JetBlue brings dynamic pricing to checking bags. Here’s what it will cost you.

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JetBlue is bringing Uber-style surge pricing to bag-check fees, making it more costly to check luggage during peak travel periods. 

When and where you’re traveling to now affects how much you’ll pay to check a bag on JetBlue flights. If you’re flying at a busy time or traveling internationally, expect to pay more to check your bag — the airline’s way of offsetting higher costs related to hauling luggage. 

“The cost of transporting bags has gone up significantly due to increased wages and higher fuel costs, and we remain unprofitable since COVID,” JetBlue said in a statement to CBS News. “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 added that the move helps keep a lid on airfares, while upping the cost of “services that only certain customers use.” Perks like seatback TVs and onboard wifi services remain free, the airline noted. 

In the fourth quarter of 2023, JetBlue lost $104 million on operating revenue of $2.3 billion, compared with a profit of $24 million on revenue of $2.4 billion in the year-ago period. The airline in March ended plans to buy discount carrier Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion after a federal judge blocked the deal over concerns it could weaken industry competition. 

So-called dynamic pricing has long been used in how carriers price tickets, but seldom to add-on services for travel. The approach has seeped into other industries, with restaurants now experimenting with changing menu prices depending on the hour and demand.

What are the new costs?

JetBlue outlines the new pricing structure on its website. If you pay to check bags more than 24 hours in advance of a flight, you’ll save $10 each in checking up to two bags.

 The fees are stiffer within 24 hours of a flight’s departure, costing up to $110 if you’re traveling internationally with two bags at a peak time, such as during a typically busy travel period or a holiday. 

On “Blue,” “Blue Basic,” and “Blue Extra” fares, the airline’s lower-cost ticket tiers, a first checked bag costs $45 for “off-peak” flights and $50 during peak hours. A second checked bag costs $60 off-peak and $70 for peak. 

The fees also can rise for transatlantic flights. For an off-peak, “Blue Basic” fare, a first checked bag costs $65, while a second costs $105. The fees run an additional $5 for a first bag and $10 for a second during peak travel periods. 

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