit row (Row 11) checks in at 39″.
When booking a flight on Breeze, passengers are met with three different fare classes – Nice, Nicer, and Nicest – all of which feature a list of amenities. Its top fare class, 'Nicest,' includes a first class seat, priority boarding, two checked bags, and a drink and a snack.How much are bag check fees? ›
|Carrier||First bag||Second bag|
|Frontier||$55 to $89||$60 to $89|
|Hawaiian||$25 to $30||$35 to $40|
Your personal item like a purse or small handbag must fit under the seat in front of you. Dimensions should not exceed 18 x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm).
What is the best day to look for cheap flights? ›
Average domestic airfare price by day
The cheapest days to depart if you're flying within the U.S. are midweek — generally Tuesday or Wednesday. For economy tickets, Tuesdays are about 24% lower than peak prices on Sundays, which translates to savings of about $85 per ticket.
Typically, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Saturday is the cheapest day to fly. If you can structure your travel schedule around these days, these will likely be the best days to fly – both for a lower cost and a less-hectic airport experience.Is a backpack a personal item on breeze? ›
Just bring a backpack
Breeze charges a baggage fee of $20 fee for passengers checking a bag or carrying on any bag larger than a personal item — such as a purse or backpack.
Most travelers can bring one full-size carry-on bag and one personal item on their flight for free. However, there are exceptions, including for customers traveling on Basic Economy tickets. Learn more about carry-on bags.What airlines allow free carry-on? ›
|Airline||Carry On Fee||International Size; Weight (N/A unless noted)|
|American Airlines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9|
|Delta Air Lines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9|
|United Airlines||Free*||22 x 14 x 9|
|Southwest Airlines||Free||10 x 16 x 24|
- Fly with Airlines that Don't Charge for Checked Baggage. ...
- Earn Elite Status with an Airline. ...
- Choose the Right Airline Credit Card. ...
- Choose a Travel Card with an Airline Fee Credit. ...
- Avoid Basic Economy. ...
- Pack Light and Don't Check a Bag.
Airline rules allow for one carry on bag and one personal item, unless you're flying on a basic economy fare. But we've all seen people selfishly putting two bags in the overhead bin or carrying on more luggage than could possibly be allowed.Can I bring a purse and a backpack as a personal item? ›
Domestic carry-on policies. A good rule of thumb is that if your carry-on bag fits under the seat in front of you, it's considered a personal item. This includes small backpacks, purses, briefcases, laptop bags, etc. Larger bags, including suitcases, must fit in the overhead bin compartment.What does breeze nicest include? ›
more to upgrade yourself to a Nicest (first class) seat rather than a regular Nice (economy) seat. The extra $20 will get you an additional 4% on the BreezePoints earned, a first class seat, a carry-on bag (in addition to a personal item), 2 checked bags, a drink and a snack, and priority boarding.