At least that is my prediction and let me explain why:
Ticket prices: People buying tickets only look at the price. No way–you say!! I can not tell you how many people have told me that they bought tickets to fly to MCO or FLL out of Boston-Providence that live in Worcester because the tickets are cheaper. Other then a couple peak vacation weeks, there is no way that Providence or Boston were cheaper, if you took into account, traffic, time, gas, tolls,parking and inconvenience. Looking at a computer screen comparing prices, however, people do not think of this. If JetBlue charged for 1st bag then they would be able to have lower ticket prices and sell more tickets.
Allegiant and Spirit: They charge for bags and their stock have flourished. Although JetBlue stock has done well the past year, it pales in comparison to these two companies. Allegiant charges $50 per checked bag and $10 for carry on, while Spirit charges vary but average $50 per bag (checked in or carry on).
Frontier: They already charge for their drinks, but have announced that they would be dropping prices 12% while charging $25 on average for carry ons.
Delta: They do not charge for stocks, but they are another airlines whose stock performance has been bettter then JetBlue. Actually JetBlue may have the worst return for legacy carriers the past 12 months??
Maruster: He was the COO of JetBlue and was just replaced. The new COO, Robin Hayes, is going to want to establish herself and no better way to make a statment then to implement a change like this.
Unions: The pilots just voted to unionize and will need to increase revenues to offset what I assume will be increased pilot costs.
Expect this to be done in the short-term and I was JetBlue stockholder, I would applaud this change. JetBlue will increase tickets sales, revenues and stock performance!