JetBlue is testing a $5 checked carry-on fee — and it’s causing a big debate

Oct 24, 2019

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JetBlue, apparently, wants to see if travelers would like to pay even more bag fees.

According to Paxex.aero, the airline has launched a trial at Orlando (MCO) that will allow travelers to pay $5 for the privilege of checking carry on-size bags at the counter — because why take your bag with you on the plane for free, when you could pay more to pick it up after your flight at baggage claim?

When asked about the trial, a spokesperson for JetBlue told TPG in an email, “In an effort to streamline the travel experience, we hope customers will enjoy carrying fewer bags through security and a quicker boarding process at the gate.” The airline also noted that “customers are more than welcome to continue to check bags at the gate for free and this new trial is completely optional.”

We decided to poll some of the most frequent flyers we know, to find out how they feel about the $5 fee. We’re talking about the TPG Lounge, of course — our dedicated Facebook community with more than 70,000 members and growing. (If you’re not in it, you’re missing out.)

Many Lounge members actually agreed with JetBlue, saying that decreasing the number of carry-on bags could expedite both security and boarding.

TPG reader Matt K. said that, contrary to the norm, “Carry-ons should have a fee. Checked bags should be free.”

Michael S. had a similar sentiment. He said, “I hate carrying anything on the plane, it delays boarding and causes issues. The most I bring is a backpack.”

But ask Vetisha M., and she’s on the other side of the issue. To her, “[JetBlue] is just charging for something that used to be free. And Matthew D. is in the same camp. “Nickel and dime make people pissed. Make it $25 or zero,” he said. 

JetBlue currently charges $30 for your first bag if you purchase a Blue fare; it’s included with all other fares. In theory, this could be a way to secure a lower checked baggage fee, and is certainly a pro for people who want to pack bigger toiletries without paying so much more. (Just can’t leave home without a full-size bottle of shampoo? This could be the answer for you.)

Then, of course, there’s Gloria L., who suggested: “Just become Mosaic. Then you don’t have to worry about bag fees at all.”

Well, that solves that problem.

Featured image by Zach Griff/TPG

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