JetBlue Airways Boarding Groups & Process — Everything You Need to Know

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Headquartered in New York City and with a base of operations at John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), JetBlue Airways is quickly becoming a favorite airline of many American travelers.

Though JetBlue doesn’t quite have the route network of the big 3 American carriers, they are constantly expanding — and doing so with style.

JetBlue’s upper-class Mint product is one of the best in terms of comfort and service when getting around the U.S., Caribbean, and Central and South America. They have more comfortable seats, friendlier staff, and nicer amenities than other carriers, all for a reasonable price.

In addition, their economy class seats are at least as good (and often better) than traditional carriers, and service is consistently polished and great.

Because of this, many Americans make an effort to fly JetBlue whenever they can. If the price is comparable and the schedule fits with what you need, it makes sense to choose JetBlue for a better experience.

But as the JetBlue flight network expands and more and more people begin to fly with them, boarding has become more of a challenge.

The combination of increased flight traffic and more passengers on each flight means a whole lot of people need to know how to board their JetBlue flights every day.

Luckily, that’s just what we are going to show you how to do. We will explain all the details of the JetBlue Airways boarding process, so you’ll be prepared the next time you need to board one of their planes.

JetBlue Airways Boarding Groups

Beginning operations in 2000, JetBlue used a fairly simple boarding process for their first 17 years of existence. They boarded their elite members and those needing special assistance first, and then they boarded all other passengers by their row number.

Starting from the back of the plane and moving forward, the idea was that nobody would have to wait behind someone else and boarding would be completed faster.

But in October 2017, JetBlue decided this was no longer the best way to board a plane and completely switched their boarding procedures.

For occasional JetBlue passengers who haven’t flown with them since before then, what we are about to go over will come as a surprise. But for those used to flying other American carriers, things will look fairly similar.

Like many other airlines, JetBlue now uses a mix of named boarding groups and “numbered” boarding groups. They do it a bit differently by giving their groups letters instead of numbers, but the idea is still the same.

(Why they don’t just give a letter to each group of passengers we will never know, but that doesn’t seem to be the way airlines work!)

As it is, with their mix of letters and names, here are the detailed groups that JetBlue uses in their boarding process, and which passengers are eligible to board with each group.

Pre-Boarding

  • Customers with disabilities

Mosaic and Mint Customers

Even More Space Customers

  • Group A

Courtesy Boarding

  • Active military personnel
  • Customers traveling with children in car seats or strollers.

General Boarding by Group:

  • Group B
  • Group C
  • Group D
  • Group E (n/a for E-190 aircraft)

All Remaining Customers

  • It’s unclear which passengers would be in this group, and why they would not be assigned to one of the general boarding groups.

Our only thought is that this designation is used so that there’s an official place in the boarding procedure to accommodate standby passengers waiting on available seats, or JetBlue employees who are flying non-revenue flights.

Boarding Notes

If unaccompanied minors arrive at the boarding gate prior to the start of the boarding process, they will be allowed to board first with the pre-boarding group. If they arrive after the start of boarding, unaccompanied minors will board at the end of the process, after other passengers are all on the aircraft.

This is done so that there is no confusion and no danger of the unaccompanied minors being mixed with other passengers or being separated from their JetBlue escort.

JetBlue’s boarding procedure assigns groups for general boarding based on the number of passengers on the plane and where they are seated.

Your boarding group is based on the specific seat you are assigned to (not the row), and it’s designed to stagger passengers in each group so everyone has enough space to get settled.

Because of the way they do this, it is not possible to choose a seat to get yourself into an earlier boarding group. For each flight, the same seat may be in a different boarding group depending on the other passengers and their seating locations.

Hot Tip: The general boarding group assignments seem somewhat confusing when you read about it, but in practice, you have nothing to worry about. Just pick the seat you want to sit in and board in whatever group they assign you. If you really want to get on the plane early, choose an Even More Space seat and you will board with group A.

How to Build Up Your JetBlue TrueBlue Points Balance

JetBlue Mint Cabin
Using your JetBlue TrueBlue points is a great way to experience the pampering service and comfortable seats of JetBlue Mint upper-class. Mint is one of the best ways to fly coast to coast in the U.S., so do what you can to earn those points, and you’ll be flying in comfort in no time. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com.

If you want to try out the JetBlue Airways boarding procedure, a great way to do that is by using your JetBlue TrueBlue points to book a flight.

There are plenty of ways to earn lots of JetBlue TrueBlue points — the simplest probably being paying for flights and flying around the country with them.

If that’s not what you want to do though, and you want to book a flight with points like we mentioned above, you can still earn plenty of points through the JetBlue co-branded credit cards.

JetBlue Credit Cards

JetBlue and Barclays offer 1 business and 2 personal co-branded credit cards that allow you to earn TrueBlue points.

On the personal side, The JetBlue Card is a no-annual-fee card with limited additional benefits besides earning TrueBlue points and discounted inflight purchases.

The JetBlue Plus Card carries an annual fee of $99, but it comes with higher TrueBlue points earning potential and several additional benefits (like free bags and discounted inflight purchases).

