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The blue skies are calling. Will you answer and head up there in the clouds?
If you’re anything like us, vacations and traveling are what keep us going — that and finding the best prices on flights and hotels to share with you.
So much so that we decided to use our own vacation as a great excuse to dig deeper into the airline booking and hotel finding process, to share the ups, the downs and all the details ahead of your next trip.
For 2023, we decided to take a deep dive into JetBlue, and more specifically JetBlue Vacations, which is the airline’s hub for flight and hotel package deals as well as bundles with cruises for those that prefer the sea.
Below, find out how to book on JetBlue, perks of membership, cancelation policies and then an on-the-plane review of the whole flight from check-in and baggage drop to leg-room and amenities while on board.
Ready to fly? Grab your boarding passes and join us, using the jump links below to skip to any section.
JetBlue vs JetBlue Vacations
What’s the difference? We’re glad you asked!
JetBlue is the name of the airline, offering flights nationwide as well as internationally — 93 destinations to be specific, including places in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America. Bookings can be made directly on JetBlue’s site as well on other third-party travel sites like Expedia.
JetBlue Vacations, however, is a one-stop shop for your flight and your lodging, or your flight and your cruise, should that be your adventure of choice. Each package uses JetBlue flights and then partner hotels and cruise lines, including luxury Marriott Renaissance properties, Embassy Suites, The Ritz Carlton and cruises from Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Line.
These bundled deals may also have other added discounts and perks, like up to $300 off flight and hotel packages, resort credits, late checkout and more.
How does JetBlue Vacations work?
JetBlue Vacations works how you need it to, with flexible booking, great deals and a number of destinations to choose from.
For those that need some trip inspiration, you can start your search on their Trip Inspiration page, that offers over 100 destinations to browse. Search by country, or plug in your travel dates and passengers to get even more tailored results.
Once you select the resort, cruise or hotel you want to book, the site then browses the best flights for that day, making sure hotel check in and check out or the cruise departures and arrival corresponds perfectly with your flight. Then, select the room type you want, upgrading as you like, as well as your flights with upgrades available as well. Make sure to also add on the free services offered as well as discounts, which can include free airport transfers right to your hotel or adding on a car rental.
Cancelation policies are also pretty generous, but be sure to check depending on your booking. When writing this review, we plugged in a trip set for September 5, and noted that the trip was eligible for free cancelation until August 29, providing a pretty great cushion of up to a week before departure.
Once booked, you will receive a confirmation and see your airline tickets and hotel booking or cruise ticket in you JetBlue Vacations account. Then all you need to do is fill out any necessary pre-departure forms for your destination if any, and then pack your bags.
What are membership benefits and can you book with points?
Wait, there are even more perks than getting a great vacation and airfare? Yes, indeed there are!
You do not need to be a member to travel with JetBlue Vacations, but you should still make a free account in order to easily retrieve boarding passes, make updates to your trip and receive any correspondence about your booking.
In terms of perks, the Insider Experience is where many of those lie. These trips are set in Aruba, Cancún, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, Nassau, Los Cabos and St. Lucia. Here, you will not only receive a great package, but also insider deals and 24/7 support from a local insider in your destination.
As of time of publication, book an Insider Experience by December, 31 for travel anytime and the deals below apply. Plus, get free airport transfers and 24/7 support.
- $25 off with promo code 25INSIDER
- $50 off when you spend $2,000+ with promo code 50INSIDER
- $150 off when you spend $4,000+ with promo code 150INSIDER
- $300 off when you spend $6,000+ with promo code 300INSIDER
When it comes time to pay for your trip, there are also perks to be found. For those that fly JetBlue, you can use your TrueBlue rewards points to book your JetBlue Vacation. These points can be applied to the JetBlue flight portion of the package, as well as the hotel and car portion. Sadly, as of time of publication, points may not be used on a Flight + Cruise package, or on packages that uses other airlines.
Our review of flying JetBlue
Oh to be back in the air and on the way to a sunny destination. Sometimes flying can put me in a bad mood, but when I have no connections to worry about, my bags made it safely through the checking process and I find myself in a pre-chosen window seat? Life is good.
That was my experience flying JetBlue, which also happened to be my first time flying the airline. I was on my way to Aruba from JFK and then for the way back, Curaçao back to New York. JetBlue operates both flights directly, which meant a nice four hour journey with no stopping. For both of these trips, JetBlue Vacations has a package including the flights and the hotels. I stayed at the Renaissance Wind Creek Aruba Resort during the first half of my stay and then at the sister hotel in Curaçao after, the Renaissance Wind Creek Curacao Resort. Both of these packages are part of the Very Important Perks program, which can include free gifts, upgrades and more, plus they both had packages for an all-inclusive stay at a 10% discount.
Check-in: JetBlue, at least at JFK is pretty easy to find and I was met with helpful staff, even at five in the morning on a Monday. For most flights, you can use the online check-in portion of their mobile app or their site. However, a tip: for those flying to and from two different countries during your vacation — say headed to Aruba but coming home from Curaçao, you cannot check in online and must find the right kiosk at the airport.
Luggage and Baggage Claim: Since I did have to check-in in person, I also checked my bag at the same time. Like with most airlines, the luggage restrictions are 50lbs for a checked bag, and carry-on bags must fit under the seat or in the overhead bin. I was able to leave the check-in counter about 20 minutes after I arrived, but please not for international flights, a suggested time of three hours before boarding is suggested.
Baggage claim was also easy, as I was able to retrieve my bag as soon as I arrived at the luggage area.
The flight, leg room, seats and snacks: On this flight, a typical three-by-three seater plane, I opted for the exit row, row 11 to be exact. This is one of the “Even More Space” seats, which cost more and the price varies from flight to flight. I had the pleasure of 38 inches of leg room, which is about seven extra inches. I was also able to board in group A, have early access to overhead bin space and settle in.
Since my flight was only four hours, there was no meal service, but they did provide ample drinks and snacks at no additional charge. There was wine, beer and select spirits available, such as Bloody Mary cocktails and mixed drinks, and snacks included options for cookies, crackers, granola bars and plantain chips, which were a crowd favorite. Drink service came by twice on the flight and snacks one time.
First or business class? On my flight, there was no option for their priority seating, called JetBlue Mint, and so the next best thing were the “Even More Space” seats. Bookmark this page for future updates, should we be able to fly JetBlue Mint on the next trip.
Entertainment: I was pleasantly surprised by the options available on the seat-back screens. First, WiFi during the entire flight was free on my flight, but be sure to check for your trip as this may vary. Once connected I was able to use apps like Facebook and Instagram, with minimal buffer time. On the seat-back TV screen, I saw there were Showtime TV shows and movies, as well as selects from HBO and other streaming services and popular movies, news networks and podcasts. They also had the normal selection of games and the airplane tracker, that I do indeed love to watch as our plane passed over oceans, islands and other countries.
- JetBlue Vacations packages include both the flight and the stay, so no need to book separately
- Most major cities and international destinations have flights, such as my non-stop service to Aruba and back from Curaçao.
- Friendly staff at the airport and onboard the plane
- Option to pay for an extra legroom seat
- Outlets and WiFi available on board
- Snack and drink service for short flights with name-brand snacks and some alcoholic beverages
- Plenty of overhead bin and under-seat storage
- Wide selection of onboard entertainment on your seat-back
- Some flights do not allow for online or mobile check-in, so plan to arrive early at the airport
- Flights purchased with a voucher do not accrue JetBlue TrueBlue points
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