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Jetblue vs American Airlines : Everything You Need To Know

Let’s face it – travel is no longer as fun as it used to be. Years ago, it felt almost glamorous to go to the airport, check-in for a flight, find the gate, board the plane, and relax comfortably in the roomy seat. Shortly after the airplane took flight, friendly flight attendants would serve a full can of soda and a warm meal – all for FREE!

Now, we’re forced to arrive hours before the scheduled departure, wait in long, snaking lines to even get to the security checkpoint, pack our carry-on liquids in clear, plastic bags to be examined by TSA agents, and don’t forget to remove all shoes before going through security.

Then, there’s the jockeying into position at the gate and the long, slow crawl down the surprisingly narrow aisle to the now-cramped seat. Every single inch of overhead storage is crammed full of too-large carry-ons that far exceed what the airline claims to be the maximum allowed size. The seats are too small, even for those without a few extra pounds.

Flight attendants may serve a small cup of soda and many airlines now charge for any type of food, even peanuts or chips.

Let’s not forget the sometimes interminable wait for checked items at Baggage Claim and the endless lines at taxi queues.

Despite all the changes, though, our hearts still yearn to travel. To bear witness to all the beautiful sights and extraordinary cultures this world has to offer. Now, we must be smarter about how we travel to reduce the irritations.

One of the areas where you can make an informed choice to minimize the woes of travel is which airline you choose to ferry you to your destination.

There are a lot of choices out there and a lot of considerations: direct or indirect flight, in-flight amenities, airport hubs – and many others.

Main Differences Between Jet Blue and American Airlines

The main differences between Jet Blue Airways and American Airlines are:

  • American flies to more destinations worldwide whereas Jet Blue flies to a more limited number of worldwide destinations.
  • American has a much larger number of partnerships whereas Jet Blue has a smaller choice of partnerships. The number of partnerships makes it easier for you to accumulate frequent flyer points more quickly.
  • Jet Blue has more legroom on most of its aircraft whereas American puts as many seats as possible on each flight.
  • Jet Blue also has a more diverse selection of in-flight entertainment, usually on seatbacks in front of you whereas American often has just one large screen for a whole section of seats.

Let’s examine two of the major carriers, JetBlue Airways, and American Airlines, to help you make better decisions about which airline to choose. 

JetBlue Airways History

JetBlue, sometimes stylized as jetBlue, is the seventh-largest airline in North America, based on the number of passengers carried. It is headquartered in the New York City borough of Queens and maintains corporate offices in Florida and Utah.

JetBlue was founded as NewAir in August 1998. It started commercial operations in February 2000 with an inaugural flight transporting passengers between JFK Airport in New York City and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

JetBlue followed Southwest Airlines’ approach of low-cost fares but sought to differentiate itself with amenities such as individual televisions at every seat, in-flight entertainment, and Sirius XM satellite radio.

New aircraft joined the fleet in 2000, and the company added a lot of destinations to the network. By the end of 2000, JetBlue flew its one-millionth customer.

JetBlue’s founders originally wanted to call the airline “Taxi,” with a yellow fleet to associate the airline with New York City. Investors threatened to pull their initial funding unless the name was changed.

In March 2002, JetBlue flew its five millionth customer and in July 2004, they flew its 25 millionths customer.

JetBlue continued to grow, adding new routes in 2005 and taking delivery of new planes. By the end of 2005, JetBlue added online check-in and online baggage check-in was added to their website. By 2013, JetBlue offered Mobile Boarding Passes and a new iPhone app.

In 2016, JetBlue was the first American airline that resumed commercial flights to Cuba.

That same year, they founded JetBlue Technology Ventures (JTV), a venture capital arm of Jet Blue that seeks to invest in startups that intersect with travel and technology. By 2018, JTV had invested in 21 startups, including “flying taxis” and hybrid planes.

JetBlue Destinations

JetBlue serves 100 domestic and international destinations in the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, and Central America. They operate over 1,000 flights daily. Visit JetBlue Destinations for a complete list of cities and countries they service. 

JetBlue Airplanes

JetBlue has a very diverse fleet for your flying pleasure. Meet the fleet and explore each of the planes in detail.

