Edited by: Chris Dong
& Keri Stooksbury
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You may not have heard of start-up carrier Breeze Airways, but it’s among the fastest-growing airlines in the country. Created by JetBlue founder David Neeleman in 2021, Breeze takes a different approach compared to most other airlines.
Straddling the line between a budget and full-service airline, Breeze’s primary differentiator is that it enters smaller to mid-sized markets. This is quite different than legacy airlines which operate on a hub-and-spoke model, where travelers connect through a larger hub before arriving at their final destination.
Since its debut in 2021, Breeze has introduced routes to dozens of American cities. It has already become a passenger favorite thanks to its flexible change and cancellation policies. Combined with a low-fare model, travelers from these smaller cities can visit new destinations at a lower cost thanks to Breeze.
With an enticing business model, you may wonder: What is it like to fly with Breeze Airways?
I flew Breeze twice in the past year — from Raleigh-Durham (RDU) to Los Angeles (LAX) and Providence (PVD). In this review, I’ll go through everything you should know before flying the airline.
Airline: Breeze Airways
Category: Ultra-low-cost carrier
Frequent Flyer Program: None
Tag Line: “Seriously Nice.”
About/Mission Statement: “Breeze provides nonstop service between underserved routes across the U.S. at affordable fares. With seamless booking, no change or cancellation fees, and customized flight features, Breeze makes it easy to buy and easy to fly.”
Fleet: 35+ planes (Airbus A220-300, Embraer E190, Embraer E195)
Headquarters: Cottonwood Heights, Utah
Primary Airports: Charleston International Airport (CHS), Hartford Bradley International Airport (BDL), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), Norfolk International Airport (ORF), Orlando International Airport (MCO), Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport (PVD), Provo Airport (PVU), and Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Destinations: 45+ (in the continental U.S.)
Breeze serves a wide variety of airports across the U.S., bringing services that other airlines may have neglected in the past. In 2024 alone, Breeze began operating in cities like Gulfport, Mississippi, and Burlington, Vermont — with no signs of slowing down.
Unlike traditional airlines, Breeze doesn’t usually offer flights every single day of the week as it operates a point-to-point model. For instance, some routes may only operate on a once-weekly or twice-weekly basis.
In other cases, Breeze may only offer certain routes seasonally. With an ever-changing schedule, the best way to see the airline’s updated schedule is by searching for flights through Breeze’s website directly or via its mobile app (iOS, Android).
While the vast majority of Breeze flights are nonstop routes, the airline debuted its unique “BreezeThru” service in 2023. BreezeThru is a one-stop routing that allows passengers and their bags to stay onboard as the flight picks up the next set of travelers.
For instance, my flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Raleigh-Durham (RDU) was marketed as a “BreezeThru” service to Hartford (BDL). As I disembarked the plane to Raleigh-Durham, some passengers stayed on the plane as Breeze continued onto Hartford. Then, Breeze also picked up more passengers from Raleigh-Durham to Hartford.
The airline sticks true to its “Seriously Nice” theme by offering 2 main fare classes: Nice and Nicer. A third fare class, Nicest, is only available on its A220 aircraft — more on this below.
Speaking in colloquial airline terms, the Nice class is more akin to a standard basic economy fare. This will be the cheapest ticket by far, but you’re limited to a personal item (larger carry-on bags cost extra) and will not be allowed to pick a seat assignment in advance.
The Nicer level comes with several extra benefits that may be worth the surcharge. More like a premium economy fare, you’ll enjoy an extra legroom seat assignment (with up to 34 inches of legroom!) and a free carry-on and checked bag.
Finally, the Nicest level on the A220 is similar to a domestic first class product on other airlines, with up to 2 free checked bags and unlimited snacks and beverages onboard. Depending on the aircraft you’re flying, you’ll even get a much better seat, called Ascent class. Only available on the airline’s A220, this seat is a spacious recliner with a whopping 39 inches of legroom.
Given the options, which ticketing option should you pick? Budget travelers who can pack everything in a personal item the size of a backpack can find immense value from the Nice fare, while most travelers will benefit from booking a Nicer ticket that includes a seat assignment and bags.Hot Tip:
Even as a budget-friendly airline, Breeze offers one of the most flexible modification policies (which we’ll discuss further in-depth below). All travelers — even in the base-level Nice class — can change or cancel their flight up to 15 minutes before departure and receive credit valid for future travel up to 24 months.
Travelers can earn BreezePoints by booking flights and paying for extra surcharges on the airline (the base fare excludes any taxes and fees associated with the ticket).