The JetBlue Business Card is perfect for your business spending and mirrors the JetBlue Plus card in benefits, earning, and its annual fee of $99.

With both the personal and business cards, you will be well on your way to booking your JetBlue flights with points.

Chase Ultimate Rewards Credit Cards

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to JetBlue at a 1:1 ratio.

Recommended Chase Cards (Personal)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - This is our favorite beginners travel rewards card which has a 60,000 point bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This sign up bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (flights, hotels, car rentals etc) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal, which works like Expedia. The bonus alone could get you multiple round-trip flights or hotel stays.
Chase Sapphire Reserve® - Consider this premium card if you want to get into a lot of airport lounges. The current sign up bonus is 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get a $300 travel credit per year which wipes away a big chunk of the $450 annual fee.
Chase Freedom Unlimited® - A simple, no annual fee card that earns you a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Easy earning at 1.5% on all purchases. Just know that you won't get any travel benefits or the ability to earn bonus points with this card.

Recommended Chase Cards (Business)

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card - This is our #1 recommended business card and comes with a whopping 80,000 sign up bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (flights, hotels etc). Also, if you pay for your cell phone bill with this card, you can get up to $600 in cell phone insurance coverage per year.
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card - earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. In addition, get up to 5% cash back on a range of business expenses such as office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone services. This is one of the best no annual fee business cards.

Citi ThankYou Points Credit Cards

You can transfer Citi ThankYou Points to JetBlue at a 1:1 ratio.

You’ll need either the Citi Prestige® Card or the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card to transfer at that ratio. Citi ThankYou® Preferred card holders, which otherwise cannot transfer points to airline miles, can transfer to JetBlue at 1:0.8 ratio.

Amex Membership Rewards Credit Cards

You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards to JetBlue at a rate of 1:0.8. Sometimes you can take advantage of promotional periods that bump up the transfer rate to 1:1.

Recommended American Express Cards (Personal)

The Platinum Card® from American Express - There's currently a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months. This is our favorite card for getting into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide (including Priority Pass) and we get about $2,700+ in value from the card every year.

Plus, get up to $200 in Uber credits annually ($15 per month and a $20 bonus in December) — and up to $200 in annual credit for airline incidental charges (e.g. baggage fees). For rates and fees of the Platinum Card, click here.
American Express® Gold Card - We love using this card as it earns 4x points at restaurants worldwide and 4x points at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x). There's no better card in our opinion if you eat out and/or shop at supermarkets regularly.

With a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months and a $100 airfare credit per year, for many this is an easy addition to your wallet. For rates and fees of the Gold Card, click here.

Recommended American Express Cards (Business)

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Right now, there's a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 after you spend an additional $10,000, on purchases within the first 3 months.

We get ~$5,525+ in value per year by leveraging many of the benefits & perks.

This is the best business card for lounge access as you'll get into 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide. For rates and fees of the Business Platinum, click here.
American Express® Business Gold Card - probably our favorite Amex business card because we earn 4x points across the top 2 select categories that we spend the most money in each month. The 4x points applies to the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these 2 categories each calendar year. This means you'll max out at a (whopping) 600,000 points per year. After that, you earn 1x. For rates and fees of the Business Gold Card, click here.
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express - This is a simple card that earns you 2x points on any business purchase, up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). That makes for an easy 100,000 points per year! The card has no annual fee. For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, click here.

Capital One Miles

You can transfer Capital One miles to JetBlue TrueBlue at a 2:1 ratio.

Make sure you have a Capital One card that has the transferable miles feature. Here are our picks:

Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Personal)

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card - This card is packed with a lot more benefits and perks. Earn a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $500 toward travel) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. We recommend this as a no-brainer card if you even semi-regularly stay at hotels.
Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card - This is an excellent card for those looking to earn 1.25x miles per $1 on every purchase. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200 toward travel) after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months and no annual fee, it's a strong choice.

Recommended Capital One Cards That Earn Miles (Business)

Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business - This no annual fee card earns unlimited 1.5x miles per dollar on every purchase and has a 20,000 mile sign up bonus [worth $200 in travel] after meeting the minimum spend of $3,000 within the first 3 months. Save on interest with 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 14.74% - 22.74% variable APR after that.
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business - Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles worth up to $2,000 to spend on travel. Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening. Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

Final Thoughts

JetBlue Airways started out as a lower cost carrier, and their fares are still consistently pretty low. What we didn’t expect to see from them, however, is the excellent level of service and hard product that set them a step above most other airlines based here in the United States.

As more people began to fly with JetBlue and their flight network increased, they needed to update their boarding procedures to deal with it. Their major change in October 2017 brought them more in line with the way most major airlines do things.

The current procedure is a mix of named and lettered groups that can be quite confusing at first glance, but once you understand the method behind the madness, it begins to make more sense.

We’ve done our best to give you all of the details of the current JetBlue Airways boarding procedures, and we hope this will help get your trip off to a stress-free start the next time you fly with them. See you in the air!


Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

FAQ

How many boarding groups are there on JetBlue?

JetBlue has 5 lettered boarding groups (A-E). They also offer pre-boarding to customers with disabilities, separately board their Mosaic and Mint customers, and offer early courtesy boarding to active military personnel and customers traveling with children in car seats or strollers.

