A new airline that bills itself as "seriously nice" has taken to the skies. Started by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, Breeze Airways inaugural flight from Tampa, Florida, to Charleston, South Carolina, was on May 27, 2021. Breeze plans to expand to 16 destinations throughout the Southeast and East Coast.
Generally, travelers know what to expect from the airlines they fly. Southwest Airlines flyers know that they'll get two free checked bags, and that ultra-low-cost airlines — like Spirit — nickel and dime flyers for everything. Where does Breeze fit in? Here’s what you need to know about Breeze Airways.
Initial Breeze Airways destinations
Breeze Airways will debut this summer on 39 routes at 16 airports across the Southeast and Eastern U.S.
Large airports, like Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas, Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., aren't on Breeze's route map. That's because Breeze Airways is intentionally focusing on travel between secondary cities.
Right now, 95% of Breeze Airways destinations don’t have nonstop airline service. That means you'll now be able to fly from Huntsville, Alabama; to Charleston without a stop in Atlanta or Charlotte, or between Oklahoma City and Tampa without connecting in Dallas or Houston.
All 39 of Breeze's initial routes are now available to purchase; however, not all of these routes will begin service at once. Breeze Airways plans to roll out service across its initial network through July 22.
May 2021: Tampa; Charleston; Hartford, Connecticut; Louisville, Kentucky.
June 2021: Tulsa, Oklahoma; Norfolk, Virginia (6/10); Fayetteville, North Carolina (6/17); Akron/Canton, Ohio (6/26).
July 2021: Oklahoma City (7/1); Columbus, Ohio (7/3); New Orleans (7/8), Pittsburgh (7/8), Richmond, Virginia (7/8); San Antonio (7/15), Huntsville (7/15), Providence, Rhode Island (7/22).
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Breeze Airways fares and bag policies
Breeze Airways promotes itself as "the newer, nicer way to fly." But it's still a low-cost carrier at heart, so you'll need to pay for checked and carry-on bags.
Breeze's cheapest fares, called Nice, are equivalent to basic economy on United or flights on Spirit, Frontier or Allegiant. You'll be able to bring a personal item onboard with you, but you'll need to pay for anything more than that.
However, the bag fees for its Nice fares are, well, nice. 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.
1st checked bag: $20.
2nd checked bag: $20.
3rd checked bag: $20.
For comparison, United basic economy fares don't allow a carry-on bag at any cost, and the fee for your first checked bag is $30 if you prepay online ($35 at the airport).
The more expensive Nicer fares include a carry-on bag and a checked bag — plus a lot more. Depending on what other add-ons you value, it may be worth paying for the Nicer fare to get extra legroom seats, priority boarding, bags and more.
Both Nice and Nicer fares are freely changeable or cancellable. If you cancel, you'll get a credit for the amount that you paid, which can be used for the next 24 months.
» Learn more: 7 tips to save on baggage fees
Breeze Airways aircraft
Breeze Airways is operating this summer with a mini-fleet of 13 Embraer jet aircraft. These regional jets are arranged with two seats on either side of the aisle, so no one has to worry about getting stuck in a middle seat. Breeze's 10 E190 jets have 108 economy seats, and its three E195s will fly up to 118 passengers.
Breeze Airways plans to expand well beyond its current route map, and it's planning to build its fleet accordingly. Breeze ordered 60 Airbus A220 aircraft, and will start bringing these into its fleet beginning in October. These larger A220 aircraft will be assigned to longer routes that Breeze will announce this fall, and will also feature a business class cabin.
How Breeze Airways seats work
Breeze Airways will be an all-economy airline, offering extra-legroom seats up front for Nicer tickets, and standard-legroom economy seats through most of the rest of the plane for Nice tickets.
If you book the cheapest Nice fare, you won't be able to select a seat for free — it costs $10 to $20 per person to choose a specific seat. However, since there are no middle seats on the Embraer jets, you won’t have to pay to reserve a seat simply to avoid getting stuck in the middle.
Nice seats on Breeze Airways' E190 aircraft have 29 inches of pitch (the distance between seatbacks). Nice seats on Breeze's E195 jets have 31 inches of pitch.
For comparison, Spirit and Frontier seats have as little as 28 inches of pitch while American, Delta and United have at least 30 inches.
If you want extra space, you can reserve a Nicer extra-legroom seat for around $30 each way. Nicer fares include a Nicer seat reservation for no additional cost. These extra-legroom seats are arranged with 33 to 39 inches of pitch on the E190 planes and 34 to 39 inches on the E195 jets.
Breeze Airways requires that travelers create a BreezePoints profile to purchase a ticket, automatically enrolling flyers in the airline's reward program. Breeze travelers earn credit toward future travel in the form of BreezePoints.
There's no need to figure out flight distance, fare class or earning charts to determine your points earnings. Instead, BreezePoints are earned as a percentage of the amount you pay:
Nice fares: 2% (excluding taxes and fees).
Nicer fares: 4% (excluding taxes and fees).
Bag fees: 4%.
Seat fees: 4%.
If you cancel a Breeze flight, Breeze automatically refunds the amount you paid as BreezePoints.
You don't need to build up a large balance of BreezePoints to be able to use them. BreezePoints automatically apply to your next flight booking. This makes BreezePoints — including any credits you have from canceled flights — easy to use.
Even Southwest Airlines doesn’t make using past flight credits this easy, instead requiring travelers to look up the confirmation number to apply travel funds to a flight purchase.
Other things to know about Breeze Airways
TSA Precheck: Breeze Airways is launching as a TSA Precheck participating airline, so passengers with either TSA Precheck or Global Entry can enter their Known Traveler Number to breeze through airport security.
Free snacks: To start, Breeze will offer complimentary water and snacks. In the future, this will be expanded to include special snacks and beverages (including alcohol) for purchase.
No connectivity or entertainment: Breeze's Embraer aircraft won't have in-flight entertainment or Wi-Fi connectivity. However, Breeze plans to offer these on its upcoming A220 aircraft.
Download the app: Breeze Airways is offering 500 BreezePoints (worth $5) if you download the Breeze Airways app.
Moxy? Breeze? Breeze Airways was originally founded and registered as Moxy Airways. So you may hear air traffic control refer to it as Moxy. Flight numbers will start with "MX."
Pet fees: Breeze Airways charges $75 to travel with a pet in the cabin.
» Learn more: Hotel and flight tips for traveling with your pet
If you fly Breeze Airways
Breeze Airways flew its inaugural flight on May 27, 2021, and plans to quickly expand to operate 39 routes between 16 cities by the end of summer 2021. Fares are cheap, but don't include bags, seats or other perks. However, as a self-described "seriously nice" airline, Breeze's add-on fees and policies are reasonable.
Even if you aren't flying on any of its initial routes, it's worth keeping an eye on Breeze Airways. Breeze has big plans, and has ordered 60 Airbus A220 aircraft to make it happen. Breeze Airways' founder successfully launched JetBlue, Azul and WestJet, and time will tell if he will be known for launching another successful airline.
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