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10 tips for flying JetBlue with kids

Feb. 15, 2021
9 min read
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


If you're considering flying JetBlue for your next family vacation, it's a great choice. In 2019, JetBlue snagged the No. 1 spot overall in the TPG Best Airlines for Families Report because of its complimentary points pooling and excellent onboard experience, including spacious seats, unlimited kid-friendly snacks and DirectTV (yes, your kids can watch the Cartoon Network and Disney Channel while 35,000 feet in the air).

Even if you fly with a great airline, you can always make your flying experience better if you are properly prepared. To help you have a great trip with JetBlue, consider these 10 tips before traveling with your little ones:

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Related: How to earn points with the JetBlue TrueBlue program

Be sure you have a seat assignment

JetBlue makes it easy for families to sit together. Most of the rows are standard rows that don’t cost extra, although they recently added Basic Economy tickets that do not include complimentary seat assignments. As long as you purchase anything but a "Blue Basic" fare, you'll be able to pick a seat for all passengers in your party at the time of booking for no fee. Also, if you use your JetBlue TrueBlue points, there are no basic fare options -- meaning all reservations automatically include complimentary advance seat selection.

Tip: JetBlue flights can fill up quickly, so choose seats together well ahead of time. Fixing seat assignment issues on the day of travel can be challenging, so do not delay on selecting your seats.

Related: How to pick the perfect airplane seat

Seated together on a JetBlue A320. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Pack headphones and charge your devices

JetBlue has complimentary DirecTV, movies and Fly-Fi internet, but the airline headphones required to listen to the inflight entertainment are not free -- they will set you back $5 apiece if you purchase them on board. You can purchase my kids' favorite headphones on Amazon for not much more than that. Just remember to tuck them into your child's carry-on.

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Also, don't forget to charge your devices before leaving for the airport. Power outlets are not available at all seats on all aircraft (though the airline is working on that). Our recent 3.5-hour flight from New York-JFK to Houston was on a JetBlue A320 with no in-seat power. It's also wise to prepare for the worst: the seat-back screens may be broken or the Wi-Fi could be down (which happened on our flight). Load up shows and movies on your kids' tablets before you board or pack alternative activities.

Related: Best travel gear for kids

Take the kids to play in New York-JFK's Terminal 5

This won’t help you on all JetBlue flights, but I love that JetBlue has a small playground near Gate 12 in New York-JFK's Terminal 5. This is the perfect way to spend 15 minutes or so before boarding. Let your little ones run, play and climb (read: burn off energy) before they have to sit still for hours on the plane.

Searching for adventure at the JetBlue play area in New York-JFK's Terminal 5. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Board after Group A

JetBlue's family boarding process isn't my favorite since it doesn't let families with bulky gear on first. The airline does, however, allow passengers with young kids traveling in car seats or strollers to board immediately after Group A. If you fall into that category, be ready to go and get settled before the other boarding groups. All other passengers will need to board with their respective boarding groups. If you want to make sure to be the first on board, Mosaic elite customers are the second group to board, right after customers with disabilities.

Related: What is JetBlue elite status worth in 2020?

Families can board after Group A. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Don’t waste space on snacks

JetBlue provides passengers with unlimited complimentary snacks, so unless your child is a picky eater or has specific dietary restrictions, I would not waste time or money packing snacks for a JetBlue flight. Instead, I’d get ready to enjoy the free cranberry, orange or apple juices, the popcorn chips, animal crackers, the airline's iconic Terra blue potato chips and more.

Related: These are the TSA-approved foods you can — and can’t — bring with you on an airplane

JetBlue snacks are unlimited. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Pool your JetBlue miles

JetBlue lets families pool miles for free, so sign your kids up for a JetBlue TrueBlue account and accumulate your family's miles in a single account so you can book award travel faster.

You will need a unique email address for your kids when signing them up for TrueBlue. If they don’t have their own email account yet, they can use your Gmail account by adding a + and their name to the end. (i.e., mommypoints@gmail.com becomes mommypoints+mykid@gmail.com -- and the message then appears in my inbox as usual.)

For the purpose of pooling miles, families can include up to two adults and five children, so make sure everyone has a TrueBlue account.

Related: Your ultimate guide to family point pooling

Skip the extra legroom

Unless you really need the extra space, I’d skip upgrading to JetBlue’s Even More Legroom seats since the standard seats have plenty of legroom for most families. JetBlue offers the most legroom in economy, so the seats will feel downright roomy compared to a flight on Spirit or Frontier.

Note that on JetBlue aircraft, row 1 is an Even More Space seat at the bulkhead. That might sound appealing to families since you’ll have plenty of room at your feet. However, we got some advice from JetBlue’s Captain Gary in regard to this row.

According to the captain, the armrests in row 1 are fixed and do not raise up. “The child cannot lay across or lean on the parent with that in the way,” he says. “It is very awkward, especially if you have a lap baby.”

He also cautions that since it’s a bulkhead row, there’s no under-seat storage, so you need to store everything in the overhead during takeoff and landing — a big proposition if you’re traveling with all sorts of things to keep the kids entertained.

And finally, row 1 is near the forward galley and the main boarding door, so it can get chilly in that row during flight. Just a few things to think about before selecting a row 1 Even More Space seat for your family.

Tip: If you have JetBlue Mosaic elite status, ask the gate agent to see if there are any complimentary upgrade seats available.

Related: TPG’s picks for the best economy seats on domestic flights

JetBlue's standard legroom is roomy. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Save more with the JetBlue Card

Families who regularly fly JetBlue should consider the JetBlue Plus Card, as it provides complimentary checked bags for you and up to three others on the same reservation when booking JetBlue fares with the card; 50% off eligible inflight purchases on cocktails and food, and returns 10% of your redeemed JetBlue points to your TrueBlue account. You'll also receive a 5,000-point bonus on your card anniversary each year. TPG currently values JetBlue miles at 1.3 cents each.

The information for the JetBlue Plus 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.

Related: How to redeem points with the JetBlue TrueBlue program

Watch for JetBlue flash sales

If you want to get away for as few points or dollars as possible, keep your radar tuned to JetBlue flash sales. These flash sales are sometimes for specific travel dates and times, but the prices can be as low as a few hundred points for a flight, or cash fares starting at approximately $20 one-way. For example, I've seen a flight from New York-JFK to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR), for just 300 TrueBlue points, plus taxes.

Transferring points to TrueBlue can be done instantaneously through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the Citi ThankYou program and the Amex Membership Rewards programsometimes even at an improved ratio, thanks to transfer bonuses.

To stay in the loop on JetBlue Flash Sales, follow @tpg_alerts and @JetBlueCheeps on Twitter.

Related: Best credit card for families

Shop Amazon in the sky for 3x TrueBlue points

You can no longer earn JetBlue TrueBlue points for Amazon purchases made on the ground, but you can still earn 3 TrueBlue points per eligible dollar spent when you shop on a JetBlue flight using the free inflight Fly-Fi. Log into Fly-Fi using the name and email associated with your JetBlue TrueBlue account, then head to Amazon to shop and earn points (not valid when using the Amazon mobile app).

Related: The best credit card for Amazon purchases

Do you have any tips for flying JetBlue with kids? Sound off in the comments below.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
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1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

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Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

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Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more