During the summer and winter months, cheap flights from the Northeast to Florida can usually be found on JetBlue Airways. Although it is a low-cost carrier, the airline has made a name for itself for the amenities it offers travelers who appreciate the below-average airfares.
With its main base out of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, JetBlue controls much of the low-cost airfare market by giving snowbirds easy access to warmer climes.
JetBlue Airways: What to know before booking a flight
The New York City-based airline was incorporated in 1998 as NewAir, but changed its name to JetBlue shortly after. The sixth-largest airline in the nation, JetBlue boasted revenues of more than $7 billion in 2017, giving it one of the strongest balance sheets in the aviation industry.
Whether you’re thinking about booking a flight for the first time or contemplating whether to buy another ticket, here are some things to know about JetBlue.
1. Where does JetBlue fly?
JetBlue flies to 102 cities, including the Caribbean and Latin America. But the airline’s main concentration is on operations from six “focus” cities — Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Orlando, New York and San Juan. See JetBlue’s route map here.
Several new international routes are being added in late 2018, including JFK to Mexico City (October) and expanded routes to Havana (November).
2. How are JetBlue’s fares structured?
JetBlue has three branded fares: Blue, Blue Plus and Blue Flex. Each of them include different options such as free checked bags, reduced change fees and TrueBlue point eligibility. All fares come with in-flight entertainment, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages — all free of charge.
3. What is JetBlue Mint?
JetBlue also offers a premium product called Mint. With Mint, you get “lie-flat” seats that allow you to get some serious shuteye on long flights as well as “artisanal” dining options like locally curated ice creams and exclusive chocolate bars from Raaka.
On most jets, JetBlue has 16 fully lie-flat seats, four of which are located in suites with a privacy door. The airline markets Mint to transcontinental business travelers, and no wonder: Mint launched in 2013 with one-way seats starting at $599.
For more about JetBlue’s fare structure, see the chart below.
4. JetBlue is the only major airline with a Customer Bill of Rights
If anything ever goes haywire for you on a JetBlue flight, passengers have a written recourse that they can use to get monetary compensation. That’s what makes JetBlue’s Customer Bill of Rights so useful.
The Bill of Rights explicitly outlines how much money fliers get in the case of a ground delay or overbooking. This handy document will help to cut down on confusion and compensation expectations.
5. JetBlue has a Best Fare Guarantee
The carrier promises that it will always display its cheapest fares on its own site. “[If] by any chance you find a lower JetBlue fare elsewhere on the same day of purchase, we’ll give you a $100 credit good for travel on JetBlue,” the airline says on its website.
This is important because some major airlines hide their cheapest fares on their own website but allow them to be searchable on some of the other travel sites like Kayak, Expedia and Priceline.com to compete with low-cost carriers.
6. How much legroom do JetBlue’s seats offer?
JetBlue is fond of saying that its jets offer “the most legroom in the main cabin of all U.S. airlines, based on average fleet-wide seat pitch.” That’s because JetBlue’s fleet includes the Brazilian-built Embraer 190 (E190), which offers customers the roomiest interior of any narrow-body aircraft.
For a fee, JetBlue also offers Even More Space seats, which give travelers additional legroom.
7. What is JetBlue’s baggage policy?
JetBlue has gone up on its baggage prices, effective Monday, August 27 2018: For Blue fares, your first checked bag will cost you $30 (it was $25) if you booked after that date. The change also means your second bag will be $40. For Blue Plus, your first checked bag is included and the second bag is $40. For Blue Flex fares, two checked bags are included.
For Mint fares, two checked bags up to 70 pounds each are included. For all fares, any additional bag will cost $150 (a $50 increase).
As for size, bags that exceed 62 inches overall (length + width + height) or weigh more than 50 pounds will be assessed a fee.
For carry-on bags, each passenger is allowed one bag and one personal item (purse, briefcase, laptop, etc.). Personal items can’t be larger than 17 inches long, 13 inches wide and 8 inches high and must be able to fit under your seat.
8. How do customers view JetBlue’s service?
When it comes to customer satisfaction, JetBlue came in tied for second place among major U.S. carriers in the American Customer Satisfaction Index report that was released in April 2018. Last year it was #1.
How to save money on JetBlue flights
- If you can, book online: JetBlue adds $25 per person to fares purchased by phone.
- Check their deals page: Use JetBlue’s Deals page, its Best Fare Finder and the JetBlueCheeps account to save.
- Become a TrueBlue member: JetBlue’s frequent flyer program, TrueBlue, offers numerous perks for members, including exclusive fares and upgrades.