JetBlue Quietly Adds Baggage Surge Pricing

Passengers will have to pay more to check their bags if they are flying on "peak" travel days.
Sam Kemmis
By Sam Kemmis 
Published
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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Less than two months after JetBlue Airways rolled out a baggage fee price increase, the airline has added another wrinkle. JetBlue hiked baggage prices again with dynamic “peak” and “off-peak” pricing — essentially surge pricing for luggage.

The cost of checking one bag on most JetBlue flights during peak travel dates is now $5 higher, at $40, while the cost of checking a second bag has risen $10, to $60 each way. And those are the prices if you check a bag more than 24 hours before departure. Wait until you get to the airport during peak travel days and you’ll pay a whopping $50 for the first checked bag and $70 for the second checked bag.

These peak dates are predetermined by the airline and include nearly the entire summer, as well as the winter holidays and several weeks in February and April. All together, the peak travel days between May 2024 and April 2025 cover 145 days of the year, or 40% of the calendar.

Transatlantic flights also have surge pricing on baggage fees, though some fares have checked bags included.

JetBlue isn’t the first airline to raise baggage prices this year. Alaska, American, Delta and United have all raised these fees in 2024. Yet JetBlue is the first airline to introduce dynamic pricing based on travel dates. Keep in mind the peak and off-peak prices only apply to bookings made on or after March 22, 2024.

On the bright side, JetBlue’s changes won’t affect passengers that are flying on off-peak dates, and the $10 discount for prepaying for checked bags still applies. However, its fee structure is much more complex for customers to parse. There are now four potential prices for each checked bag on flights within the U.S., Latin America, Caribbean and Canada:

Off-peak travel dates / paid more than 24 hours before departure

Off peak travel dates / Paid within 24 hours of departure

Peak travel dates / paid more than 24 hours before departure

Peak travel dates / paid within 24 hours of departure

First bag

$35.

$45.

$40.

$50.

Second bag

$50.

$60.

$60.

$70.

The potential difference in total baggage fees based on these variables is now vast. Checking two bags more than 24 hours in advance during off-peak dates will now cost $170 round-trip, while the same number of bags checked at the airport during peak dates costs $240 — a $70 increase.

Increased baggage fees across the industry mean travelers must either travel lighter, choose an airline such as Southwest which still offers free checked baggage or bear the increased costs. Customers can also offset baggage fees by using co-branded credit cards.

(Top photo courtesy of JetBlue Airways)


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