Want a Window or Aisle Seat? JetBlue Is Charging For That Now Too

JetBlue is joining other major airlines in charging for just about everything.
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
JetBlue Airbus A320 airplane

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

In the ever-evolving landscape of airline fees, JetBlue Airways has recently made a notable addition to its revenue strategy with the introduction of "Core Preferred" seat fees, adding another layer to the payment tiers for airline seats. This move reflects broader trends in the airline industry as carriers seek to maximize revenue streams beyond traditional ticket sales.

If you’re over 50, take advantage of massive travel discounts and trip-planning resources

Over 50 and love traveling? Join AARP today — because if you’re not a member, you could be missing out on huge travel perks. When you start your membership today, you can get discounts on hotels and resorts, airfare, cruises, car rentals, and more.

How to become a member today:

  • Go here, select your free gift, and click “Join Today”
  • Create your account (important!) by answering a few simple questions
  • Start enjoying your discounts and perks!

An AARP membership not only unlocks discounts that could save you hundreds on your next trip, but you’ll also have access to deals on vacation packages, guided tours, and exclusive content to help plan your next getaway.

Important: Start your membership by creating an account here and filling in all of the information (do not skip this step!). Doing so will allow you to take up to 25% off your AARP membership, making it just $12 per year with auto-renewal.

Become an AARP member now

JetBlue's latest fee

JetBlue's Core Preferred seat fee offers passengers the opportunity to secure aisle and window seats in prime locations on the plane, such as closer to the front. However, the upgrade does not include any significant changes to the overall flight experience besides seat location.

Prices for these seats vary, ranging from around $10 to $49 depending on the route.

Seat fees: the new baggage fees

Baggage fees, which were once the primary gripe for travelers, will now take a backseat to seat fees as larger airlines like JetBlue join the bandwagon.

JetBlue is the latest among major airliners to start incorporating tiered-seating payments. Spirit Airlines is one of the more famous airlines to do this, marketed as a discount airline but then charging passengers for almost every extra add-on beyond the ticket including seat selection, carry-ons, and refreshments.

Many travelers believe these fees are deceptive as passengers book tickets based on prices displayed at the beginning of booking. For example, a flight from New York to Boston might read as $300 when searching on Google or various travel sites, but with added seat fees and taxes the ticket might ring up closer to $500.

With the total revenue generated from seat fees among eight major US airline carriers estimated at $4.2 billion in 2022, it's clear that these charges have become a cornerstone of airline profitability.

Types of seat fees

Airlines employ various types of seat fees to cater to different passenger preferences and travel needs. These may include fees for extra legroom, preferred seating closer to the front of the plane, or specific amenities such as seatback TVs and power outlets.

Understanding the different fee structures can help passengers navigate their options more effectively. Oftentimes there are ticket options that allow passengers to pay a little more upfront to have the luxury to select whatever seat they like from the time of booking and even in the event of a cancellation.

However, the new fees have many travelers feeling stuck. Should a passenger not select their seats, in many cases their tickets can be forfeited in the event of an overbooking. Purchasing a seat selection gives passengers an added level of security that they will be on their flight — but at a premium.

Also, while purchasing a seat might bump you up in the get-the-boot hierarchy, it does not guarantee anything. Sometimes, airlines randomly choose who will be punted off a flight due to their own clerical errors. That said, those paying for first class and premium economy are likely in the clear.

Is there anything flyers can do?

While seat fees may seem unavoidable, there are strategies passengers can use to mitigate their impact. Some airlines offer free seat selection with elite status or as part of higher-priced fare tiers.

Travelers can look into certain credit cards that have alliances with airlines to receive extra points/miles or make sure to sign up for each airline’s benefits system before traveling. Here are some top travel credit cards.

Additionally, passengers can explore alternative seating options during the check-in process if paid assignments are not their preference.

Bottom line

JetBlue's introduction of Core Preferred seat fees is indicative of broader industry trends aimed at maximizing revenue potential. Seat fees have emerged as a significant source of revenue for airlines, rivaling the once-dominant baggage fees. As airlines continue to innovate their fee structures, passengers should stay informed and explore their options to make the most of their travel experience. While seat fees may be an unavoidable aspect of modern air travel, understanding the landscape can empower passengers to navigate with confidence and make informed decisions to save money.

Easy-to-Earn Unlimited Rewards


Card Details

  • Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Longer intro APR on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Apply Now
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire as long as your account remains open.
  • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply. A 3% Intro balance transfer fee will apply for the first 60 days your account is open. After the Intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for future balance transfers is 4%.
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards® member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase. That means instead of earning an unlimited 1.5 points for every $1, you could earn 1.87-2.62 points for every $1 you spend on purchases.
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
Bank of <span class='whitespace-nowrap'>America<sup>®</sup></span> Travel Rewards credit card
Apply Now

on Bank of America’s secure website

Read Card Review

Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Annual Fee



Why we like it

Author Details

Georgina Tzanetos Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who has been active in financial media for the past six years. She holds a master's in political economy from NYU, where she studied distressed labor markets.