Type of Plane Features
Airbus A321 Long Range 114 seats and 24 Mint Suites
A321 Neo with Mint More space, all suites, and new Mint Studio
Airbus A220 Wider seats, huge overhead bins, latest tech
Airbus A321neo Residential touches and reduced engine noise
Airbus A320 Restyled Cutting edge tech and travel-friendly details
Airbus A321 Classic Tech forward and tailored for comfort
Airbus A321 Classic with Mint Grab and go snacks in the pantry for all
Airbus A320 Classic Traditional JetBlue experience
Embraer E190 Aisle and window seats only

JetBlue planes also have distinct personalities:

JetBlue Fare Options

 JetBlue has a variety of fare options, however, the amenities included, such as carry-on bags, number of checked bags, change fees, advance seat selection, etc., vary based on the level of member status you have achieved with JetBlue. All levels have access to the following fares:

  • Blue Basic
  • Blue
  • Blue Plus
  • Blue Extra
  • Mint

 The three levels of passengers are the following:

  1. TrueBlue or Guest: Average passengers
  2. Mosaic Member: You can achieve Mosaic Member status in either of the following two ways:
  3. Fly 30 JetBlue flight segments and a minimum of 12,000 base flight points within a calendar year.
  4. Earn 15,000 base flight points within a single year.
  5. JetBlue Plus/Business Cardmembers pay an annual fee which is more than worthwhile if you regularly travel with JetBlue.

For detailed fare information and a list of perks for each fare level, visit the JetBlue fares page

JetBlue Frequent Flyer Program

TrueBlue is the name of JetBlue’s frequent flyer program. You can join for free and earn points. It’s that simple. With your TrueBlue member number, you earn two times the points when you book your travel on JetBlue.com or the JetBlue app. Your points will never expire and they can be redeemed for any seat at any time – there are no blackout dates. You can also pool points with friends and family for faster rewards. You can even earn points in the air when you upgrade to MoreSpace, flying with your pet, purchase a JetBlue Vacation package, on hotels and car rentals purchased based on your flight information. You’ll be redeeming your points for free trips sooner rather than later.

JetBlue In-Flight Amenities

Your in-flight experience with JetBlue will be remarkable. Only JetBlue offers the most legroom in coach, free WiFi, live television and movies at every seat, and free brand-name snacks and drinks. There are also more than 100 Sirius XM music and comedy stations, and unlimited access to Bloomberg.com. If you just want to catch up on your sleep, there are Snooze Kits available so you arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to face the day. Check out our comparison guide on Jetblue vs Delta for more airline options.

JetBlue Add-ons and Extra Charges

 There are a variety of extra fees that may be added to your ticket, based on your ticket fare level. Fees will also vary based on your membership level, but expect to pay fees for:

  • Checked bags
  • Overweight bags
  • Oversized bags
  • Sports equipment
  • Carry-ons (certain fare levels)
  • Phone booking
  • Blue Basic seat selection
  • Pets
  • Unaccompanied minors
  • Changes or cancelations
  • Same-day switching
  • Stand-by
  • Even More Space
  • Even More Speed
  • Headsets
  • Pillows
  • Blankets
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • EatUp Café and EatUp Meal Boxes

JetBlue: Traveling with Your Pet

 JetBlue is committed to making your pet’s flight as enjoyable as your own. Small cats and dogs may travel in an FAA-approved pet carrier that fits comfortably under the seat in front of you. You may only bring one pet per customer.

Pets can be booked online on the JetBlue app, or by contacting JetBlue directly. They can be added in the Extras section. The pet fee is $125 each way and there are only four pets allowed per flight. Pets are not allowed in Mint; however, you can earn 300 extra TrueBlue points per flight segment for adding a pet to your booking.

Make sure that your pet has ID tags and a pet license. Some destinations may also require vaccination and documentation records.

