This is why JetBlue just had a really good quarter

October 27, 2015, 4:05 PM UTC

JetBlue's tarmac problems

In 2007, JetBlue committed a couple grievous errors. First, it left dozens of passengers in planes at JFK for almost 11 hours. Then it stranded thousands more on tarmacs during a late-Februrary snowstorm, right after being criticized for the first snafu. At first, founder and CEO David Neeleman responded appropriately. He went on Letterman to apologize, then did the same on YouTube before eventually issuing a passenger's bill of rights that limited the amount of time they could be stranded on the tarmac. But the real hero of the drama was JetBlue's board. A few months after the episode, it forced Neeleman to step down, and signaled to JetBlue's fans that the company wouldn't tolerate something like that again.
Photograph Daniel Barry — Bloomberg News/Getty Images

Shares of JetBlue (JBLU) are losing altitude Tuesday, even though the airline said its third-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier.

The U.S. budget carrier’s profit inched above analysts’ estimates as cheap fuel and revenue from new checked bag fees and first-class seats added to its bottom line.

JetBlue launched new fare tiers in late June, including its first charge for a checked bag—a major change for the carrier. Now that change is paying off, with the airline reporting $40 million in revenue from the new fare, according to USA Today.

Similar to other airlines, JetBlue is benefitting from lower oil prices. The airline said it hedged around 14% of its fuel consumption in the third quarter, resulting in a realized fuel price of $1.85 per gallon, down 39% from the third quarter 2014 realized fuel price of $3.05.

The U.S. budget carrier earned $198 million in the third quarter, up from $79 million a year ago. It earned 58 cents per diluted share, compared with the average analyst estimate of 57 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.