American Airlines and JetBlue have revealed a deeper partnership covering frequent flier programs. All American Airlines AAdvantage members and JetBlue TrueBlue members can earn miles or points traveling on either carrier. This furthers the two airlines’ goal of more seamless travel and benefits through the Northeast Alliance.
Elite reciprocal earning benefits
Announced today, this extends the previous benefit where AAdvantage members could earn miles on codeshare flights with JetBlue to all of JetBlue’s flights in the Americas.
Allison Taylor, American’s Chief Customer Officer, stated the following:
“One of the best things about our Northeast Alliance is the additional benefits it brings to customers. This includes more ways to earn miles and more choice in how they use them, creating a truly valuable loyalty program. Our partnership with JetBlue offers travelers more options to get to more places with ease, thanks to better schedules and on a more premium product.”
Don Uselmann, Vice President Loyalty & Personalization at JetBlue, added to Ms. Taylor’s statement:
“Just in time for summer travel, we’re giving TrueBlue members more program value and versatility by offering the ability to earn TrueBlue points on thousands of flights operated by our Northeast Alliance partner, American Airlines. As JetBlue and American add more routes and new destinations to and from the Northeast, we’re able to enhance the power of our Northeast Alliance so that our loyal customers can get rewarded more often.”
Good news for American and JetBlue travelers
Not only does the expansion include earning redeemable miles, but it also includes elite qualifying currency. Depending on which program you are a member of, the requirements for earning status and the benefits at each tier vary.
For American Airlines customers based in cities like Boston, New York, or other stations like Hartford or Richmond, this means more options for domestic travel and earning miles. For example, JetBlue flies from Hartford to Los Angeles nonstop. American Airlines does not. So, an elite member based in Hartford can now choose the nonstop option instead of connecting in a city like Charlotte.
The growing strength of the AAdvantage program
Members of the AAdvantage program can now earn miles on three US airlines: American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and JetBlue. This is a huge deal for members of the program since it means more options to choose from. If American does not have the most convenient schedule for earning elite qualifying currency or mileage, passengers can then turn to Alaska or JetBlue.
AAdvantage already had a strong list of partners around the world. Augmenting this to the US, then American arguably has the strongest domestic loyalty program. Moreover, frequent flier programs have proven to be especially valuable in retaining customers and getting them to fly with an airline more. American Airlines makes a lot of money through its loyalty program.
The Northeast Alliance between American Airlines and JetBlue has led to the introduction of 57 new routes from the northeast and extends to 100 codeshare flights. In addition, the two airlines are working closely on offering a complementary schedule while moving to offer more premium products on their routes.
While the Northeast Alliance has ruffled feathers in the industry, it is evident that members of either airline’s loyalty program are set to benefit. The ability to now fly JetBlue out of convenience to earn American miles and burn them on a long-haul international trip to, say, Bangkok in the future is a compelling enticement for new members to join, and that is exactly how American Airlines wants to market its loyalty program.
Are you glad to see American and JetBlue introduce this benefit? Let us know in the comments!