JetBlue & American Airlines announce earning reciprocity


Back when American Airlines and JetBlue announced their interline agreement for passengers transiting New York City’s JFK and Boston’s Logan airports there was also a quiet murmur about frequent flyer point reciprocity as part of the deal. No details were available then but it was clear that the AA/JetBlue deal would be the first for JetBlue’s TrueBlue program where reciprocity existed with another airline. The two carriers have announced some of the details of their partnership today and it looks like good news for customers on either carrier.

IMGP7103 The most significant point in the partnership is that earning is possible even if the flight in question is not part of an interline ticket. This means that folks collecting points in the AAdvantage program but who choose to fly JetBlue on one of the covered routes (see below) can credit the points from those flight to AAdvantage without needing the onward international travel on AA. Similarly, passengers flying international routes on American Airlines out of JFK or Boston can credit those flights to TrueBlue even if there is no JetBlue segment on the itinerary.

All revenue fare classes on JetBlue flights will credit at 100% of miles flown. Particularly for the cheaper JetBlue flights this has tremendous potential. I recently booked a seat on the DCA-BOS route as part of a $7 route inaugural sale. If I credit to JetBlue’s TrueBlue program I get 42 points. Crediting to AA should realize about 400 miles on my AAdvantage account, about 10x the value using the conservative penny/point method of valuing the points. Of course, this cuts both ways, with higher JetBlue fares benefitting a TrueBlue account more than an AAdvantage account in many cases. And it is still only valid on the named routes that the two carriers have specified.

Boarding at BurbankFor folks collecting TrueBlue points for international flights on American, the earning rates will be fixed based on distance traveled, not variable based on fare paid. The earning will be 1 TrueBlue point for each 2.5 miles flown. A flight from JFK to London’s Heathrow will earn about 1,380 points, for example. There will also be bonus points added for travel in business class (25%) or first class (50%) on AA metal. More details about the TrueBlue earnings will be released through their marketing channels on Thursday, November 18th.

It is hard to say whether the JetBlue earning rates on AA metal are compelling without a bit more digging through the numbers. It certainly is better for a customer with low flight volumes to credit to JetBlue than to American for the sake of having the potential to redeem more often or more easily given the lower starting point for awards and the lack of blackout dates or inventory restrictions in the TrueBlue program. For folks who fly enough to collect points in multiple programs with some volume the issue is not as clear.

I’ve been told by the folks at JetBlue that this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of points accrual with interline partners. More are expected to come online in the months ahead.

The routes covered on the AAdvantage earning side are:

Boston to:

  • Baltimore (BWI)
  • Buffalo, N.Y. (BUF)
  • Charlotte, N.C. (CLT)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Fort Myers, Fla. (RSW)
  • Jacksonville, Fla. (JAX)
  • New Orleans (MSY)
  • Newark, N.J. (EWR)
  • Orlando, Fla. (MCO)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Pittsburgh (PIT)
  • Washington – Dulles (IAD)
  • West Palm Beach, Fla. (PBI)
  • Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (RDU)
  • Richmond, Va. (RIC)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington – Reagan (DCA)

JFK to:

  • Burlington, Vt. (BTV)
  • Buffalo, N.Y. (BUF)
  • Denver (DEN)
  • Fort Myers, Fla. (RSW)
  • Houston – Hobby (HOU)
  • Jacksonville, Fla. (JAX)
  • New Orleans (MSY)
  • Nantucket, Mass. (ACK)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Portland, Maine (PWM)
  • Portland, Ore. (PDX)
  • Richmond, Va. (RIC)
  • Rochester, N.Y. (ROC)
  • Salt Lake City (SLC)
  • Sarasota, Fla. (SRQ)
  • Syracuse, N.Y. (SYR)
  • Washington – Dulles (IAD)
  • West Palm Beach, Fla. (PBI)

The routes covered on the TrueBlue earning side are:

BOS to:

  • UK – Heathrow (LHR
  • Paris, France (CDG)

JFK to:

  • Barcelona, Spain (BCN)
  • Brussels, Belgium (BRU)
  • Budapest, Hungary (BUD)
  • Buenos Aires – Argentina (EZE)
  • London, UK – Heathrow (LHR)
  • Madrid, Spain (MAD)
  • Manchester, UK (MAN)
  • Milan, Italy (MXP)
  • Paris, France (CDG)
  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (GIG)
  • Rome, Italy (FCO)
  • Sao Paulo – Brazil (GRU)
  • Tokyo, Japan – Haneda (HND)
  • Tokyo, Japan – Narita (NRT)
  • Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and .

7 Comments

  1. Do you think they are eventually and soon going to offer reciprocity on all routes, like many (most?) other such partnerships? It’s kind of annoying to have to check a (changing?) list of routes to determine if a flight qualifies. I’d consider JetBlue as an alternative to UA out of SFO, but it looks like it’s only going to get me AA miles on the BOS route.

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