For the second time in two years, JetBlue Airways announced the increase of checked baggage fees. Any passenger booking a flight after January 15, 2020 will be required to pay $35 for a first checked bag and $45 for a second bag. Previous bag prices were $30 and $40 dollars and JetBlue passengers who booked travel before January 16, 2020 will be allowed to take advantage of those baggage fees.

Sounds like more money, but there is one way to get around the $5 surcharge: pay more than 24 hours advance! If a traveler chooses to pay in advance, prior to checking-in, then the $5 is removed. “By incentivizing customers to select their checked bag option ahead of time using our website or award-winning mobile app, we can reduce transactions in the airport lobby and improve the customer experience,” the airline said in a statement. Ultimately, JetBlue believes this price hike will give its customers a little extra push to use self-service tools and its various technology investments.

The Impact

Will this fee impact the customer experience at the airport? More than likely no. Travelers who take advantage of the pay-in-advance option will not incur any additional time delays while checking in.

Since JetBlue’s announcement, no other major U.S. airline has made a bag increase announcement. Airlines such as Delta, American and United last increased their first checked bag prices to $30, and that was in 2018. With the way trends are going, will JetBlue’s precedence eventually become the standard for other airlines? Only time will tell and we’ll be on the lookout.

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