As mentioned, travelers can change or cancel their flights (in any fare class) up to 15 minutes before departure. The future travel credit is awarded in the form of BreezePoints and will also expire 2 years after issuance.
In addition, the airline hints that travelers will soon be able to earn more BreezePoints on other items purchased, including inflight snacks and beverages.
BreezePoints are simple to earn and just as easy to use as they’re worth 1 cent apiece. In other words, 1,000 BreezePoints would be worth $10 toward future Breeze flights.
At this time, Breeze does not offer an elite status program. However, the airline plans to debut its first-ever co-branded credit card with Barclays in early 2024, allowing loyal flyers to earn even more BreezePoints from their daily spending.Hot Tip:
Avelo Airlines was formed in 2021, around the same time as Breeze. Both airlines offer similar operating models, so be sure to read through our extensive review on flying Avelo Airlines which covers fees, seats, amenities, and more.
Travelers may be subject to several baggage fees depending on the ticket they booked, which may already include carry-on or checked bags.
That said, those baggage fees can add up quickly, so booking the Nicer fare might make sense instead of paying these extra charges.
All travelers can bring 1 free personal item onboard no larger than 17 x 13 x 8 inches (43 x 33 x 20 centimeters), no matter if they’re booked in Nice, Nicer, or Nicest class.
Flyers in Nicer and Nicest can bring 1 free carry-on bag onboard no larger than 24 x 14 x 10 inches (61 x 35 x 25 centimeters). The carry-on bag also is subject to a maximum weight of 35 pounds, though anecdotally, this is rarely enforced.
Additionally, Nicer class flyers can check 1 free bag, while Nicest class flyers can check up to 2 free bags. The maximum size of these checked bags is 62 linear inches, and the maximum weight is 50 pounds each.
This means travelers in Nice class (basic economy) are subject to both carry-on and checked-bag fees. However, Breeze’s baggage fees are dynamically priced depending on the route you’re flying.
The airline has made it easy to know how much you’ll be charged by entering your travel details on its baggage fees page. That said, Breeze’s carry-on fees range from $30 to $35, based on a few sample route searches conducted by Upgraded Points. It appears that shorter flights charge the $30 rate, while cross-country and transcontinental routes have a slightly higher $35 rate.
Travelers can check up to 3 bags on any flight, and the following baggage fees apply:
Overweight and oversized bags are subject to additional fees per flight:
Checked bags weighing over 99 pounds or measuring more than 80 linear inches will not be accepted.
In any case, travelers should consider adding bags to their reservations in advance. Carry-on and checked bags charged at the airport — or when calling customer service — result in an additional $75 fee per bag.Hot Tip:
Canceled your ticket and prepaid for bags? You’ll also receive credit in the form of BreezePoints toward a future flight (or bag).
Guest Empowerment Team Booking: Breeze allows you to book flights or modify your booking online or through the Breeze app. You can also reach out to Breeze’s customer service team via text or email, but all bookings or ticket modifications will result in a non-refundable $9 fee per traveler.
Seat Assignment: Travelers booked in the Nice class will have to pay extra to pick their seats in advance. If you’d rather not roll the dice, you can expect to pay between $10 to $50 for a Nice seat assignment and a $20 to $75 fee for a Nicer seat, depending on the flight.
Snacks and Beverages: Breeze does not provide complimentary snacks or beverages for travelers (except water). There’s an inflight menu where you can purchase food and drink, including snack boxes.
Modification Fees: Breeze offers one of the best modification policies for travelers: You can change or cancel your Breeze flight online 15 minutes before the scheduled departure time.
You’ll receive a full refund to the original payment method if you cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking and at least 7 days (168 hours) before departure. After this window, you’ll receive a travel credit to your BreezePoints, which will, again, expire after 2 years.
Priority Boarding: At this time, Breeze does not offer priority boarding to passengers who are not ticketed for Nicer and Nicest class. However, travelers who need extra time to board the plane may be able to board for no additional cost before general boarding begins.
Infant (Lap Child) Fee: Breeze does not charge for lap infants older than 14 days old or under 2 years of age.
Unaccompanied Minor Fee: Breeze does not accept reservations for unaccompanied minors 13 years of age or younger. All travelers between 13 and 18 are considered adults and therefore do not incur unaccompanied minor fees if flying solo on a Breeze flight. However, they must travel with an adult on multi-segment flights, including BreezeThrus and connecting flights.
Pet Transport Fee: There’s a $75 fee for 1 pet (maximum of 25 pounds). The pet must fit in a soft-shell carrier which must fit under the seat in front of you. There’s a maximum of 5 pets allowed per flight on a first-come, first-served basis.
