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JetBlue brings back all-you-can-fly deal

By Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- JetBlue is reviving its unlimited travel deal, which for one month allows travelers to fly anywhere they want, as much as they want.

The offer, which JetBlue (JBLU) originally debuted last year, is on sale through Aug. 20 and is good for travel between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6.

Jet setters can choose between two deals: a $699 package that allows them to travel any day of the week to any of Jet Blue's 60 domestic and international travel destinations; or a $499 package that excludes travel on Fridays and Sundays.

Jet Blue spokeswoman Allison Croyle said that last year's program "far exceeded expectations" and was "the most successful promotion in our company's history." But she would not say how many packages were sold or how much money the airline made because she didn't want to reveal this information to competitors. She did explain, though, that on the first day of the offer visitors to JetBlue's route map surged 860%.

"I think it was very successful because it sold out sooner than they expected," George Hobica, air travel expert and president of Airfarewatchdog.com. He added: "The equivalent in advertising value was enormous. It's a brilliant marketing ploy."

The price of the most expensive option has gone up since last year, when JetBlue offered its seven-day package for $599. Hobica said that it's a better deal this year, even with the extra $100 charge, because fares are more expensive compared to 2009.

Hobica noted that JetBlue was offering the deal during a "very, very slow period" for travel. He also said the airline was offering the deal one week later than it did last year.

"I wonder if the Steven Slater incident delayed it," said Hobica, referring to the JetBlue steward who cursed out a plane full of passengers, deployed the emergency escape chute, and slid down to the tarmac, beer in hand.

JetBlue spokesman Steve Stampley, however, said the timing for the deal was "driven by the sequence of events in our marketing and activity calendars." To top of page

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