JetBlue vs. American Airlines: Which is Better to Travel?

If two airlines provide flights with comparable itineraries and schedules, which one do you choose? Both are good alternatives, so choosing between them is difficult. Consider each airline’s loyalty program, class selections, elite status, itineraries, and reliability beyond the flight’s short term. To assist you choose an airline and a flight, let’s analyze their route networks, credit cards, loyalty programs, and more.

Where They’re Based and Where They Fly

Winner: American Airlines

Both airlines fly domestically and internationally, but America’s network is larger. American flies more places than JetBlue and is an Oneworld member, opening up more destinations.

JetBlue: JetBlue serves over 100 U.S., Canadian, Caribbean, and Latin American cities. Also flies to London, Paris, Dublin, Edinburgh, and Amsterdam. JetBlue’s U.S. route network can be confusing. Nashville to Miami, a short flight, usually requires a layover in New York or Boston.

JetBlue’s hubs include:

  • Boston.
  • Fort Lauderdale.
  • Long Beach.
  • Los Angeles.
  • New York- John F. Kennedy.
  • Orlando.
  • Washington-Dulles.

JetBlue does not have an alliance, but it deals with a few airlines to earn and redeem points and exchange perks. Hawaiian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Icelandair, Qatar Airways, and others are partners.

American Airlines: One of the largest airlines is American. American operates to almost 350 locations in 60 countries, excluding international partners. This airline and its partners serve 900 destinations in over 170 countries and territories under the Oneworld alliance.

The top airport hubs served by American Airlines include:

  • Boston.
  • Charlotte.
  • Chicago-O’Hare.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth.
  • London-Heathrow.
  • Los Angeles.
  • Madrid.
  • Miami.
  • New York- John F. Kennedy.
  • New York-LaGuardia.
  • Philadelphia.
  • Phoenix.
  • Raleigh.
  • San Antonio.
  • San Francisco.
  • Washington-National.


Winner: American Airlines

JetBlue handles bags better, but America has the best airline cancellation and delay record.

JetBlue: From July 2022 to July 2023, JetBlue’s reliability was average. The airline canceled 1.88% of its flights and had a 0.54 tarmac delay rate per 10,000 flights, which is average for major airlines. Only 68.44% of its flights were on schedule, while 0.66% of travelers had their baggage mishandled.

American Airlines: American was one of the top four airlines for on-time flights at the same time, at 78.03%. The airline had 1.68% flight cancellations and 0.11 tarmac delays per 10,000 flights. Airline baggage management was poor: 0.87% of passenger luggage was mishandled.

Extra fees

Winner: JetBlue

JetBlue has lower average airline fees than American Airlines, according to NerdWallet.

JetBlue Airlines: JetBlue charges $35 for the first checked bag and $50 for the second bag on most tickets when you add bags at least 24 hours before departure for flights in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean. Any luggage added within 24 hours of departure costs $10 more. The first checked bag is free with a Blue Plus or Mint ticket, Mosaic membership, or one of the following JetBlue credit cards:

  • JetBlue Plus Card
  • JetBlue Business Card

Blue Basic domestic prices don’t include a carry-on bag and limit you to a small personal item unless you’re a Mosaic member.

American Airlines: The first checked bag is $40 ($35 online) and the second bag is $45 on American Airlines. The first checked bag is free for most American Airlines credit cardholders and first, business, and premium economy ticket holders. Elite status holders like AAdvantage Gold, Oneworld Ruby, and JetBlue Mosaic get free baggage fees.

Read More: Exploring Affordable Air Travel Options for Students

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Airline loyalty programs

Winner: American Airlines

AAdvantage edged out TrueBlue in the JetBlue-American loyalty program comparison. AAdvantage elite tiers give more value and more credit cards, and you may redeem miles for trips on American Airlines and its Oneworld partners.

JetBlue TrueBlue: JetBlue TrueBlue members earn points by traveling, using a JetBlue credit card, and participating in approved partner activities. You can also pool points with up to seven family or friends to swiftly save for your next trip or pay with cash and points. Due to the cash price of award flights, points can be redeemed for a fixed amount.

NerdWallet values JetBlue points at 1.5 cents. TrueBlue points are redeemable for any seat and never expire. JetBlue’s Mosaic elite status program increased to four tiers in 2023: 1, 2, 3, and 4. The move from two to four tiers favors Mosaic members who couldn’t attain Mosaic+ under the former structure.

JetBlue also debuted Perks You Pick, which lets members choose incentives like bonus points or pet charge waivers as they gain Mosaic status and level up. Mosaic status gives JetBlue’s biggest spenders and greatest customers four free seats on BLADE chopper transfers between Manhattan and New York-John F. Kennedy or Newark airport.

JetBlue credit cards: JetBlue provides two Barclays personal and one business card. All cards give a 50% discount on inflight purchases, no foreign transaction fees, and bonus points on JetBlue purchases. The two personal cards have a welcome bonus with a minimal minimum spending requirement.

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