JetBlue baggage fees and how to avoid paying them
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JetBlue held strong for a while with its no-baggage-fees policy. But these days, you’ll pay a checked bag fee on most JetBlue domestic flights unless all your luggage fits the JetBlue carry-on guidelines.
Luckily, with the JetBlue baggage policy, there are many ways to avoid paying baggage fees on your next flight. You may be able to avoid paying JetBlue baggage fees depending on your JetBlue elite status, fare class booked or credit card holder status.
JetBlue’s baggage fees are also very simple and clearly stated, making it easy to understand the additional cost you’ll incur on your next flight.
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JetBlue carry-on guidelines
With JetBlue’s carry-on guidelines, all passengers can bring one personal item that fits under the seat. The personal item might be a backpack, purse, laptop bag or approved pet carrier (if you pay the pet fee) and cannot be larger than 17 inches by 13 inches by 8 inches.
On top of the personal item, JetBlue passengers who booked a Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Extra or Mint fare are also allowed a carry-on bag that can fit into the overhead bin. There is no fee for this second bag, although the size can’t exceed 22 inches in length by 14 inches in width by 9 inches in height. Note that these dimensions include wheels and handles.
Passengers who booked the lowest fare ticket — Blue Basic — are not allowed to bring a larger carry-on bag to store in the overhead bin. Blue Basic passengers who bring extra bags or too large of a bag to the gate will face JetBlue checked bag fees. Based on the JetBlue baggage policy, the fee is $65 if it’s the first or second checked bag and $180 if it’s the third checked bag.
But there are some exceptions to this policy. If you fall into one of the following categories and book a Blue Basic fare, you can still bring a carry-on bag for the overhead bin:
- Mosaic members (who get a carry-on bag and early boarding with all fares).
- Travelers to and from London (including connecting flights).
- Travelers combining a Blue Basic fare with an Even More Space seat (on all legs, if connecting).
- Active U.S. military members.
- Unaccompanied minors.
Additionally, as part of the JetBlue carry-on guidelines, the airline assures select passengers that there will be space for their carry-on. In particular, if you’re traveling on a Blue, Blue Extra or Mint fare on a domestic flight within the U.S. (or a Blue Basic passenger who purchased an Even More Space seat, on all legs if connecting), JetBlue guarantees that your carry-on luggage will fit in the overhead compartment as long as the bag meets the specified requirements. You’ll get a $25 JetBlue travel credit if there isn’t space and your bag has to be checked.
JetBlue checked bag fees
All JetBlue passengers are allowed to check bags. But your fare type, JetBlue elite status and whether you have a JetBlue credit card will determine the checked bag fee you must pay. JetBlue has two different checked bag fee charts — one for routes within the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, and one for flights between the U.S. and London.
The below chart will allow you to figure out your JetBlue checked bag fee for your first and second checked bag at the airport. However, if you prepay for your bags at least 24 hours before departure, you’ll receive $5 off each of the first two checked bags.
JetBlue baggage fees for flights within the US, Latin America and the Caribbean
|First bag||Second bag|
|Mint||Included (up to 70 pounds).||Included (up to 70 pounds).|
|JetBlue Plus Card or JetBlue Business Card member||Included.||$45.|
For the most part, unless you book a Blue Plus fare, a Mint seat, are a Mosaic member, have the JetBlue Plus Card or have the JetBlue Business Card, you are looking at paying $35 for the first checked bag and $45 for the second checked bag. But remember, Blue Plus fares, JetBlue Plus cardmembers and JetBlue Business cardmembers only have one bag included, so you’ll still have to pay for the second checked bag.
The information for the JetBlue Plus Card and JetBlue Business Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Per the JetBlue baggage policy, Mint passengers can check a bag up to 70 pounds. With the JetBlue baggage weight restrictions, all other passenger bags must be 50 pounds or under to avoid additional overweight charges. In my experience, Mosaic members can also check a bag up to 70 pounds, but this isn’t formally included in the JetBlue baggage policy online.
If you want to travel with more than two checked bags, you’ll need to pay $150 per bag for your third bag and each subsequent bag regardless of your fare type or elite status.
You may want to check the JetBlue baggage policy for yourself before your trip, though. After all, some destinations have limitations on luggage — specifically international destinations.
JetBlue baggage fees for flights between the US and UK
|First bag||Second bag|
|Blue Basic||$65/55 pounds.||$105/85 pounds.|
|Blue Plus||Included.||$105/85 pounds.|
|Blue Extra||Included.||$105/85 pounds.|
|JetBlue Plus cardmember||Included.||$105/85 pounds.|
Although the fee to check a bag is significantly more expensive to and from London, most fare types include your first checked bag.
However, if you want to travel with more than two checked bags, you’ll need to pay $200 or 150 pounds per bag for your third bag and each subsequent bag regardless of your fare type or elite status.
