JetBlue’s new checked bag fees now depend on the day

JetBlue’s new checked bag fees now depend on the day - World - News

JetBlue is proving that not even your baggage is safe from dynamic pricing, with the airline rolling out fees that vary depending on the day of departure.

The price of a first checked bag now ranges from $35 to $50 under a recently revealed fee structure that depends on a number of factors, including dates JetBlue determines to be peak or off-peak.

JetBlue is giving flyers a $10 discount if they add a checked bag during booking and at least 24 hours before check-in, with prices ranging from $35 for off-peak dates and $40 for peak dates.

Peak dates encompass about half of the year, including most of the busy summer travel season as well as dates before and after the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in 2024. For next year, the dates range from mid-February (Valentine’s Day and President’s Day) and most of April for spring break and Easter. Full dates are listed on its Website.

If a customer checks a bag within 24 hours of departure, the price jumps to $45 for off-peak dates and an industry high of $50 for peak dates.

The first checked bag remains free on its transatlantic flights, except for customers flying on its cheapest fare (Blue Basic), which now costs between $60 to $70.

JetBlue said in a statement that the cost of “transporting bags has gone up significantly due to increased wages and higher fuel costs, and we remain unprofitable since Covid.”

“While we don’t like increasing fees, we are making these adjustments to help get our company back to profitability and cover the increased costs,” the carrier said.

JetBlue flyers who have an airline-branded credit card, buy tickets in its premium Mint cabin or fares that include checked bags or have Mosaic status are largely exempt from the price increases.

US-based airlines started hiking baggage fees a few months ago, with American Airlines becoming the first carrier, increasing the price from $30 to as much as $40. Soon after, rivals United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and JetBlue hiked their fees. This will be JetBlue’s second increase since February.

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JetBlue has also been mired in losses since the pandemic, reporting an adjusted loss of $151 million in 2023, although that was an improvement from the $260 million it lost in 2022. The airline tried to purchase Spirit Airlines, but a federal court blocked the merger. JetBlue agreed to pay Spirit $69 million as part of its decision to end the deal.

In February, activist investor Carl Icahn bought a 10% stake in the company and announced plans to win two seats on its board of directors for his allies at the upcoming shareholders’ meeting.

A few weeks ago, JetBlue announced a major reduction in flights at Los Angeles International Airport and exits from five cities as it attempts to shift flying to profitable routes.