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This airline now has peak pricing for checked baggage — will others follow?

How to avoid these baggage fees

JetBlue Plane
Minh K Tran / Shutterstock

With the travel industry booming more than ever, airlines are recalibrating their strategies to adapt to changing demand in the behavior of consumers. JetBlue Airways, one of the nation’s leading airlines, recently announced a notable shift in its baggage fee structure, particularly during peak travel periods. These increased JetBlue baggage fees have many customers wondering how it will impact their budget, and whether or not other airlines will follow suit.

JetBlue baggage fees: the details

Nel_Botha-NZ / Pixabay

JetBlue already charges a different fee for checked bags based on how far in advance you check your luggage. If you check your bag within 24 hours of your departure time, you can expect to pay $45 for your first bag and $60 for your second bag. For transatlantic flights, you can expect to pay $65 for your first bag and $105 for your second bag. 

With the new rules regarding checked bags during peak dates, you will pay an extra $5 for your first bag and an extra $10 for your second. This brings the total to $50 for your first bag and $70 for your second ($70 and $115 for transatlantic flights). This rule goes into effect for passengers who have booked their flight on or after March 22, 2024.

According to JetBlue’s website, the peak dates include:

  • February 13 to February 24
  • April 3 to April 28
  • April 11 to April 29
  • June 20 to September 3
  • November 21 to December 2
  • December 19 to January 6

JetBlue told CNBC that these extra baggage fees are intended to “keep base fares as low as possible and ensure customer favorites like seatback TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi remain free for everyone.”

How to avoid unnecessary fees

A piece of luggage sitting in the middle of an airport.
Michał Parzuchowski / Unsplash

While JetBlue baggage fees are oftentimes unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to lessen the amount you will pay. Firstly, if you check your bag more than 24 hours before your flight, you will receive a $10 discount on the fees for both of your bags. 

Additionally, there are a few options for avoiding the checked bag charge entirely. If you fly JetBlue Mint or JetBlue Mosaic, your checked bags are included in the cost of your ticket. If you are a JetBlue Plus Cardmember, your first bag is included, and your second bag is $50 during the off-peak dates and $60 during the peak dates ($100 and $110 for transatlantic flights). 

If at all possible, you can avoid these JetBlue baggage fees by being flexible with your travel plans and schedule your trip during off-peak times

Will other airlines follow suit?

Girl walking outside airport rolling her suitcase
Oleksandr P / Pexels

The new JetBlue baggage fees have many people wondering whether or not other airlines will follow in their footsteps. While predictions about other airlines following JetBlue’s lead remain speculative, it wouldn’t be unprecedented in the dynamic airline industry. Airlines often take cues from competitors’ pricing strategies and market adjustments, leading to a potential ripple effect across the industry.

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