JetBlue increases bag fees again – this time, it depends on when you fly

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JetBlue Airways is tacking on an extra fee for checked bags on peak travel days in an effort to improve profitability. 

The New York-based carrier told FOX Business that it will charge an extra $5 for the first bag checked, followed by an additional $10 for the second bag during high-traffic periods.

For JetBlue, the cost for Blue Basic, Blue and Blue Extra travelers to check their first bag within 24 hours of departure rose to $45. 

The cost for a second checked bag within 24 hours of departure also increased and could cost travelers upward of $50. Those costs don’t include the extra charge during peak times.

This increase applies to all flights within the United States, Caribbean and Latin America during periods including Presidents’ week, Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, the carrier said. It also applies to the peak spring and summer travel season.

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This notice comes after the carrier raised the fee for checked luggage in February. CEO Joanna Geraghty said at the time that the company was taking “aggressive action” to return to profitability, including launching $300 million of revenue initiatives.

JetBlue said Wednesday that the “cost of transporting bags has gone up significantly due to increased wages and higher fuel costs.” On top of that, the carrier said it hasn’t turned a profit since before the pandemic. 

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“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,” JetBlue said in a statement to FOX Business. 

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By increasing fees for services that only certain customers use during high demand times, JetBlue said it “can keep base fares as low as possible and ensure customer favorites like seatback TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi remain free for everyone.” 

JetBlue said customers who purchased flights prior to March 22 are exempt from peak pricing.

The carrier is also encouraging customers to pre-pay for bags at least one day before their flight in order to save up to $10 off on their first and second bag.  

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Rivals American, United and Alaska also raised the cost of baggage fees. 

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FOX Business’ Aislinn Murphy contributed to this report.

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