JetBlue Airways rolled out their commuter flight voucher packs last week. But what are they, is it a good deal, and should you buy one?
What is a GoPack?
These 6 or 10 voucher packs allow travelers to prepay airfare at a predetermined price, between specific cities for a set number of flights. They’re often called “airline coupon books” and airlines will often offer then on popular short-distance routes.
In this case, JetBlue says you have to buy the book before March 31 for travel thru June 17, 2014, with some blackout dates.
How Do They Work?
Once you buy the vouchers, you can exchange them for a flight ticket up to 90 minutes before a flight. If there’s a seat, you’re on that flight. Each flight equals one voucher, so a round trip (logically) costs two vouchers.
Is it a Good Deal?
Depends who’s asking.
For business travelers who book tickets at the last minute for work, these coupon books are a definite cost saver.
Oftentimes, last minute tickets between San Francisco and Los Angeles, for example, can cost for upwards of $300 or more. With the Bay Area to Long Beach (LA Area) GoPack, you can pay as low as $213.80 for a round-trip ticket (2 vouchers used).
For regular leisure travelers, GoPacks really don’t make sense to purchase if you don’t have an immediate or frequent need to fly. You can often find a better (occasional) last-minute flight deal or a better fare with a minimal amount of advance purchase.
Typically, flights only cost $49-69 on this route if purchased 21-days or more in advance.
Bottom line: While JetBlue does offer these GoPacks on numerous routes, they really don’t make sense for most consumers to buy. They serve a specific need for a specific type of flyer.