The JetBlue Carry On Luggage Size & How To Avoid Forced Bag Checking

Last Updated on February 13, 2021

So you’re flying with jetBlue soon and sensibly checking the carry on size restrictions. Smart move!

This post will give you the jetBlue carry on size, the jetBlue personal item size, checked baggage fees, and any related rules you need to know about.

We also have a warning for you. And it’s about being potentially forced to check your carry on luggage against your will. Even if your bag is under the hand luggage size limits!

The simple truth is not all passengers who want to fly with carry on bags always get to fly with carry on bags.

And checked luggage is risky. Luggage gets lost in transit and items are stolen from checked bags regularly.

So if you want to be a well informed, expert, jetBlue passenger then read on to get educated.

JetBlue Carry On Rules For Hand Luggage

Here are the JetBlue rules about hand luggage i.e. baggage that is brought into the airplane cabin:

  • JetBlue permits passengers to bring 2 bags – one carry on bag and one personal item.
  • The “carry on” is the larger of the two bags, it can be stowed in either the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you.
  • The personal item is the smaller of the two bags. It might be a purse, handbag, briefcase, small backpack, or laptop bag. It must be stowed under the seat in front of you. Don’t take up space in the overhead bin with these smaller personal items.
  • These 2 bags don’t have a weight limit but you need to be sure that you can lift your carry on bag over your head to place it in the overhead compartment.
  • Your carry on bag and the items it contains are your responsibility and jetBlue accepts no liability for anything stolen during your flight.
  • You can also bring duty-free items that you have purchased after security, a diaper bag for an infant, a coat, umbrella, or assistive devices. These do not count against your allowance.

The two permitted jetBlue bags do have size limits. So let’s take a closer look.

Maximum Carry On Bag Dimensions

  • JetBlue’s carry-on bags must not exceed 22 x 14 x 9 inches. The measurements include any protruding wheels and handles, so don’t just measure the body of your luggage.

If you prefer to do your measuring in cm then the restrictions are 55.88 x 35.56 x 22.86 cm.

Be careful when buying luggage because manufacturers don’t always list the size of their product including wheels and handles. If your bag is over-sized you will be forced to check it in and pay a fee.

A 22 x 14 x 9 maximum means that your jetBlue carry on bag can have a maximum capacity of 2772 cubic inches or 45 liters. In reality, when you allow space for wheels, handles and the casing, then your carry on can be at most 40 liters.

To check how many items of clothing and belongings you might be able to pack in a 40 liter suitcase check our Amazing Bagometer tool.

An exception to the carry on dimensions is musical instruments. You can bring a musical instrument like a guitar instead of your carry-on. So you could travel with a guitar and a personal item.

Try to board early if you are bringing a large musical instrument. Your space in the overhead bin is not guaranteed and there is no space in the closet.

Maximum Personal Item Size

  • The JetBlue personal item must not exceed 17 x 13 x 8 inches.

These limitations mean that the jetBlue personal item has a maximum capacity of 1768 cubic inches or 29 liters.

So the combined capacity of the two bags is 40 + 29 so that’s 69 liters maximum baggage on JetBlue if you take 2 bags that are close to the maximum permitted dimensions.

Let’s compare that to checked luggage.

JetBlue Checked Luggage

If your carry-on allowance is not enough for you you’ll need to bring a checked bag.

JetBlue checked baggage fees are $35 and your checked bag can be 62 linear inches. 2 checked bags will cost even more.

If you are flying on a Blue Plus, Mint, Mosaic fare, or if you are a jetBlue Plus cardmember then your 1st checked bag is free of charge.

A typical 62 linear inch suitcase has around 110 liters capacity, but there is a weight limit of 50 lbs. Going over those size and weight restrictions can be costly.

Force Checking Of Carry On Luggage

The most common complaint I see about jetBlue carry on baggage is when passengers are forced to check bags.

This can happen in two scenarios:

  1. If your carry on bag is too large to fit in the sizer and consequently to fit in the overhead you will be forced to check it and be charged a checked baggage fee.
  2. If the plane is running out of space in the overhead bins you could be forced to check your carry on luggage even if it is under the size limit. You will not be charged for this.

This can be very frustrating for passengers that wish to travel with hand luggage only.

Lex was irritated because he was forced to check his carry on when there was space in the overhead bins.

JetBlue forced Chris’s boyfriend to check his carry on bag even when it was under the size limit…

They then lost the checked bag!

Dino was forced to check a carry on when it had his medicine and headphones in it. He then didn’t have access to these items during the flight.

And this JetBlue passenger was made to check his bag because of a lack of overhead bin space. Then some of this items were stolen!

While he might have got some compensation from JetBlue it’s a hassle you can do without right?

So how to avoid the force checking of carry on luggage with JetBlue?

Well, first make sure your carry on is not larger than the maximum dimensions.

Secondly, you might want to consider purchasing an Even More® Space seat. These seats have priority boarding meaning that you’ll get access to the overhead bins before other passengers.

The overhead bin space is allocated on a first come, first served basis. So if you get on the plane first you get the overhead bin space.

Those passengers boarding last are more likely to be forced to check a carry on.

What Can Not Be Packed In Hand Luggage

In simple terms you can’t bring anything that is a security threat.

This means weapons. Anything that has a sharp blade is prohibited. Also, anything that can be used as a bludgeon is not allowed.

The second thing to consider is liquids. Because liquids could conceivably be used to make things that go boom you are only allowed to bring small quantities of liquids in bottles 3.4 oz or smaller. All these liquids must be packed in your one plastic quart bag.

What Should Be Packed In Hand Luggage

Lose lithium-ion batteries must be packed in hand luggage because they are a fire risk.

You should also never pack anything valuable in checked luggage. Things go missing from checked bags regularly and while you might be able to put a claim in with your airline who needs that hassle.

JetBlue Carry On Baggage Recap

You can bring two bags. One carry on bag and one personal item bag.

The jetBlue carry on size is 22 x 14 x 9 inches, and you can also bring an under seat personal item that can be 17 x 13 x 8 inches.

If your jetBlue carry on size is even 1 inch too big then you might be forced to pay for checked baggage. The first checked bag will probably cost you $35.

If you want to make sure that your carry-on stays with you at all times measure it and confirm it is smaller than 22 x 14 x 9 inches. Also, upgrade to a better seat so you will board early when there is still space in the overhead bins.

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