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How to Avoid JetBlue Baggage Fees

How to Avoid JetBlue Baggage Fees

Million Mile SecretsHow to Avoid JetBlue Baggage FeesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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 $25 (whether online or at the airport) to check your first bag with their lowest fares.

Jetblue Baggage Fees
JetBlue No Longer Offers a Free Checked 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

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).

Jetblue Baggage Fees
The Cheapest Blue Fares Do NOT Include a Checked Bag

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 $25 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.

Jetblue Baggage Fees
There’s a $23 Difference Between the Cheapest Fare and the Next Level Up

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 ($25).  Instead of paying for a Blue Plus fare to have a checked bag included.

Jetblue Baggage Fees
If You’re Connecting, It’s Likely Better to Pay Separately for Your Bag

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 $60 if you paid for 2 bags separately ($25 + $35).

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. 

Jetblue Baggage Fees
You’ll Earn an Extra JetBlue Bonus Point per $1 You Spend When You Book Blue Plus or Blue Flex Tcikets Online, but the Flight Change and Cancel Fees Are the Same Regardless

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 $25 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:

Jetblue Baggage Fees
Use a Card That Reimburses You for Airline Fees, Including Checked Baggage

Just remember, you’ll only be reimbursed if you pay the bag fee separately.  Because paid airfare does NOT qualify for the credit.

Bottom Line

On JetBlue’s lowest fares (Blue fares), you’ll pay $25 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 $25+, 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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The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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