JetBlue introduces peak pricing for checked bags

Surge pricing has hit JetBlue as peak and off-peak pricing pushes an increase in checked bag fees.

JetBlue Stock Drops With Expected Flat Revenue And Higher Costs
JetBlue Stock Drops With Expected Flat Revenue And Higher Costs / Joe Raedle/GettyImages

Dynamic pricing is a tactic that many are familiar with. Think about Uber and its surge pricing, where high demand means higher prices for customers. That idea is controversial to many and it has found its way to airlines. JetBlue has rolled out peak and off-peak pricing structures for baggage fees, meaning that travelers will pay more depending on when they travel.

The new structure went into place on March 22 and the company released a statement outlining the changes. The policy describes peak-season pricing applied to checked bags during high-traffic seasons. Think of popular times to travel during the year like holidays or summer. The fees also shift depending on where you are traveling. For example, Blue/Blue Basic/Blue extra customers checking a bag more than 24 hours before departure and traveling within the United States those off-peak prices will range from $35 for the first bag and $50 for the second. Those prices increase to $40 and $60 respectively during peak travel.

The current list of peak seasons includes the following times: April 11 to April 29, June 20 to September 3, November 21 to December 2, December 19 to January 6, February 13 to February 24, and April 3 to April 28.

This comes at a time when more airlines are increasing checked baggage fees. United Airlines, American Airlines, and Alaska Airlines have all increased the cost in recent months. JetBlue just increased its price for checked bags in February, a few weeks before announcing this peak pricing structure.

Savvy travelers can use this information to avoid paying for the increased fees that are impacting travel. Tips such as traveling during off-peak seasons, researching to compare airline prices, and packing tightly in a carry-on bag all help keep costs down as airlines look for new ways to drive revenue.