Trying to plan your next family trip in advance?

Since JetBlue is such a kid-friendly airline, it’s important to know exactly when the airline extends its schedule so you can lock in those dates as soon as possible.

For those who are looking to book flights during peak times, such as school vacation weeks, long weekends and summer break, booking flights on the day the schedule is released can be invaluable. This can save you money (or points) and make that family vacation possible.

Watch JetBlue Vacations for a Heads Up

Unlike other airlines, JetBlue does not release its schedule 330 days in advance. Instead, it extends its schedule in batches a few months at a time. While it does not release its schedule extension date far in advance — like Southwest does — you typically can still get two days’ notice to plan for your next vacation.

JetBlue always releases its schedule on Sundays at noon EST. Usually on the Friday beforehand, the airline will open up its schedule to those booking a JetBlue Vacations package. Even if you are not interested in booking a flight and hotel package, it is good to keep an eye on that particular announcement as it will give you a heads-up the schedule will be released in just a few days. It will also allow you to search route availability ahead of time and figure out your ideal flight date and time.

There Are No Blackout Dates for Redemptions

When the schedule is actually loaded into the system on that Sunday, you’ll have a plan for the flights you want to book.

Sample of the email giving you a heads up that the JetBlue schedule extension is coming soon.
Sample of the email giving you a heads up that the JetBlue schedule extension is coming soon.

When JetBlue opened its reservation schedule for this upcoming December vacation, I was able to book round-trip flights from Boston to Aruba on points. While many other airlines black out these dates (and many other peak dates) for redemptions, JetBlue allows you to use its points 365 days a year.

Since my husband has JetBlue Mosaic status, I’ve been checking the flights quite often to see if our flights have decreased in price. Unfortunately, they have done the complete opposite, so booking those flights the day the schedule was released was the right move for my family. With Mosaic status also comes zero-penalty cancellation policy and the flexibility to cancel the flight if I must.

You Can Reprice a Flight

JetBlue also allows all members to cancel a reservation within 24 hours of booking and reprice a flight with a lower fare if the price decreases within five days of booking. JetBlue Mosaic elites have even better perks, but the five-day rule is definitely an anomaly within the airline loyalty industry and a great way to feel better about booking a flight at any given time.

Mosaic Members Can Book With Extra Confidence

One of my favorite perks of having JetBlue Mosaic status is the ability to change, cancel or reprice a flight up until the day of departure — all for no fee. This makes booking a flight the day the schedule is extended an easy decision, especially since booking so far ahead of time can sometimes be nerve-wracking.

If you cancel, change or find a lower price, you’ll either receive a voucher or your points back, depending on how you initially paid for the fare.

If You Paid for the Flight

You will receive a voucher for the difference in the fare price. The voucher will be deposited into your JetBlue TrueBlue travel bank and you have one year from when you receive the voucher to use the credit. One of the best benefits of JetBlue vouchers is that you can use your voucher to book a flight for any passenger, you just need to book through your JetBlue account.

If You Used Points for the Flight

The difference in points will go back into the account from which those points were deducted. If you are canceling your flight, the taxes and fees paid will be deposited into your JetBlue TrueBlue travel bank. Keep this in mind when booking international flights, as this can sometimes be between $50 to $100 per flight, per passenger.

(Photo by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Javier Rodriguez / The Points Guy)

And if you notice your flight drops in price, call the JetBlue Mosaic line and the representative will be able to reprice the flight for you.

While there are many perks of having Mosaic status, the flexible benefits are my favorite and the main reason why I make sure my family earns this status on a yearly basis. While we personally earn status by flying, I appreciate that the airline allows nonfrequent fliers to also earn status with credit card spend.

You can buy JetBlue Mosaic status two different ways:

  1. Flying with JetBlue: Flying 30 segments plus earning 12,000 base points ($4,000 in spending) or earning 15,000 base points ($5,000 in spending) in a calendar year
  2. Credit Card Spend: Spending $50,000 on the JetBlue Credit Card in a calendar year

Bottom Line

Being in the know of when JetBlue is going to extend its schedule is important. Flying during peak times can definitely add up, especially for a family, and being able to get the best flight price — regardless if it is a paid fare or with points — can be significant.

Since JetBlue just released a schedule extension last month, you can use the next month or two to build up your JetBlue point balance. There are three JetBlue Credit Cards with the JetBlue Plus Card offering 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee. You can also pool your points with up to seven members, which makes the process more seamless when using points for an entire family.

Or, if you prefer to earn points with a more flexible program, JetBlue is a transfer partner with Chase Ultimate Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio), American Express Membership Rewards (1.25:1 transfer ratio), Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 transfer ratio) and Capital One (2:1.5 transfer ratio). 

Fortunately, all points transfer immediately, so you do not have to proactively transfer your points ahead of making your reservation. You can wait and see how much the tickets actually cost in points and then go ahead and transfer your points.

This story was originally published on The Points Guy. Sign up for the TPG daily newsletter and wake up to unbeatable flight deals, travel industry news, and credit card bonuses that let you travel first-class to some of the world’s most incredible destinations at a fraction of the price.