Would You Accept The JetBlue All You Can Jet Pass If You Won?

Eric Salard [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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JetBlue is automatically entering everyone who buys a nonrefundable JetBlue ticket between 12/1-12/15 into a raffle for a JetBlue All You Can Jet Pass. You get an entry for each ticket that you buy.

You can also enter the contest for free by hand printing your complete name, address including zip code, daytime and evening telephone numbers including area code and a valid e-mail address (optional) on a 3″ x 5″ piece of paper and mail it in an envelope with sufficient postage to: All You Can Jet Sweepstakes c/o Centra 360, 1400 Old Country Road, Suite 417, Westbury, NY 11590. All Free Entries must be postmarked by 12/15/2017 and received by 12/22/2017.

There will be 3 prize winners and at first glance, the prize looks pretty awesome. You can bring a friend and fly on unlimited JetBlue flights from 2/1/8-1/31/19. You do need to pay for the taxes on the flights that you choose. You also must pay a $150 fee for any changes or cancellations within 24 hours of a flight. The pass can’t be used to reserve Mint or even more space seats. You don’t earn points for free flights.

The biggest caveat though is in the fine print. The winners will get a 1099-MISC for $20,000. The contest is only open to US residents, so any winner is going to be hit with a tax liability. An upper middle class family in NYC may have a 38% combined federal, state, and local marginal tax rate, which could mean that the pass may cost them $7,600 in extra taxes. Of course that price will vary based on income, tax law changes, and where you live.

Would You Accept The JetBlue All You Can Jet Pass If You Won?

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22 Comments On "Would You Accept The JetBlue All You Can Jet Pass If You Won?"

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Thank you for pointing this out to people. I work in taxes and get upset that taxes owed on prize money isn’t better disclosed. Most people are not aware of these issues. I actually almost signed up for this contest but then saw it was valued at $20,000.


If the flights are income…
Then all other expenses incurred (hotel, rental car, parking, etc). Maybe these can be expensed to lower the liability.


They want everyone to book their flight before they have their big X-mas Sale.

they have a big sales at the end of December every year.


How do they determine that the fair market value is $20,000?


I’m curious about this as well. Obviously it could be substantially less or more. What does a contest sponsor need to take into account when deciding value for the purpose of a 1099-MISC? I couldn’t purchase this exact pass at $20,000 so how is the exact value determined. This gets even more complicated when you take into account a service with a constantly fluctuating price such as airfare.


A few years ago I won a Jetblue contest which gave away unlimited flights for 2 months. It didn’t come with a companion pass and the 1099-MISC was $1000. $20,000 is very steep- Jetblue doesn’t fly to enough places to make it worth that amount.


Not sure about this…The 1099 is for the “aggregate value of the prize received” (FMV) not necessarily the ARV of 20k. FMV is obviously not the same as Retail Value. I’d have a $20k 1099 amended.


Jet Blue claims the ARV is $20,000.


What if I buy the flights under my business credit card, and I’m flying for business purposes?


Huh? You dont buy the flghts. You won them. They are free.


dan is the 3×5 paper mandatory? i know the question is trivial still i wouldnt want to disqualify myself if i dont have a smaller paper on me thanks


Its not worth the cost of postage


Surprising to see 68% wouldn’t accept it. Seems everyone has gotten spoiled with cheap business and first class. JK JK.

I’ve won trips though in the past and have been able to claim fair market value per my accountant. I understand everyone’s comfort level varies but wanted to give a first hand account.

Specifically for this contest, I would consider fair market value to be the cost of the identical flight on JetBlue.com the day you make your reservation using the pass. I would just screenshot them all and add them together at the end of the year and hold on to in case of an audit.


If that works with tax law, that would make this a no-brainer to accept. Basically, you’d get flights for 60-70% off.


What’s the surprise? For the one time a year I get paid time off work it doesn’t make sense to have to fight with the IRS over the value of the gift I received. It’s just not worth my while.


Gift it to your local Yeshiva/fundraiser. They’d be thrilled to accept it. Boom! Problem solved!


right but only the winner has to fly i think? so unless you want to rund around the us with your kids yeshiva admin. I dont think gifting would be possible


This must have has some impact because Jetblue’s current sweepstakes for credit cardholders includes a cash lump sum “to offset taxes.”