JetBlue Eliminating Free Checked Bags

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For awhile now, JetBlue Airlines has allowed you to check your first piece of luggage for free. This was great as almost all of the other airlines (besides Southwest) charge around $25. Unfortunately, this has ended and going forward JetBlue will join the rest of the domestic airlines by making money on customer’s baggage (more info on JetBlue’s site). Although if you purchased your ticket prior to June 30, 2015, you are waived from the new fee. Also, Mosaic numbers will not be charged for their first and second checked bag!

When you now purchase a ticket through JetBlue you will be offered three different pricing bundles:

  • Blue Fares: First checked bag will be $20 when purchased during web check-in or at a kiosk, or $25 at the check-in counter. The second checked bag (regardless of when you pay for it) is $35.
  • Blue Plus Fares: First checked bag is complimentary. The second checked bag is $35. This fare also gives you a $10 discount if you need to change your flight. This fare is $15 more than the regular “Blue Fare.”
  • Blue Flex Fares: Your first and second checked bag is complimentary. This fare also waives any change fees. This fare is $100 more than the regular “Blue Fare.”

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Cities where first checked bag still exists

If you are flying to Latin America or South America, you might be in luck as some of those cities still allow you to check your first bag for free. These include flights to/from:

  • Santo Domingo
  • Santiago
  • Port-au-Prince
  • Port of Spain
  • Kingston
  • Cartagena
  • Medellin
  • Bogota
  • Lima
  • Mexico City

Are the more expensive fares worth it?

If you are definitely going to check a bag, then purchasing the Blue Plus Fare is definitely worth it. This fare is $15 more and includes a free checked bag. This means you are only paying $15 for your checked bag instead of $20 when purchasing the lowest fare price. Additionally, you get the added bonus of receiving a discount if you need to change your flight for some reason. The only issue with this is if you end up not needing to check a bag you are still paying the $15 extra.

The Blue Flex Fare is not worth it in my opinion. While this comes with two free checked bags, the extra $100 does not cover the baggage fees you’d pay when purchasing the lowest fare available. Two checked bags on the lowest fare will only cost you $55. So for $45 you are getting your change fare waived if you need.

Overall

I am definitely sad to see JetBlue moving to the dark side and charging for bag fees. I do understand that this is a big business money making opportunity, but it could also turn some customers away. When comparing prices, customers definitely take into consideration the free checked bag option, and now that will no longer be the case. However, the checked bag fees is less than other airlines so that is a good thing.

It will be interesting to see how long Southwest holds out. They still offer two free checked bags! They are my go-to airline, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that they keep their customer service motto as first priority!

Comments

  1. Sad to say, this makes sense. If one airline stays with the old way of allowing free checked bags they will be bomabrded with all the passengers that need to chack bags while the other airlines will have lower costs.

    • No, it does NOT make sense. Southwest Airlines remains my favorite airlines, for its baggage and change policies — and boarding is great/quicker too. AND its cheaper than the others too (even before I factor in my companion pass). I was starting to take a closer look at Jetblue…. but with this baggage change, becoming yet another Frontier …. all the more reason to stick with Southwest whenever I can.

      This makes sense only to someone who does as you are told, who listens to Kudlow & co. tell ya that you can’t think for yourselves, that it’s only business and “they” are people too who must maximize profit.

      Sticking with Southwest.

  2. I like taking JetBlue to Florida and I usually have no checked bag. I think the fee for Blue is too high. Basically it’s a no frills ticket, which is what I prefer.

  3. Where do you get off with the line, “going forward JetBlue will join the rest of the domestic airlines by making money on customer’s baggage”

    So are you asserting that Southwest doesn’t exist? (yes, I see you referenced them in previous clause — but then you go on to write the next sentence as if they don’t exist)

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