This story has a happy ending, but its still somewhat baffling. Reader S. recently flew JetBlue with his wife and three small children. They had 4 tickets and 3 bags to check. JetBlue allows one checked bag per ticket. So, there should be no fees, right? Here’s where it gets complicated: S’s wife went through security with the children while he checked the bags. The agent said that despite the fact that he was traveling in a party of 4, the baggage agent had to personally see the family, toddler and all, or S. had to pay $105 in extra fees.
Here’s his story:
I recently had an odd problem flying JetBlue out of Boston and a complaint letter got the $105 fee refunded. In summary, I was flying to Florida with my wife and two small children. Between us we had 3 checked bags. I went to the bag dropoff to check the bags while my wife took the kids. I was hoping to avoid 2 cranky children at 6am in an airport.
However after getting to the bag drop the JetBlue agent stated the TSA requires everyone checking a bag to be physically present. So they needed to see my 2 yr old and presumably ask her if she was carrying any explosives. My other option was to state that I packed all 3 bags (which I actually did) and to charge my ticket for all 3 bags at a cost of an extra $105 bucks.
I was irritated that they were still charging me the a 2nd and 3rd checked bag fee but my party of 4 only had 3 bags. I sent letter to their customer service did get them to refund the fee but this may be a nice warning to others.
Letter sent to JetBlue Customer Service:
On my flight to Orlando I was traveling with my wife and two small children. We obtained our boarding passes online the day prior to our trip.
Our family was checking 3 bags one for the adults and each child had their own suitcase.
Upon arrival there was very long line at the bag drop and a decent line at the security checkpoint. So as not to have two cranky children at 6AM I sent my my wife/kids through the long security line and I would take the bags to the bag drop station.
When I finally got to the counter I was informed that this was not allowed. The person who owned the bag had to be present when dropping the bags off.
Personally it seems a little silly that the TSA cares about seeing a 2 yr old present but that is another issue. Since I was the only person present the Jetblue agent allowed me to check all 3 bags under my name.
Since I packed all 3 bags this wasn’t an invalid statement. However the agent required a $105 dollar fee for the 2nd and 3rd checked bag. As my family was already on the other side of security, and it is illegal to leave unattended baggage at the airport, I had no way of calling back my children to see your agent.
Now I am not asking you to try to change/circumvent the official TSA policy, however I think charging the 2nd and 3rd checked bag fee for a party of 4 that is only traveling with 3 bags is unwarranted. However the additional baggage fees are something that JetBlue can control. Certainly It may have been my mistake but I am disappointed that there was no way offered to correct the mistake. I would kindly request that these fees be refunded if possible.
Coincidentally our return trip from Orlando was also booked through JetBlue. On this trip we stayed at a Disney resort. You have arrangements with Disney to allow us to check into the flight while we are still at the hotel and check our bags there. The check-in agent there specifically stated that only one member of each party had to be present to check the bags for the flight. I had no problem checking all 4 bags for our return flight without incurring any additional fees.
S. included JetBlue’s response, which was an email announcing a full refund. Something to watch out for if you’re traveling with kids.
Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways regarding your travel between Boston and Orlando.
We have extended the courtesy of refunding the $105 that was paid for additional baggage, to your credit card. Please allow the processing time required by your credit card company for the funds to appear available.
Thank you for your support of JetBlue. We wish you and your family our very best.
Customer Commitment Crew