Testing JetBlue Vacations' New Perks in Aruba

I went to Aruba with JetBlue Vacations to test out their new perks

Photo of JetBlue Vacations airplane in the sky over clouds

Courtesy of JetBlue

Vacation packages are nothing new—and now, with more companies slinging their own versions of these fly-and-flop deals, the options are more overwhelming than ever. But one unlikely player in the package vacay game has just revamped its options, making the ease of booking one of these deals even more appealing.

JetBlue, the popular low-cost carrier, has just added a little more VIP treatment to customers who book its vacation packages. I tested out these new perks on a recent trip to Aruba to determine what customers can expect when they book through JetBlue Vacations. 

The Booking Process

The perks start before the trip: JetBlue Vacations offers immediate price matching and price matching up to 48 hours after booking. Customers also won’t be charged any change or cancellation fees on all flights and select hotels —a big bonus given the continued tumultuousness of the travel industry. While this does limit you to JetBlue flights, it does allow access to some of the airline's more flexible payment options, including pooling points and spreading payments over time.

Additionally, many of the hotels participating in the package offer special perks exclusive to JetBlue Vacations. These perks vary by location, but the "Very Important Perk" offered at my hotel, the Aruba Marriott Stellaris, was a $125 resort credit—handy for saving money on a meal or a few drinks by the pool. Other offers include guaranteed late checkout, complimentary spa services, and even room upgrades. 

In Transit

Sometimes the worst part of traveling is the actual travel part. Getting from one place to another can be stressful, and this is perhaps where I found JetBlue's package the most helpful.

With many airlines now choosing to charge for carry-on bags (including JetBlue), JetBlue's eliminated another hassle for those who book its packages. If you book your flight and hotel through the airline's portal, your carry-on bag is free, and you're also guaranteed overhead bin space for your bag. JetBlue Vacations customers are also given Group B for early boarding and one free alcoholic beverage during the flight, helping to start your vacation just a little earlier. 

A JetBlue Concierge in a bright blue shirt standing on a beach

Courtesy of JetBlue

On the Ground Experience

These vacation packages take an extra step with the "Insider Experience." Currently available in four destinations—Aruba, Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic—the Insider Experience includes a personal concierge service that can help take care of just about anything during your stay from dinner reservations to tackling travel snafus.

The service includes a landside greeting at your destination, where a cheery concierge in a bright blue JetBlue shirt will welcome you. Guests are greeted with bottles of water and a packet with coupons for activities, all exclusive deals to JetBlue. The service also includes a free shuttle service to and from the airport at your destination. 

Your concierge is at your disposal 24/7 during your trip, which was surprisingly valuable. When I arrived at the hotel, there was a minor mix-up with my room, and the concierge not only stayed with me until it was sorted but took over talking to the hotel for me. The concierge was also vital in helping us get around the island, even scheduling car services for us on short notice. When someone in my group lost her glasses while kayaking, our concierge sent our driver to the hotel to pick up an extra pair she had packed.

JetBlue's service commitment may prove especially useful to cruise passengers—the airline's plane-to-port commitment means that if your inbound flight is delayed for any reason, the airline guarantees it will get you to the port on time, even if it means sending you on a different carrier. (In truly worst case scenario situations where making it to the initial port is impossible, customers have three options: taking an identical cruise on different dates, or traveling on the exact dates on an entirely new itinerary, booked by JetBlue.)

While no one plans on a delayed flight or lost glasses, hiccups while traveling are to be expected. But having the JetBlue promise of going above and beyond lets your vacation be that much more relaxing.