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.
Table of contents
- JetBlue Airways Boarding Groups
- How to Build Up Your JetBlue TrueBlue Points Balance
- Final Thoughts
Table of Contents
- JetBlue Airways Boarding Groups
- How to Build Up Your JetBlue TrueBlue Points Balance
- Final Thoughts
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.
- Customers with disabilities
Mosaic and Mint Customers
Even More Space Customers
- Group A
- 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.
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
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 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 starter travel rewards card which has a 60,000 point sign up bonus (highest ever) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. |
The current bonus is worth $750 in travel purchases (e.g. flights, hotels, car rentals and with no blackout dates) when you redeem your points through Chase's travel portal which is easy to use. You could enjoy several round-trip flights or hotel stays with that 60k bonus.
|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 1.5% cash back 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 80,000 bonus is worth $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel purchases (e.g flights, hotels, car rentals). Earn lots of points by leveraging bonus categories, and also - if you pay for your cell phone bill with this card, you can get up to $600 in insurance coverage.|
|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. A simple, $0 annual fee card.|
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.
Recommend Citi Cards
|CREDIT CARD||CARD INFO|
|Citi ThankYou® Premier Card|
|Citi Prestige® Card|
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 Amex 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 $1,500+ 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 $2,000 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 Amex Cards (Business)
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express - Even though this card carries a hefty annual fee, we get ~$1,250+ in value per year by leveraging as many of the benefits/perks card. |
Get access to 1,200+ airport lounges worldwide, $200 in airline fee credits for incidentals (e.g. baggage fees) and a lot more. Also, earn a welcome bonus of up to 75,000 points (terms apply). 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 real simple card that earns you 2x points on business purchases up to $50,000 annually (then 1x). There's 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 - The big brother of the VentureOne and it's packed with a lot more benefits and perks. Earn a 50,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $500) once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening — and 10X miles per $1 spent across thousands of hotels. 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 10x miles per $1 across thousands of hotels. With a 20,000 mile sign up bonus (worth $200) 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 has a 20,000 mile sign up bonus 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; 15.24% - 23.24% variable APR after that.|
|Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business - Earn 50,000 miles once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Annual fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.|
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