Are JetBlue flights assigned seating?

Yes, JetBlue Airways uses assigned seating for their flights. Seats can be chosen when you book your tickets or any time up until you check in for your flight. JetBlue agents at the airport can assist with seating changes or assignments on the day of your flight.

Who is in group A on JetBlue?

Boarding group A on JetBlue includes all passengers who have booked Even More Space seats for that flight. Group A boards the plane after pre-boarding and after Mosaic and Mint customers, but before general boarding.

Who is in group B on JetBlue?

Boarding group B is the first of the general boarding groups on JetBlue Airways. General boarding groups B-E are assigned by the specific seat chosen, and are based on the number of passengers on the plane and the disbursement of those passengers throughout the aircraft.

Who is in group C on JetBlue?

Boarding group C is the second of the General Boarding Groups on JetBlue Airways. General boarding groups B-E are assigned by the specific seat chosen and are based on the number of passengers on the plane and the disbursement of those passengers throughout the aircraft.

Who is in group D on JetBlue?

Boarding group D is the third of the general boarding groups on JetBlue Airways. General boarding groups B-E are assigned by the specific seat chosen and are based on the number of passengers on the plane and the disbursement of those passengers throughout the aircraft.

Who is in group E on JetBlue?

Boarding group E is the last of the general boarding groups on JetBlue Airways. General boarding groups B-E are assigned by the specific seat chosen and are based on the number of passengers on the plane and the disbursement of those passengers throughout the aircraft. Boarding group E does not apply for flights on E-190 aircraft.

Who is allowed to pre-board on JetBlue?

Pre-boarding on JetBlue is reserved for customers with disabilities who need extra time to board. In addition, children traveling as unaccompanied minors will pre-board as long as they are present at the gate before boarding begins. Active military personnel and customers traveling with children in car seats or strollers will be allowed to board after group A, but before general boarding begins.

Who is allowed courtesy boarding on JetBlue?

Active military personnel and customers traveling with children in car seats or strollers will be allowed courtesy boarding on JetBlue. Courtesy boarding takes place after group A, but before general boarding begins.

Jeff Brownson

About Jeff Brownson

Since discovering miles and points in 2010, Jeff has traveled to over 35 countries, flying in first class, business class, and sometimes even in coach. Whether he’s staying in a hostel dorm, or in a luxury suite at a 5 star hotel, Jeff is constantly looking for the best deal to make travel as close to free as possible.

Disclaimer: Any comments listed below are not from the bank advertiser, nor have they been reviewed or approved by them. No responsibility will be taken by the bank advertiser for these comments.

11 comments

  1. Patrick Noone · February 21, 2019 · Reply

    Does this courtesy for early boarding apply to veterans?

    • Hi Patrick, it appears the answer is yes for “active duty” military personnel.

      One of JetBlue’s help pages states: “JetBlue extends a pre-boarding courtesy to active military as part of our pre-boarding group.”

  2. On a full flight, what seats will be assigned boarding with Group B?

    • Hey Bob,

      Boarding Group B should be for those with window seats in the back half of the plane.
      Boarding Group C should be for passengers in middle seats in the back and front window seats.
      Group D should be for passengers with aisle seats in the back and middle seats up front.
      Group E should be for passengers with aisle seats in the forward part of the aircraft.

      Hope this helps!

  3. In my experience, Jet Blue doesn’t let kids in carseats board early. I flew from Reagan National to Orlando with my family, including my barely 3 year old daughter who was going to be riding in a car seat and they made us board at the same time as all the other passengers. I had done a lot of research prior to the flight and my understanding was I would have extra time to install the seat on the plane. I even told the gate agent we should be allowed to board, I had a car seat to install and they still wouldn’t let us board ahead of others. I wasn’t even in my seat as the plane was making it’s way to the runway. Jet blue needs to be following their policy!

  4. David Ford · April 28, 2019 · Reply

    How do I get Mint or Mosaic boarding?

    • Christine Krzyszton · April 29, 2019 · Reply

      Hello David. Mosaic is the term for elite status with JetBlue.
      The full term is TrueBlue Mosaic. To receive Mosaic boarding you would need to have JetBlue TrueBlue Mosaic elite status. Mint is a premium class of service product offered by JetBlue that you can purchase. Thank you for the question.

  5. I was at the Boston Logan airport and they called out Platinum card holders for pre-boarding. What Card are they referring to?

    • Hi Greg,

      Are you certain they were referring to a credit card? The only credit card benfit for that allows early boarding with Jetblue is cardholders that spend $50,000 in a year in order to earn Mosaic status. The American Express Platinum card offers no such benefit.

  6. Jonathan · July 24, 2019 · Reply

    Your descriptions of the co-branded JetBlue credit cards seem to imply that only JetBlue Plus cardholders receive discounts on inflight purchases. That is incorrect. No-annual-fee JetBlue Card accounts also get a 50% discount on inflight food and drink purchases.

    • Christine Krzyszton · July 24, 2019 · Reply

      Thank you for that clarification, Jonathan. We will edit the article to make that point clearer.

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