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JetBlue Baggage Fees (and How to Avoid Them!)
- Depending on the price of a ticket, it might be worth purchasing a mid-range Blue Plus fare instead of paying for a bag separately (do the math)
- If you require 2 checked bags, it’s generally NOT worth it to pay the most expensive Blue Flex fare, you’re better off paying for your checked bags separately
- Use the JetBlue Plus and JetBlue Business cards to get a free first checked bag for yourself and up to 3 companions on the same reservation when you use your card to pay for your ticket
- Pay separately for your checked baggage fees with a card that reimburses for airline incidentals, like The Platinum Card® from American Express or The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
A few years ago, JetBlue changed their free checked bag policy. You used to get a free checked bag, but now, you pay $30 (whether online or at the airport) to check your first bag with their lowest fares.
There’s still lots to love about JetBlue, like free in-flight entertainment & Wi-Fi, more legroom, snacks & drinks, and cheap fares!
So let’s see how to take the sting out of their bag fees.
Avoiding JetBlue Baggage Fees
Link: JetBlue Baggage Policies
On the majority of JetBlue’s routes, you have a choice of 3 fare levels when you buy a ticket – Blue, Blue Plus, and Blue Flex (and Mint Business Class where available).
To get a free checked bag (or 2), you’ll have to pay the more expensive Blue Plus or Blue Flex fares.
If you purchase the cheapest Blue fare level, you’ll pay $30 to check your first bag whether you pay online or at the airport.
Minimize the Bag Fee!
If you know you’ll be checking a bag, you’re sometimes a little better off purchasing a mid-range Blue Plus fare instead of paying for a bag separately.
That’s because for some flights, the difference in fare between the cheapest Blue ticket and Blue Plus is only $23.
However, I noticed that if there’s a connecting flight on your itinerary, the difference in fare jumps to ~$46. If that’s the case, it’s better to pay for a bag separately ($30). Instead of paying for a Blue Plus fare to have a checked bag included.
Note: If you require 2 checked bags, it’s generally NOT worth it to pay the most expensive Blue Flex fare. Those cost at least $100 (if not more!) than the cheapest fare. And it would only cost $70 if you paid for 2 bags separately ($30 + $40).
Remember, all JetBlue fares include a carry-on bag and personal item. So if you can pack light, you won’t have to pay extra at all!
That said, Blue Plus and Blue Flex fares earn 7X or 8X online booking bonus JetBlue points per $1 you spend, respectively, instead of 6X with the most basic Blue fare. But the cost of flight changes is the same.
Keep in mind, by purchasing a Blue Plus or Blue Flex fare, you’ll earn more JetBlue points because the bag cost is included in the price of the ticket. To compare, if you paid $30 in bag fees separately on another airline, like American Airlines, you wouldn’t earn frequent flyer miles on the bag fee.
Use the Right Credit Card
On all JetBlue flights, folks with the JetBlue Plus and JetBlue Business cards get a free first checked bag. And so do up to 3 companions on the same reservation when you use your card to pay for your ticket.
If you must pay for a checked bag separately, use a credit card that reimburses airline incidental fees, like:
- The Platinum Card From American Express ($200 airline fee credit per calendar year, but you must choose JetBlue as your qualifying airline)
- The Business Platinum Card From American Express ($200 airline fee credit per calendar year, but you must choose JetBlue as your qualifying airline)
Just remember, you’ll only be reimbursed if you pay the bag fee separately. Because paid airfare does NOT qualify for the credit.
On JetBlue’s lowest fares (Blue fares), you’ll pay $30 for your first checked bag. Regardless of whether you pay online or at the airport.
Often, you’ll save money by paying the next most expensive fare (Blue Plus), which includes a free checked bag and sometimes costs only $23 more. But if the fare difference is $30+, you’re better off paying for for a bag separately. Instead of paying for a Blue Plus or Blue Flex fare to have a checked bag included.
You could also consider using a card that reimburses airline incidental fees to pay separately for your checked bag, like The Platinum Card From American Express.
And don’t forget, folks with the JetBlue Plus and JetBlue Business cards get a free first checked bag. And so do up to 3 companions on the same reservation when you use your card to pay for your ticket!
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