DansDeals will receive compensation if you are approved for a credit card via a link in this post. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers, visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Not too long ago, JetBlue was one of the few airlines offering free checked bags. That fee increased to $15, $20, $25, and then $30 for the first bag and $40 for the second bag.
JetBlue’s days of being a breath of fresh air in a nickel and dime industry started to evaporate when they forced out founder David Neeleman. When they brought on Ben Baldanza, former Spirit CEO, to their board of directors, it definitely showed the direction they want to go.
A week after he joined JetBlue last year, the airline led off the most recent round of bag fee increases to $30 for the first bag and $40 for the second bag. Other airlines were quick to match.
2 months ago they added basic economy restrictions, which are especially hard on their elites. Awards are also pricier as they can’t be bought on basic economy fares.
And for tickets purchased as of today, bag fees will climb to $35 for the first bag and $45 for the second bag.
For now, JetBlue will offer a $5 discount on each bag if you pay for them more than 24 hours before departure. In the past they’ve offered a discount like that and gotten rid of it, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see that phased out in the future.
JetBlue will also charge a $25 phone fee for bookings and services that can be handled online.
I’d guess that Alaska, American, Delta, and United will be only too happy to follow along with increased baggage fees. We’ll see if they also pass along a discount for paying in advance.
The higher fees make the case for having an airline credit card that waives baggage fees even stronger:
- The Chase United Explorer card or the Chase United Explorer Business Card offers a free carry-on bag, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and online checkin, even on a basic economy ticket. The United Club Card (Click on United Explorer Card) offers 2 free checked bags. It’s worth noting that United requires that the ticket be purchased on the card, while other airlines don’t have or don’t enforce that requirement.
- The Citi AA card or Citi AA Business Card offers a free checked bag and priority boarding, even on a basic economy ticket. It’s worth noting that AA only offers the free bag on domestic flights, while other airlines offer it worldwide.
- The Delta Business Gold, Delta Business Platinum, Delta Business Reserve, Delta Consumer Gold, Delta Consumer Platinum, and Delta Consumer Reserve offer a free checked bag and priority boarding, even on a basic economy ticket.
- The JetBlue Plus or Business Card offers a free checked bag. However it does not offer priority boarding on a basic economy fare.
- The Alaska Airlines Consumer or Business card offer a free checked bag even on a basic economy ticket. However it does not offer priority boarding on a basic economy fare.
Do you keep airline cards just to waive checked baggage fees?