JetBlue Partner Programs

JetBlue offers a multitude of flights and vacation packages, but sometimes, you just need something different. To facilitate earning TrueBlue points more quickly, JetBlue has partnered with several airlines, hotels, car rental agencies, and financial services firms to earn and redeem points. The benefits do vary from partner to partner. Some partners allow only the ability to earn points while others allow you to earn or redeem your points,

The following is a comprehensive list of airline and hotel partners where TrueBlue members can earn points:

  • Emirates Airline
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Iceland Air
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • Silver Airways
  • Singapore Airlines
  • JSX (private air travel)

 You may also transfer TrueBlue points from the following programs:

  • American Express Membership Rewards
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Capital One
  • Citi Thank You Rewards

JetBlue Social Conscience

 JetBlue is very socially active, especially in the areas of youth & education, communities, and the environment.

JetBlue partners with nonprofit organizations to create award-winning programs such as:

  • JetBlue Foundation supports aviation-related education and STEM initiatives.
  • JetBlue supports community organizations in their BlueCities with donations, partnerships, and crewmember volunteering.
  • JetBlue includes environmental programs in community engagement, such as rooftop farms, recycling, and corporate citizenship.

JetBlue Safety and Performance 

For more than 20 years, JetBlue has raised safety standards and put science into practice to reduce risk and keep travelers and crewmembers safe both on the ground and in the air. This has become especially important due to the recent global pandemic.

 Crewmember initiatives:

  • Provide paid sick leave
  • Encourage crewmembers to get vaccinated
  • Require masks on all customer-facing crewmembers
  • Increased cleaning on airplanes and in airports
  • Filter cabin air through hospital-grade HEPA filters

 Traveler initiatives:

  • Require masks at the airport and onboard
  • Maintain more space between each row than any other US airline
  • Provide touchless check-in, bag tagging, and boarding
  • No cancel or change fees on most fares
  • Assist in finding testing options, at-home, at-airport, and at-destinations

 According to AirlineRatings.com, JetBlue scored a 7/7 on Safety Ratings, 5/5 on Product Ratings, and 7/7 on COVID-19 Star Rating.

JetBlue Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Variety of in-flight entertainment options, including new movies and diverse music choices
  • Free WiFi
  • Comfortable seats
  • USB outlets near every seat
  • Reward points never expire
  • No blackout dates for using reward points
  • Allows pooling of points between passengers

 Cons

  • Location of the in-flight entertainment remote on the armrest
  • Charge for headphones and blankets
  • Blackout dates apply to partner airlines
  • Flies to fewer destinations than other, larger airlines

 JetBlue Customer Satisfaction

 In a 2019 North America Airline Satisfaction Study of Low-Cost Carriers by J.D. Power & Associates, JetBlue ranked highest in customer satisfaction in four areas: aircraft, in-flight services, flight crew, and reservations. This was JetBlue’s twelfth consecutive award in this category.  

Here’s our comparison guide on Jetblue vs Virgin America for more insights.

American Airlines History

On April 15, 1926, Charles Lindbergh carried U.S. mail from St. Louis, Missouri to Chicago, Illinois on the first American Airlines flight. American Airlines was founded in 1930 by a union of more than 80 small airlines and was originally called The Aviation Corporation.

American Airlines founder, C.R. Smith, worked with Donald Douglas to design the DC-3 – the planes that are credited with changing the entire airline industry and switching revenue sources from mail delivery to passengers. 

American Airlines, Inc. is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the largest airline in the world when measured by fleet size, scheduled passengers, and revenue.

In 1953, American Airlines flew the Douglas DC-7 across the United States and established nonstop transcontinental service.

American Airlines opened the first facility for flight attendant training in Dallas/Fort Worth in 1957. It was called the American Airlines Stewardess College.

The company gained Caribbean routes in 1970 when it merged with Trans Caribbean Airways.

In 1981, American Airlines introduced AAdvantage, the first airline loyalty program.

American Airlines celebrated its one billionth customer in 1991 and all American flights became nonsmoking in 1997.

In 2008, American Airlines introduced its mobile boarding passes.

American Airlines Destinations

American Airlines and American Eagle, a regional service operated by American Airlines that was introduced in 1984, handle more than 200 million passengers annually with approximately 500,000 passengers daily and employs almost 130,000 people.

American Airlines flies to 95 domestic and 95 international destinations in 55 countries. American operates nearly 6,800 flights per day to almost 350 destinations in more than 50 countries.

