This week WTM contributor John Mccall of Travel on Blue takes us through the basics of JetBlue’s award ticket costs and fees.

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One of the best parts of flying JetBlue in general is the lack of expensive fees. Often times when booking award flights, the taxes and fees that may normally be built into the cost of your ticket are suddenly separated and you can be stuck paying a $100 fuel surcharge. At times this is far from the ideal cheap or free flight that using airline miles to is all about. As you may have begun to guess, JetBlue does things a little differently.

With JetBlue you’re not going to encounter any special rules. Your first checked bag is no longer free and you’re going to almost always end up paying less in fees by booking the same flight with TrueBlue points than if you had paid in cash.

Normal Fees, Taxes, etc.

While taxes and regional fees are not controlled by JetBlue in any way, it has become common practice over the last few years to directly pass these along to customers explicitly rather than have them built into the ticket prices. This is especially transparent when booking reward flights since what may start out as an enticingly free trip can quickly end up costing over a hundred dollars for some flights once all taxes and fees are accounted for.

While many airlines have a habit of tacking on fuel surcharges onto reward flights in turn making them potentially very costly, JetBlue doesn’t. This is a major perk of the TrueBlue program. In fact, you’ll encounter less fees by booking a reward flight than if you were paying cash. Take a look at all of JetBlues fees here.

For example, a flight from Las Vegas (LAS) to Charleston (CHS) has over $40 in fees when paying with cash, but only a flat rate of $5 when booking with TrueBlue points, further increasing the value of your points per dollar (approximately 1.45 cents/point in this case):   

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And another flight from Las Vegas to Colombia only results in $20 in fees when the ticket is paid for with TrueBlue points. though, there is still a standard set of rules for fees, which are pretty straightforward to follow and mostly apply to paid flights. As shown above, these are usually going to come out to be less when booking a rewards flight, but at most the following taxes and fees can apply to a JetBlue flight can be:

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Change and Cancellation Fees

Finally, all change and cancellation fees apply equally to paid and reward flights. In a perfect world these charges could be paid with extra TrueBlue points, but for now the only option is paying for them separately with cash. 

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Just Another Reason Earn Jet Blue Miles

When using some airline miles fees and taxes can break the dream of traveling for near free from all the travel reward points you’ve earned. JetBlue can bring you one step closer to this reality by having simple and cheap fees and taxes for trips you can purchase with points. They’re easy to book, they’re easy to pay for, and the lack of fees is just another reason to consider earning JetBlue points.

There isn’t a set rule for how much the fees for any given flight will cost when it comes to reward bookings, so be sure to check and compare to make the best deal work. JetBlue doesn’t offer any huge advantages for stopovers, so make sure that you’re not accidentally paying more than the point difference of taking different flights—something that may depend more on your tolerance level for convenience and paying cash versus using TrueBlue points.

About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.