United Airlines vs Jetblue: My in-depth Comparison

When it's time to book your next flight, you have a lot of options to choose from nowadays. Which is the best airline? When I started traveling 20 years ago we had about three options- we called them Decent, Not Too Bad, and Very Expensive.

Now with so many options, how do you decide which airline is right for you? In this article, I’m doing an in-depth comparison of two of the best airlines, United Airlines and JetBlue, which are two popular choices for domestic travel in the United States.

I’ve traveled to over 50 countries and I can tell you that frequent flyers and vacation travelers all deal with the same travel dilemmas and delays, so it's essential to understand the differences between these airlines to make the best decision for your needs. The good news is, I did the deep dive here, so you don't have to.

Key Takeaways

  • United Airlines and JetBlue are both major airlines with different offerings and customer experiences.
  • United Airlines is known for its expansive route network, global partnerships, and varied fare options.
  • JetBlue is renowned for its customer service, extra legroom, and generous in-flight amenities.
  • The baggage policies, booking experiences, and loyalty programs of United Airlines and JetBlue differ significantly.
  • Consider your priorities, such as price, service, and destinations, when choosing between United Airlines and JetBlue.

Overview of United and JetBlue

United Airlines is one of the largest airlines globally, operating an extensive network of domestic and international flights. JetBlue Airways is known for its focus on low-cost travel and exceptional customer service.

United Airlines

  • Founded in 1926, is a prominent player in the aviation industry and
  • Renowned for its expansive route network
  • Wide range of domestic and international flights, serving over 300 destinations
  • Focused on comfortable seating options to top-notch in-flight services

JetBlue Airlines

  • Founded in 1998
  • Low-cost carrier that has gained popularity for its affordable fares and exceptional customer service
  • Operating primarily in the United States, serving over 100 destinations
  • Spacious seats, complimentary snacks, and friendly flight attendants
  • Unique amenities such as unlimited inflight entertainment and free Wi-Fi on all flights make it a favorite among budget-conscious travelers
united vs jetblue chart comparing the two

Amenities and In-Flight Services

When it comes to amenities and in-flight services, United Airlines and JetBlue offer some distinct features that cater to the comfort and satisfaction of their passengers.

They both offer comparable services compared to the other major airlines like Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, and American Airlines. Let's compare what each airline has to offer in terms of flight attendants, seating options, and in-flight beverage services.

Flight Attendants

The quality of flight attendants can greatly impact the overall flying experience. Have you seen the videos where the flight attendants were getting aggressive with their passengers?!?! Yikes.

United Airlines has a reputation for its attentive and professional cabin crew, and I can say I have always found them positive and professional. United's flight attendants ensure that passengers feel well taken care of throughout their journey. United is one of the oldest and most well-respected airlines for a reason.

On the other hand, JetBlue is known for its friendly and personable flight attendants. They seem to be a little more ‘cool friend that’s here to help’ than United, which feels more like ‘business first.’ JetBlue’s attendants’ warm demeanor and helpful attitude create a bit more of a welcoming atmosphere onboard.

Seating Options

For those seeking extra comfort, both airlines offer options to enhance the flying experience. United Airlines provides lie-flat seats on select long-haul flights, allowing passengers in premium cabins to relax and sleep in a fully horizontal position.

JetBlue also offers a higher-end "Mint" experience—an exclusive premium cabin with lie-flat seats, artisanal dining, and personalized service. This upgraded offering offers a luxurious and relaxing travel experience.

In-flight beverage services

Enjoying a drink up at 40,000 feet can make the journey more pleasant and pass quicker. United Airlines offers a wide selection of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and spirits. Passengers can choose from a variety of options to suit their tastes and preferences.

JetBlue is known for its complimentary alcoholic beverages served on international flights and some longer domestic flights. Premium passengers in the Mint experience can take advantage of a curated menu of premium wines and craft cocktails. They win this round for me.

Both airlines also offer a variety of non-alcoholic beverages to keep passengers hydrated and refreshed throughout the flight. I find it a thin line to walk between staying hydrated in the pressurized and super-dehydrating cabin and having to go to the bathroom all the time.

united vs jetblue chart comparing features

Booking Experience and Fare Options

When it comes to booking your flight, United Airlines and JetBlue offer different experiences and fare options to suit your needs. Let's take a closer look at them.

Online Booking

Both United Airlines and JetBlue offer easy-to-use online booking platforms that allow you to search for flights, compare fares, and select your preferred travel dates.

PRO TIP: I love checking Skyscanner or Hopper first, and then checking directly with the airlines to see which fare is cheaper.

United Airlines Online Booking is user-friendly and provides a seamless experience. The website is well-designed, with clear navigation and helpful features such as a fare calendar and flexible date search. It also offers a mobile app that is well-designed and has a good UX.

Pro Tip: If you have flexibility with dates, always use the fare calendar when booking any flight; this can save you hundreds or even thousands just by adjusting your travel dates a bit.

