Not as simple as it seems: How to use JetBlue Travel Bank
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Whenever you cancel a JetBlue flight, the refund — if you’re eligible — is credited to your Travel Bank account. This is essentially a holding account that keeps the value of canceled flights for one year. You can use these credits to book a new flight within a year.
On paper, this is pretty simple: the funds accumulate and you can redeem them for flights when the time comes. In practice, though, the process is a bit more complicated. TPG readers have reached out to the Points and Miles team discussing mishaps they’ve had finding Travel Bank funds and using them to book flights.
Many travelers are racking up Travel Bank funds when canceling flights due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Because of this, we want to give you the lowdown on using them, so you know what to expect when redeeming your funds post-pandemic. Let’s get started!
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Things to know about the JetBlue Travel Bank
Before we dive into using the JetBlue Travel Bank, let’s discuss a few of the program’s nuances. We’ll cover how Travel Bank funds are allocated, their validity and other bits of “good to know” information.
Travel Bank funds are distributed per flyer
The biggest annoyance with JetBlue Travel Bank is how funds are distributed. After you cancel a paid flight, refunds are issued to each travel individually, even if all they’re all on the same record locator.
This causes a massive headache for families that travel together. TPG Senior Editor Nick Ewen recently canceled a JetBlue reservation that included flights for himself, his wife and daughter. When rebooking, each family member was given a refund to their respective Travel Bank accounts despite being on the same reservation.
You can only use one Travel Bank per reservation. So when it came time to rebook, Nick had to rebook each family member separately and combine all reservations to a single record locator over the phone.
Things get even more confusing when it comes to canceling flights on a combined record locator. Nick had to cancel the rebooked flight due to the coronavirus outbreak. He couldn’t do this online as the JetBlue website gave him an error stating that the ticket didn’t match his Travel Bank balance. Again, he had to call in to cancel the flights.
This can be incredibly inconvenient if you’re booking travel for a friend or even a coworker. The traveler gets the Travel Bank credit, making it challenging for the person that booked the ticket to get a refund.
Funds are valid for one year from the date of issuance
Typically, Travel Bank funds can be used within one year from the date of issuance. This means that if you cancel a flight on Oct. 1, you must use the credit by Oct. 1 of the following year. There is no way to extend this credit.
Thankfully, the airline extended some credits issued during the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. The extension varies by when you cancel your flight:
- Funds expiring between Feb. 27, 2020 and Jun. 30, 2020 expire on Dec. 31, 2020
- Funds issued between Feb. 27, 2020 and Jun. 30, 2020 have a 24-month expiration period
- Funds issued after Jun. 30, 2020 expire 12 months from the date of issuance
You can only use Travel Bank funds for flights
Unfortunately, you can only use your Travel Bank funds for a new flight’s fare and taxes. You cannot use it to redeem for assigned seating, priority boarding, checked bags or other ancillary fees. This is likely because these add-ons are refunded to your original form of payment when you cancel a flight.
Accessing your Travel Bank funds
You can view your JetBlue Travel Bank funds on the airline’s dedicated Travel Bank website. This is automatically linked to your TrueBlue account when you cancel a ticket associated with your frequent flyer number. JetBlue will email you instructions on how to sign in to your account.
If you cancel a ticket for someone who isn’t a TrueBlue member, they will receive an email with credentials to log into their Travel Bank. Remember, even if all travelers are on the same record locator, they will receive their own Travel Bank refund.
Once signed in, you can view your Travel Bank balance and when your funds expire. You can also click the “Account Statement” button to view a list of recent Travel Bank transactions.
Booking flights with Travel Bank funds
Once you have access to your JetBlue Travel Bank account, using available funds is relatively simple. Head to the JetBlue website and sign in before booking a flight. Search for a flight as you usually would and enter your passenger information.
On the payment screen, select the “Travel Bank” option located above the credit card entry area. You’ll be prompted to sign in to your Travel Bank account if you’re not a TrueBlue member.
Once signed in, you’ll get the option to use as much or as little of your credit as you’d like. Note that you can only use credits to cover the fare and its associated taxes and fees — as discussed, seat selection fees and other add-ons are not eligible. Click the “Apply Travel Bank Credits” button to apply the funds to your purchase.
And that’s all there is to it: you’ve successfully used your JetBlue Travel Bank funds. It’s easy enough once you have the hang of it, but bookmark this page just in case you need a refresher.
JetBlue’s Travel Bank program is a little tricky to use, but hopefully, this guide helps you navigate it better. Keep in mind that these funds are accessible under a separate login than your JetBlue account. And that even if multiple travelers are under the same record locator, each traveler is allocated refunds to their own Travel Bank account.
Feature photo by Markus Mainka/Shutterstock
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