- David Slotnick/Business Insider
- JetBlue is raising checked bag fees to $35 for the first bag – up from $30 – and $45 for a second bag – up from $40.
- Passengers can still get the old price by adding a bag to their reservation at least 24 hours before the flight. If you add the bag when you check-in, or at the airport, you’ll have to pay the new fees.
- JetBlue credit card holders, Mosaic frequent flyers, and those who buy certain higher fare classes will still be able to check bags for free.
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The next time you check a bag before your JetBlue flight, you can expect to pay more than you’re used to.
The airline announced on Thursday that it was raising bag fees for the second time in two years.
Effective immediately, passengers will have to fork over $35 for a first checked bag – up from $30 – and $45 for a second bag – up from $40.
There’s still a way to get the old pricing, though. The airline said passengers can get a $5 discount when they add a checked bag online or through its app at least 24 hours before the flight, as opposed to adding the bag at check-in or at the airport.
Customers who hold a JetBlue cobranded credit card will continue to get checked bags for free, as will passengers who pay for a more expensive fare.
The airline first introduced fare segmentation in November 2019, including a new basic economy fare type – called “Blue Basic” – and several other tiers. “Blue Blue” fares – the second-highest economy tier – include one checked bag, but the highest flexible fare, “Blue Extra,” does not.
Passengers flying in the airline’s Mint business class get two free checked bags, as do Mosaic-level frequent flyers.
A spokesperson for JetBlue told Business Insider that the airline hoped passengers would add bags in advance and not pay the higher fares.
In doing so, the airline hopes it can “reduce transactions in the airport lobby and improve the customer experience.”
“We believe it makes sense to charge for the added services that only certain customers use while keeping customer’s favorite features included in low fares for everyone who flies us,” the spokesperson added.
Ancillary revenue for unbundled services, including fees from checked bags, have become a major business factor for global airlines. JetBlue made more than $270.2 million from baggage fees in the first nine months of 2019, according to the US Department of Transportation. US commercial airlines earned $4.3 billion in total during that same period.
JetBlue was among the last US airlines to start charging for checked bags. Southwest does not charge for the luggage, which the airline pointed on in a tweet following the JetBlue announcement.