JetBlue's Online Booking platform is equally user-friendly, with a simple and intuitive interface. The website provides a quick search function, allowing you to find flights efficiently. JetBlue also offers a mobile app that allows you to book and manage your flights from your phone.

Economy Class and Fare Options

Both United Airlines and JetBlue offer economy-class seating options. United Airlines offers a wide range of fare options in economy class, including Basic Economy, Economy, and Economy Plus.

Basic Economy fares are the most affordable option, but they come with certain restrictions, such as limited seat selection and no changes or refunds. Economy and Economy Plus fares provide more flexibility and additional perks, such as preferred seating and free checked baggage.

JetBlue’s economy class seating has various fare options, including Blue, Blue Plus, and Blue Extra. Blue fares are the most basic option, while Blue Plus and Blue Extra fares offer additional benefits such as free checked baggage, extra legroom, and the ability to change or cancel your flight for a fee.

Whether you prioritize cost savings or added flexibility, both airlines offer fare options to cater to different traveler preferences.

Baggage Policies and Restrictions

My least favorite part about air travel (next to getting stuck in the middle seat!) is the baggage fees and policies. I don't want to worry about bringing something in case it might make my bag too heavy.

Baggage policies change pretty often, so I always check before a flight and sometimes before booking. It’s also important to note that the dimensions and weight restrictions may vary. If you want to check out each airline's policies, you can check out United Airlines here, and JetBlue over here.

Here’s everything broken down for United vs. Jetblue:

Additional Baggage Policies

In addition to carry-on bags and personal items, both United Airlines and JetBlue have specific baggage policies. These policies may include restrictions on oversized or overweight bags, fees for checked baggage, and limits on the number of checked bags allowed.

It's crucial to review these policies in advance to avoid any surprises at the airport. Checking the luggage guidelines will ensure that you pack accordingly and avoid any unnecessary fees or complications during your journey.

Travel Restrictions

It's also essential to be aware of any travel restrictions that may affect your baggage. This can include restrictions on certain items, such as liquids, sharp objects, or hazardous materials. Both United Airlines and JetBlue follow the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines. You can check out the TSA Travel Checklist here.

By understanding the baggage policies and travel restrictions of United Airlines and JetBlue, you can pack efficiently and avoid any inconveniences or additional expenses during your trip.

Customer Service and Satisfaction

When it comes to customer service and satisfaction, both United Airlines and JetBlue have a top spot because they prioritize creating a positive and enjoyable flying experience for their passengers.

They understand that exceptional customer service plays a significant role in creating customer loyalty and attracting new travelers.

Here’s how each airline excels in this area:

Loyalty Programs and Frequent Flyer Benefits

Both United Airlines and JetBlue offer comprehensive loyalty programs that reward frequent flyers with a range of benefits and perks. These programs are designed to enhance customer satisfaction and incentivize continued loyalty to the respective airlines.

united vs jetblue chart comparing loyalty programs

These loyalty programs allow passengers to enjoy exclusive benefits such as lounge access, priority boarding, and complimentary upgrades which enhance their overall travel experience. Whether you frequently travel for business or leisure, United Airlines and JetBlue's frequent flyer programs are designed to add value and reward your loyalty.

Overall, both United Airlines and JetBlue excel in customer service and satisfaction, making them top choices for travelers seeking a pleasant flying experience.

Value for Money and Pricing

With so much competition in air travel, most airlines have to stay somewhat comparable, unless you compare a budget company to premium airlines. I would consider United Airlines and JetBlue comparable in quality and service, and therefore direct competitors.

Here’s a breakdown of their fare prices, the affordability, and benefits offered, as well as any financial products or loyalty program perks that enhance the value.

Comparison of Fare Prices

When it comes to fare prices, both United Airlines and JetBlue offer competitive options. United Airlines provides average fare prices, while JetBlue offers a range of competitive fares that cater to different budgets.

Whether you're looking for economy class deals or premium cabin experiences, both airlines present various fare options to choose from.

Affordability and Benefits

Considering the affordability and benefits, JetBlue tends to offer better value for money. With its "Best Bang" fare category, JetBlue aims to provide the best combination of price and benefits. This includes features such as free snacks, inflight entertainment, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

JetBlue's 'Best Bang' fare category is designed to give passengers the most value for their money. It's a great option for travelers who want to enjoy additional perks without breaking the bank.

United Airlines also offers value for money with its range of fare options, including basic economy fares. While these fares may have certain restrictions, they provide a more affordable choice for budget-conscious travelers.

Financial Products and Loyalty Program Perks

Both United Airlines and JetBlue have financial products and loyalty programs that enhance the overall value for money.

  • United Airlines offers the United MileagePlus program, allowing passengers to earn and redeem miles for flights and other benefits.
  • JetBlue has the JetBlue Plus Card, which provides cardholders with exclusive perks such as bonus points, free checked bags, and a yearly credit.

These financial products and loyalty program perks offer customers additional value and savings, making their travel experiences even more rewarding.

