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JetBlue continually demonstrates how to think outside of the box and makes quality air travel affordable to so many of us. If you think all airlines are alike, think again.
JetBlue is a domestic low cost airline that has slowly made its way into the big league over the years. Products like free in-flight Wifi, called Fly-Fi, free Amazon Prime movie streaming, low cost-high quality fares, a standard setting business class product, called Mint, and a general reputation of providing outstanding customer service have catapulted this airline into the hearts of today’s air travel passengers.
JetBlue’s rewards program, TrueBlue, is another reason more and more travelers choose this airline for domestic, and also some international, air travel. I personally value TrueBlue points anywhere between 1.5 – 1.9 cents, depending on the selected fare. It seems that the airline’s Blue fares yields the highest point valuations, which means you get more “bang for your point” when redeeming TrueBlue points for low cost fares. TrueBlue is a transfer partner for American Express Membership Rewards, albeit at a 250:200 rate, and TrueBlue points can also be redeemed for Hawaiian Airlines flights. The rewards program also seems very family oriented. You can earn and transfer points between family members with Family Pooling, enjoy no blackout dates and points never expire. Family pools can consist of up to two adults and five children, with one of the adults being the head of household. The two adults do not need to be married, so you can even start a family pool with an uncle or your best friend.
You have three fare options when booking a JetBlue flight: Blue, Blue Plus and Blue Flex. Each fare comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Which one is best for you, depends entirely on your situation.
The lowest tier option will basically get you anything you need to travel comfortably, but no checked bags. You can add that option later, at any time up until you get to a kiosk at the airport, for a $20 fee. If you wait until you get to the check-in counter, that fee increases to $25. Any secondary checked bags are $35. This fare may, or may not, be a good option for you, depending on the price of the other two fares. If you’re active duty military, or a dependent, this fare should definitely be your first choice. When paying baggage fees, make sure to use a credit card with an annual travel credit, such as the American Express Platinum, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
This mid-tier option is probably the best one for most travelers. You get one free checked bag and itinerary changes/cancellations are $10-15 cheaper than with the Blue fare. You also earn additional online bonus point per dollar. However, Blue Plus fares tend to be more than $20 over their Blue fare counterparts. So if all you’re looking for is a checked bag option, your cheapest option will probably be Blue. Just make sure to pay that baggage fee before you step up to the counter.
This economy fare is the most expensive of the three, by far. You get, however, two free checked bags and pay nothing for changes or cancellations, even on the day of travel. This fare also presents the highest points earning potential, as well as expedited security at the airport. This option can be worth it if, you plan on bringing more than one checked bag and expect last minute changes to your travel plans.
Even More Space
JetBlue’s Economy Plus product is in a different class entirely. It offers an increased seat pitch, early boarding, fully refundable fares and, currently at least, expedited security. Due to the early boarding perk, you also have early access to overhead bins and the increased seat pitch will ensure a much more comfortable travel experience. For taller individuals, or people of size, this option may very well be worth the price.
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Don’t let the carrier’s low budget reputation fool you; JetBlue offers a mean business class product, called Mint. In fact, certain legacy carriers had to adjust their business class prices just to compete, and are now upgrading their business class cabins as well. Could these upgrades be due to competition from superior business class products offered by their foreign counterparts? Possibly. But it is also highly likely that JetBlue’s Mint played a vital role in this industry transformation. Mint offers priority check-in, full lie flat seats, premium in-flight cuisine, and you receive your checked bags before other passengers do after the flight. All that for prices that aren’t just tailored to the super rich or frequent flyers.
Like with most domestic airlines, JetBlue offers active duty military personnel, and their dependents, two free checked bags, each. When traveling on official orders, that number increases to five per person on the itinerary. The airline also offers military and Veterans Advantage discounts. Most notably, however, is that JetBlue sponsored the creation of JFK’s Terminal 5 USO lounge. This is yet another area where JetBlue stands out.
JetBlue takes a truly unique approach to air travel. The airline’s customer service is world renowned and its budget friendly/high quality approach continues to provide some healthy competition within the airline industry. JetBlue’s innovative business practices are further reflected in the JetBlue and JetBlue Plus credit cards.
What are your experiences with JetBlue? Please Comment below or share on our social media pages.