Back in June when I got to tour the JFK T5 facility during the construction phase I was fortunate enough to have the ear of some of the marketing and loyalty program folks from the airline. One of the topics of conversation that came up was the limitations on the program, particularly their lack of partners for redemption. Sure, it is good enough if you want to fly in coach to one of their destinations, but if your vision is a bit broader the options peter out pretty quickly. At that time there was a brief mention of a rework that was in progress, but very little else was mentioned.
Fast forward to yesterday morning. I met probably 20 different JetBlue employees throughout the day, from gate agents to flight attendants to back office staff to the CEO. And given the opportunity to do so, I chose to talk with as many of them as I could about the airline, the terminal, the TrueBlue program or just about anything else that seemed topical at the time.
I walked away with one rather interesting nugget of information from a “high ranking JetBlue official” I spoke with. Apparently the Lufthansa partnership is going to bear fruit in terms of trans-Atlantic reward opportunities (earning and burning), and it is coming relatively quickly. I was originally given a 2009 timeframe, and when I pressed a bit more it was narrowed to mid-2009 for this to come to fruition.
I have no idea how the details are going to play out, what the rates will be for earning or redeeming or really anything else. But I have a lot of faith in the source and their ability to follow through on this sort of thing. This is a very exciting development for the TrueBlue program and there is a lot of potential for good things to come from this. I hope it works out well.
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