American Airlines Airplanes

American Airlines flies a variety of different planes, including:

Airbus

  • A319
  • A320
  • A321
  • A321Transcon
  • A321 Neo

Boeing

  • Boeing 737 Max
  • Boeing 737-800
  • Boeing 777-200
  • Boeing 777-300ER
  • Boeing 787-8
  • Boeing 787-9

CRJ

  • CRJ 700
  • CRJ 900

ERJ

  • ERJ-140
  • ERJ-145
  • ERJ-175

For a more detailed description of each of the airplanes, visit the American Airlines Planes page. 

American Airlines Fare Options 

American Airlines has three main fare options, with varying amenities-such as checked bags, change fees, priority check-in, etc. – available to each fare option:

Fare Option Benefit
Flagship First Exclusive and personalized experience
Flagship Business Elevated experience with special amenities
First Highest level of service across the US
Business Highest level of service on shorter distance international flights
Economy More space and amenities on select flights
Main Cabin Extra More legroom plus early boarding
Main Cabin Select your seat early and free entertainment
Basic Economy Lowest main cabin fare 

 

If you want to see more fare options, check out our guide on American Airlines Economy vs Basic.

American Airlines Frequent Flyer Program

American Airlines Frequent Flyer loyalty reward program is called the AAdvantage program. AAdvantage members can earn miles when they fly on American, Oneworld, other participating airlines, and over 1,000 partners. You can use your miles for:

  • Flights to almost 1,200 destinations worldwide
  • Upgrades
  • Vacations, car rentals, and hotels

American Airlines In-Flight Amenities 

American Airlines allows passengers to stream their free library of music, movies, television shows to their own phone, laptop, or tablet. 

  • Access Apple TV+ and Apple Music
  • Learn a new language with Rosetta Stone
  • Explore new skills with Skillshare.

American Airlines Add-ons and Extra Charges 

Main Cabin Extra provides additional benefits, including:

  • Early boarding
  • Extra legroom
  • Free carry-on
  • Complimentary snacks & drinks
  • Free entertainment
  • Free WiFi

Main Cabin Extra starts at $20 but is available free to the following members, including up to eight traveling companions on the same reservation:

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Platinum members
  • Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members that have achieved elite status on Alaska Airlines, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, or Japan Airlines

Complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra is granted to AAdvantage Gold and Oneworld Ruby members within 24 hours of departure if seats are available. 

Priority status allows you the quickest route through check-in, security, and boarding. You can purchase Priority privileges when you check-in on aa.com, at an airport kiosk, or through Reservations before departure. Those eligible to purchase Priority include:

  • First, Business, and Premium Economy passengers
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, Platinum, and Gold members
  • AirPass travelers
  • Oneworld Emerald, Sapphire, and Ruby members
  • Citi/AAdvantage Executive cardholders
  • Certain corporate travelers

American Airlines: Traveling with Your Pet 

American Airlines allows pets to travel as a carry-on or transported with American Airlines Cargo. Carry-on pets may only be cats and dogs that meet the age, size, and destination requirements.

Checked pets are only accepted for active-duty U.S. Military and U.S. Department of Foreign Service personnel traveling on official business. Certain fees and restrictions will apply.

Fully-trained service dogs can fly in the cabin at no charge if they meet the service dog requirements.

You can count one kennel as your carry-on if you pay the carry-on pet fee and if your pet remains in the kennel and under the seat in front of you for the entire flight.

Pet strollers will be checked at the ticket counter and all checked bag fees apply.

American Airlines Partner Programs 

American Airlines provides you a multitude of methods to earn and redeem miles on the following airlines:

You can earn miles from the following airline partners:

  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • Sri Lankan Airlines

You may also redeem miles on American Airlines from the following airline partners:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Cape Air
  • China Southern Airlines
  • Etihad Airways
  • Fiji Airways
  • GOL Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • JetBlue
  • Seaborne Virgin Islands

You can redeem American Airlines miles on the following airlines:

  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cape Air
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Fiji Airways
  • Finnair
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Iberia
  • Japan Airlines
  • Qantas Airways
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Air Maroc
  • Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7 Airlines
  • Seaborne Virgin Islands
  • Sri Lankan Airlines

You can earn and redeem miles from the following hotels:

  • Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
  • Marriot Bonvoy
  • InterContinental Hotels
  • Rocketmiles
  • American Airlines Hotels
  • PointsHound
  • Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

You can earn and redeem miles at the following car partners:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Payless
  • Thrifty

American Airlines Social Conscience 

American Airlines is committed to effective leadership in environmental, social, and governance issues. Their ethics and human rights commitments are based on shared values based on integrity, honesty, and making responsible and ethical decisions.

