JetBlue hikes checked baggage fees — first bag hits $30

For years, travelers who flew with JetBlue Airways could check bags for free. Now those passengers will have the distinction of paying more for checked baggage than those flying with other major U.S. carriers.

Starting with flights booked as of Monday, the fee for a first checked bag with JetBlue will be $30, an increase of $5. A second checked bag will cost $40 and a third $150, according to JetBlue’s website.

JetBlue customers who buy costlier tickets or who participate in the carrier’s loyalty programs can avoid the luggage fees. The airline first started charging a fee for checked bags in 2015.

Other large U.S. carriers including Delta Air Lines, United Continental and American Airlines charge $25 for the first piece of luggage checked, while Southwest Airlines is the sole large U.S. airline that doesn’t assess a fee for one piece of checked luggage.

JetBlue is also raising its fee for changing or canceling a ticket worth more than $200 from $150 to $200, matching the fees charged by American, Delta and United for nonrefundable tickets for domestic travel.

In 2017, U.S. airlines garnered $7.4 billion in fees from checked bags and ticket changes or cancellations, according to government statistics

“As a matter of good business,” a spokesperson for JetBlue emailed, “we routinely review and adjust our ancillary pricing to ensure a healthy business so we can continue offering the best customer experience of any U.S. airline.” 

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