Wi-Fi Fee: Breeze is finishing installing Viasat Wi-Fi across its fleet of A220-300 jets in 2024. Wi-Fi is free for Nicest passengers, while all other travelers pay between $5 and $8 to be connected for an entire flight.
You can avoid paying all of the aforementioned fees by carrying the right travel credit card.
By using an eligible Capital One card, you can redeem Capital One miles for 1 cent each as a statement credit for eligible travel purchases (baggage, seat assignments, etc.) purchased within 90 days. For example, a $35 carry-on bag fee on Breeze would only require 3,500 Capital One miles.
The Capital One Venture X card is an excellent option for travelers looking for an all-in-one premium credit card.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is the premium Capital One travel rewards card on the block.
Points and miles fans will be surprised to see that the Capital One Venture X card packs quite the punch when it comes to bookings made through Capital One, all while offering the lowest annual fee among premium credit cards.
Depending on your travel goals and preferences, the Capital One Venture X card could very well end up being your go-to card in your wallet.
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Despite being a low-cost airline, Breeze offers a surprising amount of onboard amenities, primarily because of its brand-new fleet of A220 jets.
Inflight Amenities: The exact amenities will depend on the aircraft you’re scheduled to fly on.
Breeze has nearly 2 dozen A220-300 in service reserved for many of its longer domestic flights, which are equipped with the most amenities by far. All travelers will enjoy USB-A and USB-C power ports and inflight entertainment powered by Breeze’s app. Ascent class passengers enjoy free snacks and beverages, 120V AC power outlets, and Wi-Fi (if available).
Some of Breeze’s flights are quite long, especially with its slew of new transcontinental routes the airline plans to launch from San Diego (SAN). The downside is there are no hot meals in Nicest class (or for purchase), so you’ll want to plan accordingly to avoid going hungry.
The airline’s E190/E195 reserved for shorter hops do not have power outlets. However, passengers can connect to the inflight entertainment system for movies and TV shows through the Breeze app and purchase snacks and drinks for an additional fee.
Seat Specs: Breeze’s hard product continues to impress first-time and long-time air travelers, with spacious seating throughout the cabin.
Breeze is a newer airline, so there’s not much government-backed data to show the airline’s delay and cancellation statistics. For example, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ latest data set (from October 2023) doesn’t report any information on Breeze.
Between December 2023 and January 2024, Breeze’s flights were on-time about 61% of the time, according to data from Airportia. During this time frame, average delay times were about 46 minutes, and Breeze canceled about 1% of its flights.Hot Tip:
Did you know that some credit cards offer trip cancellation and interruption coverage? If your flight is delayed or canceled by the airline, you can be reimbursed once you file a claim.
From Airline Quality Rankings (AQR), Breeze has received a 3/10 from consumers. This ranking isn’t too far off from the current ratings of other carriers, ranging from ultra-low-cost to full-service options:
Here at Upgraded Points, we’re big fans of Breeze Airways.
Breeze offers competitive fares to destinations that have traditionally been underserved by legacy airlines. After all, more competition means cheaper flights for travelers across the U.S.
The airline seems to announce new routes just about every week, so you’ll want to subscribe to our (free!) newsletter to hear about Breeze’s ever-growing network. And sometime this year, we hope to see Breeze announce its first international destination.
Finally, Breeze operates a customer-friendly model of allowing ticket changes and cancellations up to 15 minutes before departure. The fees are on par with competing airlines, too, many of which sell basic economy tickets suitable for travelers who want to save as much money as possible.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Although it is a new airline, Breeze has already proven itself to be a great addition to an already competitive domestic airline market. Breeze boasts an impressive network of nearly 50 destinations that mostly consist of smaller to mid-sized American cities.
Between December 2023 and January 2024, the airline reported an on-time percentage of 61%.
Breeze operates on a low-cost model, much like airlines like Frontier or Spirit. However, travelers may be subject to many additional fees for carry-on bags or seat assignments.
No. JetBlue’s founder David Neeleman is also the founder of Breeze Airways, but the 2 domestic airlines are entirely separate entities with no relationship.
Breeze’s Airbus A220 aircraft are just 1 to 2 years old, while its Embraer E190 and E190 aircraft are roughly 15 years old.
On the 2 Breeze flights I flew, the airline was not strict about the size or dimensions of my personal item or carry-on bag. There is a stated carry-on bag weight limit of 35 pounds, but this was not enforced. However, your experience may vary.
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