JetBlue’s Blue Basic ticket doesn’t allow you to bring a full-size carry-on bag.
So we’ve searched the net to find bags that are close to the maximum permitted dimensions of the under-the-seat bag that you can bring.
At the end of this post, you’ll also find our Amazing Bagometer which you can use to calculate how many days worth of clothes you’ll be able to fit in the free JetBlue bag.
You can use that calculator to decide if you can make it work or if you’ll need to pay for a checked bag, or upgrade to an ‘Even More Space’ seat which comes with a carry-on allowance.
JetBlue’s Personal Item Size
To remind you, the personal item size limit for JetBlue is 17″ x 13″ x 8″ and it must fit under the seat in front of you. That’s 43.2 x 33 x 20.32 cm if you prefer the metric system.
How Much Can You Fit In A JetBlue Personal Item?
On paper, the JetBlue underseat item has a maximum capacity of 1768 cubic inches or 29 liters. That might be more than you imagined, a normal carry-on usually only holds around 40 liters.
So the JetBlue personal bag has 11 liters less packing space than a normal carry-on, but that’s only true if you can find a bag that is close to the permitted dimensions.
17 x 13 x 8 Carry-On Luggage
The first thing to understand about wheeled luggage is that the wheels and handles do count when measuring.
That means if you use spinner luggage with protruding wheels then you are trading packing space for wheels.
Since personal item bags are already smaller you might not want to waste more space on spinner wheels.
I think that two-wheeled bags make better use of the allocated space allowance for under-seat bags.
Regardless of the type of wheels you choose it’s very difficult to find wheeled luggage that fits the JetBlue personal item restrictions.
High Sierra Endeavor Wheeled Underseat Carry-On
At 16.5 x 13 x 8 inches this High Sierra was the only wheeled luggage that I could find that was small enough.
The good news is that it’s a great bag. You might even find yourself using it instead of a full-size carry-on with other airlines.
It can be attached to larger luggage if you are taking two bags.
It is a good under-seat bag to use with most US airlines except perhaps United Basic Economy, but then again few bags are suitable as a United personal item.
Samsonite Solyte DLX
Are you feeling lucky?
17.5 x 14 x 8.25
This Samsonite Solyte is slightly too large in all dimensions. Even so, it’s one of the smallest wheeled underseat bags around.
I wouldn’t recommend this bag to anyone that wants to avoid all risk.
If you want to push the limits and want a brand name suitcase then the Samsonite might be the one for you.
The Squeezability Factor
The problem with conventional wheeled luggage is that it’s not squeezable. Often a slightly oversize bag will be fine to use as a personal item IF it can be squeezed to fit at the baggage sizer.
Hardshell luggage, or luggage with a rigid frame can’t be squeezed and you might run into problems if it’s a little too big.
If you are fit and healthy, and not packing anything too heavy I advise going for a soft-sided bag without wheels.
Hacking The Size Limits With Soft-Sided Bags
When space is limited the temptation is to stuff clothes into your bag.
Unfortunately this leads to a bulging bag, and bulging bags can end up being slightly too big. Hello $65 bag checked fee 🙁
My tip to avoid this is to use compression packing cubes.
Stuff your clothes into the packing cubes, squeeze and many socks are you can into the cube…
But don’t stuff the cubes into your personal item bag!
That way when you are at the sizer you should be able to squeeze your bag to make it fit. Your outer bag shouldn’t be bulging because inside the packing cubes are taking the strain and doing the compressing.
17 x 13 x 8 Backpacks
Tom Bihn Synapse 19
At 16 x 11.4 x 7.9 inches this Tom Bihn backpack has a 19 liter capacity. It’s comfortably within the JetBlue restrictions.
Kiping Seoul Backpack
The Kiping is 17.25 x 13.75 x 8 inches. Don’t worry about the .25 inches extra height and 0.75 extra width. As a soft-sided backback it can be squashed into the sizer.
Personal Item Bags Backpack
This company designs bags specifically to use as personal items. At 17″ x 13″ x 7″ it’s just the right size to use with JetBlue.
While fashion conscious travelers might not like the boxy design it ensures that you can take the maximum amount that JetBlue will allow on a Blue Basic ticket.
It’s ideal for packing clothes but might not be so great for valuable electronics. It will probably pay for itself on the 1st flight and save you money on the return journey.
Timbuk2 Scheme Convertible
If you need something with a padded laptop pocket then check out the Timbuk2 Scheme Convertible. It’s 16.1 x 12.2 x 5.91 inches so easily fits under the JetBlue limits.
17 x 13 x 8 Inches Duffel Bags
Boarding Blue Under Seat Duffel For JetBlue
Boarding Blue are a company that specialize in underseat luggage. Their wheels luggage is unfortunately too large for JetBlue but they do sell this basic duffle bag.
Personal Item Bags Duffel
This 17 x 13 x 7 inches duffel bag is the perfect fit for under the seat on your JetBlue flight.
It has one large main compartment that you’ll be ale to fill with clothes.
If you are bringing a laptop you might want to use a padded laptop sleeve to protect it.
How Many Days Worth Of Clothes Will It Fit?
To Sum Up
Budget airlines like JetBlue are always trying to find ways to increase revenue.
It’s a pity that JetBlue has chosen size limits that rule out most wheeled luggage. Not everybody has the physical ability to wear a backpack.
Seniors will end up paying for more expensive fares because they can’t find rolling luggage that fits.
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