Paxex (H/T) has reported today that Jet Blue increased checked bag fees overnight. These changes come after a plethora of other negative changes from competitors such as Delta and American Airlines.

Jet Blue sent an internal message to their staff regarding the changes:

With the launch of Fare Options 2.0 and other technology investments, our Customers have more self-service tools than ever at their fingertips. Now we are changing our fee structure to give Customers extra motivation to use those self-service tools, while at the same time increasing revenue for JetBlue even as we keep our base fares low.

Jet Blue presented this message in a positive light, citing a better customer experience via self-service tools. However, not everything is so nice for customers, who are now paying more for checked bags and phone services.


Increased Checked Bag Fees

Jet Blue increased checked bag fees by $5 per bag. This means that the first checked bag now costs $35 and the second one now costs $45. However, there is an exception if customers pay for a checked bag in advance. Checked bag fees will be $5 less than the new amounts.

The best way to combat these increased fees is to get the Barclays Jet Blue Plus Card or Barclays Jet Blue Business Card. These two cards offer free first checked bags as perks, thereby saving you $35 on each flight. However, even those with a mid-tier Jet Blue card must still pay for a second checked bag.


Phone Fee

Furthermore, Jet Blue is adding a $25 phone fee for all transactions. This includes booking and changing tickets. This fee is designed to give customers incentive to book online or on the Jet Blue phone app instead of on the phone.

The internal message regarding the changes also said the following about the phone fee:

This pricing is meant to encourage Customers to take advantage of our website and mobile app and give those Customers who are unable to use them and require phone support the best experience.

However, this fee also comes with some exceptions. Jet Blue will waive the phone fee for those who are physically, emotionally, or cognitively unable to book online. For example:

  • Tremor in hands
  • Physical effects of a stroke
  • Anxiety
  • Learning disability

This begs the question of “how do you prove to Jet Blue that you have any of the above, if you do?”.


Final Draw

The last time Jet Blue increased checked bag fees was in 2018. Back then, they were trying to keep up with competitors’ prices. And they are now “keeping up with the Joneses” again by raising ancillary fees such as checked bags and the new phone fee.