It has been a while now since Lufthansa bought a sizable minority stake in jetBlue. At the time most of the talk was about investing in a viable carrier on the cheap and very little about the advantages that passengers would realize from the pairing. And apparently that made sense since there wasn’t much that passengers could benefit from. Actually there was nothing. No cross-marketing efforts to speak of, no frequent flier reciprocity and no interlining or code-sharing to speak of.
Fortunately that last one is finally changing. The two carriers have filed paperwork with the DOT to add code-sharing on flights operated by each other. Assuming the filling is approved (and there is no reason it should not be) the initial phase will have Lufthansa placing its code on flights between New Yorks JFK airport and twelve jetBlue destinations:
- Austin, Texas
- Buffalo, N.Y.
- Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
- Fort Myers, Fla.
- New Orleans
- Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
- Rochester, N.Y.
- San Juan, Puerto Rico
- Syracuse, N.Y.
- Tampa, Fla.
- West Palm Beach, Fla.
Not a ton of service there, but it is a good start. No word yet from Lufthansa on what earnings or redemption options there will be with the Miles + More program, but I’d imagine that will be announced soon enough.
Of course this doesn’t actually do too much for jetBlue customers. They still have no real codesharing options with their partners and no ability to even book a flight through jetBlue that involves other carriers. This will change soon enough when the new Sabre reservations system gets implemented in Q1 2010, but it cannot come quickly enough.
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What would be nice (IMO… after roughly 3 seconds of thinking) is if one would get M&M credit for Jetblue flights. I don't think I'd use it a lot, but I'd rather have *A miles than Jetblue points.
I agree that earning M+M points would be preferable to TrueBlue points, even with the TB2 program coming out later this month. And I think that such a development is inevitable, but it is going to require waiting until after the Sabre implementation later this year/early next year. There is a lot riding on that, I think.
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