Overall, both United Airlines and JetBlue provide reasonable fare prices and value for money. JetBlue, with its "Best Bang" fare category and loyalty program perks, may be the better option for travelers seeking the best value and benefits.

However, United Airlines' affordability and financial products also make it a viable choice for those looking for cheaper deals or who prefer the United MileagePlus program.

Top Features and Standout Offerings

Let's take a closer look at some of the top features and standout offerings from United Airlines and JetBlue. These unique offerings set them apart from their competitors and provide enhanced experiences for travelers.

Most Legroom

When it comes to legroom, both United Airlines and JetBlue understand the importance of comfort during flights. However, JetBlue takes the lead in this department. With an impressive average legroom of 34 inches in economy class, JetBlue offers more space to stretch your legs and relax during your journey, making it the perfect choice for taller individuals and those seeking extra comfort.

JetBlue's Blue Basic Fare Option

If you're looking for a budget-friendly option without compromising essential amenities, JetBlue's Blue Basic fare option is worth considering. With this fare, you can enjoy many of the same benefits as the traditional economy class but at a more affordable price.

While it may come with some additional restrictions, such as limited seat selection and no changes or cancellations, it provides a cost-effective solution for those who prioritize budget-conscious travel.

JetBlue Mint

For those seeking a premium flight experience, JetBlue Mint is the answer. This premium cabin class offers a luxurious and comfortable journey with lie-flat seats, curated dining options, and personalized service. Whether traveling for business or simply wanting to indulge in a higher level of comfort, JetBlue Mint delivers an exceptional experience that rivals other premium offerings in the industry.

united vs jetblue chart comparing legroom and fares and rewards programs


After comparing United Airlines and JetBlue across various aspects, I can say that both airlines have their unique strengths and differences.

When it comes to domestic travel, JetBlue emerges as a top choice for me, simply because it just feels like a more plush experience for a lower cost. With its extensive network and a range of destinations, I like all of the options afforded. Also, JetBlue's commitment to customer service is evident through its high customer satisfaction ratings and excellent customer service standards.

On the other hand, United Airlines stands out with its comprehensive baggage policy, allowing passengers to carry their essentials comfortably. While United Airlines may not have as many destinations as JetBlue, its global reach and extensive international route network make it an attractive option for those seeking international travel.

In conclusion, if you prioritize a vast range of domestic destinations and exceptional customer service, JetBlue is the best airline for you. However, if you value a robust baggage policy and global connectivity, United Airlines is the ideal choice. Consider your travel preferences and requirements to make an informed decision and enjoy a seamless journey.

FAQ- Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main factors to consider when comparing United Airlines and JetBlue?

When comparing United Airlines and JetBlue, it's important to consider factors such as airline amenities, customer reviews, booking experience, baggage policies, customer service, route network, pricing, and standout offerings.

Are United Airlines and JetBlue both major airlines?

Yes, both United Airlines and JetBlue are considered major airlines in the United States.

What amenities and in-flight services do United Airlines and JetBlue offer?

United Airlines and JetBlue offer various amenities and in-flight services, including attentive flight attendants, lie-flat seats (on select flights), and a selection of alcoholic beverages. They also provide other services aimed at enhancing the overall travel experience.

How does the booking experience and fare options differ between United Airlines and JetBlue?

United Airlines and JetBlue provide different fare options, including economy class and basic economy. The booking experience can vary, but both airlines offer online booking for convenience.

What are the baggage policies and restrictions for United Airlines and JetBlue?Action Headline

United Airlines and JetBlue have specific policies regarding carry-on bags and personal items.They are pretty comparable but can change often so review their website before booking to make sure.

How do United Airlines and JetBlue compare in terms of customer service and satisfaction?

Both United Airlines and JetBlue strive to provide excellent customer service. Factors such as customer satisfaction ratings and loyalty programs can be considered when evaluating their overall service levels. Both companies have very good consumer reviews.

What are the domestic and international route offerings for United Airlines and JetBlue?

United Airlines and JetBlue have extensive route networks covering domestic and international destinations. JetBlue has a focus on Latin America, while United Airlines offers a broader range of international destinations.

How do United Airlines and JetBlue fare in terms of value for money and pricing?

In my experience, they are pretty comparable but it depends on the route and time of year- if its a popular/common route and busy season, you are more likely to pay a lower price.

What are the standout features and offerings of United Airlines and JetBlue?

United Airlines and JetBlue offer various standout features, such as the availability of extra legroom, JetBlue's Blue Basic fare option, the JetBlue Plus Card, and JetBlue Mint, their premium cabin experience.

Which airline should I choose between United Airlines and JetBlue?

Choosing between United Airlines and JetBlue ultimately depends on your specific travel needs and preferences. Factors such as domestic travel requirements, differences between the airlines, JetBlue's destinations, United Airlines' baggage policy, and JetBlue's customer service can help inform your decision.

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Beachy Brunette

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