How to Avoid Baggage Fees on JetBlue

How to Avoid Baggage Fees on JetBlue

Paying a fee to check your luggage on any airline can seem insulting. After all, you paid good money for your ticket and now you have to shell out more dough just to check your luggage. It’s a drag but it’s a reality in air travel today. JetBlue levies various fees for checked bags—regardless of if you booked a Blue, Blue Plus, or Blue Flex fare. We’ll tell you how to avoid those fees.

How Much Does a Checked Bag Cost?

JetBlue tickets are sold into three different fare categories: Blue, Blue Plus, and Blue Flex. Depending on the type of ticket you purchase, your checked baggage fees will differ. Here’s what you can expect:

 1st Bag2nd Bag3rd Bag & Any Additional Bags
Blue$20 online or at kiosk;
$25 at ticket counter
$25 $100 each
Blue PlusIncluded$35$100 each
Blue FlexIncludedIncluded$100 each

Exceptions to the above chart include flights to and from the following destinations, where Blue and Blue Plus fares include one checked bag (second checked bag will cost you $35):

  • Cartagena, Medellin, and Bogota, Colombia
  • Kingston, Jamaica
  • Lima, Peru
  • Port-au-Prince, Haiti
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Santo Domingo and Santiago, Dominican Republic
  • Quito, Ecuador

JetBlue requires that all checked bags are no larger than 62 inches (length plus width plus height) and weigh no more than 50 pounds. If the weight of the bag is 51 to 99 pounds, it will cost you $100 to check. Likewise, if the size of the bag is 63 to 80 inches, it will cost you $100 to check it.

Do Elites Get Free Checked Luggage?

Yes. If you have JetBlue Mosaic status, you and anyone else traveling on your itinerary can check up to two bags each for free—no matter what fare (Blue, Blue Plus, or Blue Flex) that you’re traveling on.

If you have JetBlue Mosaic status, you and others on your itinerary can check both the first and second bag for free
If you have JetBlue Mosaic status, you and others on your itinerary can check both the first and second bag for free

Can You Avoid Baggage Fees?

There are always ways to avoid checked luggage fees—even if you aren’t an elite flyer. Here are the easiest ways on JetBlue.

Note about JetBlue’s Branded Credit Card: At the end of 2015 JetBlue ended its relationship with American Express. That means Amex is no longer issuing JetBlue-branded credit cards. Barclays will be the new card-issuing bank. The new JetBlue credit card will be available starting sometime in the first quarter of 2016, but it is not available at press time. When this card does become available, it’s likely it will offer some type of checked luggage benefit. Watch for it.

Use a Credit Card That Reimburses for Incidental Airline Fees: Since you can’t sign up for the Barclays version of the JetBlue-branded credit card just yet, you should look to other credit cards for checked bag benefits.

The American Express Platinum Card and Business Platinum Card offer an Airline Fee Credit of up to $200 per year on select airlines that will reimburse you via statement credit for incidental fees such as checked bags and in-flight food. You must select one airline for the credit each year. The American Express Premier Rewards Gold offers a $100 Airline Fee Credit to cardmembers.

The American Express Platinum Card and Business Platinum Card offer an Airline Fee Credit of up to $200 per year on select airlines
The American Express Platinum Card and Business Platinum Card offer an Airline Fee Credit of up to $200 per year on select airlines

The Citi Prestige card offers a $250 Air Travel Credit per year and covers things like baggage fees, lounge access, and some in-flight purchases.

Active U.S. Military Personnel and Dependents: JetBlue offers free checked bags to members of the military on active duty (traveling for duty or leisure) as well as their dependents. If traveling for duty, you and your dependents traveling on the same itinerary can check five bags each for free. If you are traveling for pleasure, you and your dependents traveling on the same itinerary can each check two bags for free. You just need to show your travel orders and the DoD Common Access Card.

Check Your Bag at the Gate: One travel hack to get a free checked bag is to simply arrive to the gate with your luggage. If your flight is full, airlines will often offer free checked bags to anyone in the gate area that steps forward. This approach is a gamble, but worth a try if you really need to save on the checked baggage fee. If free checked bags aren’t offered, the gate agent can check your bag for a fee.