Recognizing that air travel impacts the environment, American Airlines is committed to reducing those impacts. By mitigating CO2 emissions, they are striving to reduce their carbon footprint.

American Airlines also works to give back through volunteerism and to communities through the support of nonprofits that benefit children, communities, and military service members. 

American Airlines Safety and Performance 

American Airlines was the first airline to obtain GBAC STAR Accreditation from the Global Biorisk Advisory Counsel. This means that they use proper procedures to respond to biological threats such as COVID-19.

American Airlines is committed to safety and sanitation. The following are some of the procedures they have instituted:

  • Purell Advanced hand sanitizer dispensers are available before and after security.
  • Amenity Kits are available onboard that include hand sanitizer or wipes.
  • HEPA filters on most aircraft refresh the air every two to four minutes.
  • Face coverings are required both indoors at the airport and onboard the flight.
  • Social distancing is encouraged at check-in, security, the gate, and boarding.
  • High-touch surfaces in airports and on planes are frequently cleaned with enhanced cleaning protocols.
  • Touchless interactions are now available such as scanning boarding passes to print bag tags and to board planes.

American Airlines Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Vast number of accessible destinations
  • Quantity of flights
  • Variety of partnerships in airlines, hotels, vacation packages, and cruises
  • Ability to choose your own seat
  • AAdvantage loyalty program
  • Support of more than 1,400 nonprofits globally

Cons

  • Complaints of lost luggage
  • Limited legroom per seat
  • Bag fees (except for elite members)
  • AAdvantage miles are sometimes worth less than other airlines’ reward programs

American Airlines Customer Satisfaction

According to Skytrax.com, American Airlines scored a dismal 3 out of 10 customer rating over 4,331 customer reviews.

Frequently Asked Questions about Jetblue vs American Airlines

Question: Is JetBlue a good airline?

Answer: According to skytraxratings.com: “JetBlue Airways is Certified as a 3-Star Airline for the quality of its airport and onboard product and staff service.”

Question: What is the cheapest day to fly on JetBlue?

Answer: According to farecompare.com: “Cheapest days to fly: Usually Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. JetBlue fare sales often restrict travel to those days.”

Question: Is it cheaper to buy JetBlue tickets at the airport?

Answer: According to finance.yahoo.com: “Did you know the cheapest way to buy your ticket is to buy it at the airport? But it probably doesn’t make any sense for most travelers to make the extra trip to the airport to save about 20 bucks, so booking online is likely your best option.”

Question: What is the cheapest day to fly on American Airlines?

Answer: According to farecompare.com: “On U.S. flights, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are usually the cheapest days to fly. On international flights, weekdays are generally cheaper than weekends (but not always).”

Question: Can I cancel my American Airlines flight and get a refund?

Answer: According to nerdwallet.com: “All flights may be canceled for a full refund within 24 hours of purchase when booked at least two days before departure. If you purchase a refundable ticket, you are eligible to cancel your flight for a full refund by requesting a refund online or by contacting reservations.”

Question: Can I bring food on American Airlines?

Answer: According to American Airlines: “We’re limiting food and drink service on board based on flight length and destination. You’re welcome to bring snacks and soft drinks to enjoy during your flight.” 

Further Read:

American Airlines vs Delta: Which Company Has Best Fares?

British Airways vs American Airlines – Which Airline is Best?

Jetblue vs Spirit [2021]: Which Airline Is Worth Your Money? 

JetBlue vs. Southwest Airlines – Who Comes Out On Top?

Tammy Wunsch

Tammy Wunsch loves wine, vineyards, and travel. Her blog, ExpatWriter.com, prominently features these three topics, as well as information about living the digital nomad life. Tammy is the author of "The Navarre Brotherhood," an adventure novel about a search for the Knights Templar treasure. She lives in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut and spends her free time working on a sequel, planning her next trip, and seeking out new wines to share with friends