If every action causes an opposite and equal reaction, how does one explain Tuesday's trading on shares of JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU) and Southwest (NYSE:LUV)? The announcement over the holiday weekend that rival discount carrier Independence Air would stop operating should have been welcome news to the low-fare specialists. Instead, Southwest's stock closed unchanged, while JetBlue investors suffered a 6% drop in the share price.

The JetBlue situation can be mostly attributed to analyst downgrades by Merrill Lynch (NYSE:MER) and Raymond James. The firming up of crude oil prices also likely played a part in keeping the sector in check.

So when does JetBlue catch a break? It's bad enough that the last time the company garnered national attention was back in September, when Flight 292 went in for a successful emergency landing in Los Angeles. However, I figured that would be spun as a positive because the news media was fascinated that folks on the plane saw the events play out through their personalized monitors, thanks to the fleet's DirecTV (NYSE:DTV) televised programming.

Yes, JetBlue may be cheap, but it isn't exactly free of frills. From the satellite television content to digital audio programming courtesy of XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ:XMSR) to its wide variety of complimentary on-board snacks, JetBlue is actually a pretty spiffy operator. With apologies to Target (NYSE:TGT), JetBlue is what one may consider the cheap chic player in the airline space.

Others -- like Delta's Song -- have tried but come up short. Virgin America is going to give it a go later this year, and it does bear watching given Richard Branson's knack for success.

JetBlue is one of the few Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations that hasn't exactly panned out. The stock is off by 22% since it was singled out in the summer of 2004. Thankfully, the average pick is up a whopping 59%, far better than the market's 20% average return.

Potential investors would be well served to consider both the bull and bear arguments that we published in Dueling Fools a few months ago. Personally, I am quite bullish about the company. I am a satisfied flier and feel the company commands some worthy cost advantages over the legacy carriers. Like Southwest, its stock has been banished to the teens lately. Unless the Virgin America threat becomes overpowering, I do see JetBlue bouncing back. Sooner or later, the cheap chic carrier just has to catch a break.

XM Satellite Radio is aMotley Fool Rule Breakersselection.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has enjoyed the two JetBlue flights that he has taken. He does not own shares in any company mentioned in this story.The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.