Bags that don’t incur JetBlue baggage fees
Some items won’t count toward your carry-on or checked baggage limit regardless of your destination. For example, if you are traveling with an assistive device — such as a stroller, car seat, crutches, wheelchair, etc. — it can travel with you for free (although it is subject to carry-on size and weight restrictions).
Additionally, with the JetBlue baggage policy, all U.S. military members on active military orders and dependents can check up to five bags at no additional cost. Those traveling for leisure travel — along with their dependents — can check up to two bags at no additional cost.
Overweight and oversize baggage fees
JetBlue charges both an overweight and oversize fee, and the fees can add up quickly:
- Overweight fee (up to 99 pounds): $150 per bag for travel within the U.S. and Latin America; 120 pounds (about $150) per bag for travel between the U.S. and London.
- Oversize fee (up to 80 inches, including wheels and handles): $150 per bag for travel within the U.S. and Latin America; 120 pounds (about $150) per bag for travel between the U.S. and London.
So, pay attention to the JetBlue baggage weight restrictions when packing.
Sporting equipment fee
JetBlue allows you to check various sporting equipment, but only some carry an excess fee. For example, golf bags, fishing rods, skimboards, skis and snowboard bags all count as standard checked bags. The fee for these items will follow the same criteria as your first or second checked bag. As long as these particular items are within the weight limits, they will not incur an oversize bag fee.
However, some gear will cost you, such as bikes, surfboards and windsurfing equipment. While these larger items will still count as your first or second checked bag — and incur the standard first or second checked bag fee based on the above chart — there will be an additional fee of $100 or 80 pounds each way.
You can find all the JetBlue fees associated with checking sporting equipment here.
Booking a JetBlue flight through American Airlines
Did you book a JetBlue flight through American Airlines? If so, you only need to pay the baggage fee per the rules of the airline that sold you the ticket. In this case, you’ll actually save $5 on the first and second checked bag since American’s checked baggage fees are slightly lower than JetBlue’s. If you booked this way, the cost of your first checked bag is $30 and the cost of your second checked bag is $40.
Additionally, if you are an AAdvantage elite member, you’ll receive up to two free checked bags on your JetBlue-operated flight. Just enter your AAdvantage number when booking your JetBlue-operated flight through American Airlines.
How to avoid JetBlue checked bag fees
Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid JetBlue baggage fees.
Elite status allowances
All Mosaic customers can check up to two bags at no cost. You can earn JetBlue Mosaic status by doing one of the following:
- Earning 15,000 Mosaic qualifying points.
- Flying 30 segments and earning 12,000 Mosaic qualifying points.
- Spending $50,000 on eligible purchases with your JetBlue Plus Card or JetBlue Business Card.
Additionally, all eligible travel companions booked on the same reservation with a JetBlue Mosaic elite member can check up to two bags for no fee. For a family of four, for example, as long as one passenger has Mosaic status, you can check up to eight bags for no additional fee.
Related: What is JetBlue elite status worth?
JetBlue offers three credit cards — two personal cards and one business card. However, only two cards offer a checked bag benefit. In particular, with the JetBlue Plus Card and JetBlue Business Card, you can check your first bag for free as long as you purchase the ticket with your card. This perk extends to three additional companions on the same reservation as the cardholder.
Both cards come with a $99 annual fee. So, even if you only check a bag on three flights each year, you’ll break even.
Book a premium cabin
When you book your ticket, there are many fare-class options — each one including different benefits for your flight. If you aren’t a Mosaic member and you don’t have an eligible JetBlue credit card, then you might want to consider selecting the Blue Plus fare option. Doing so will allow you to check your first bag for free. However, this fare type is not an option on many routes, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see it listed.
JetBlue Mint seats also allow you to check up to two bags at no additional fee. And for flights within the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean, you can check a bag up to 70 pounds without facing any overweight charges.
Use card travel credits to cover fees
If you have to pay baggage fees on your next JetBlue flight, know that many travel rewards cards offer annual statement credits. You can use these credits toward various travel purchases, including baggage fees.
For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit on anything that codes as “travel” on your credit card statement. You’ll also find that many American Express cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, offer annual airline fee credits. However, note that you’ll need to enroll before using some of these benefits.
Although JetBlue charges a checked baggage fee for most customers, there are many ways to avoid this additional cost. For starters, if you can pack a smaller suitcase, as long as you don’t book a Blue Basic fare you can bring your bag as a carry-on and store it in the airline’s overhead bin.
But, if you must check a bag, as long as you have the JetBlue credit card your first bag will travel with you for free. While you might not want to have another credit card in your wallet, if you find yourself flying JetBlue often, having an eligible JetBlue credit card is an easy way to avoid the JetBlue baggage fee.
Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy.
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