A few first in the JetBlue/Hawaiian partnership

The partnership with Hawaiian Airlines marks a number of firsts for JetBlue. While all the details are still not yet available there is enough information in the press release about the partnership to identify these developments, all of which seem to be quite positive.

For starters, Hawaiian will be, subject to government approval, adding their code to some JetBlue flights. None of the previously established interline agreements have included such a marketing offer. This is not particularly significant from an operational perspective but for pricing reasons this should allow fares to be sold that are not necessarily additive via the connecting city. That’s a big step for JetBlue and a great benefit for the customers in terms of pricing.

The other major first is that the deal will permit not only accrual of points in both programs – on all flights, unlike the limited partnership with American Airlines – but it will also permit redemption on all flights:

Hawaiian and JetBlue have reached a preliminary agreement to allow members of each carrier’s frequent flyer program to earn and redeem loyalty points or miles for travel on either carrier. Under this agreement JetBlue’s TrueBlue members will soon be able to accrue points on any Hawaiian-operated flight, while HawaiianMiles members will be able to earn miles on any JetBlue-operated flights. Similarly, frequent fliers will be able to redeem their points or miles for travel on either carrier’s network, bringing new, much-requested destinations to each program’s loyal members.

The details on earning and redemption rates are scarce at this point. And the two programs are quite different, with Hawaiian operating a more traditional model (points earnt by distance flown; redemption calculated by zones) while both earning and redemption rates in the JetBlue TrueBlue program are more tightly tied to the fare on the flight. Obviously there will need to be some reconciliation between these two schemes along the way.

The arrangement also marks the first time that a JetBlue partner will operate from the JetBlue terminal at JFK airport. There is at least one gate in T5 which can support the Airbus A330 aircraft that Hawaiian will be flying in to New York City, though it remains to be seen what the impact is on the waiting areas with a 294-passenger aircraft using the space; the JetBlue A320s max out at 150 passengers.

Still a number of questions to be answered, but lots of positive developments so far.

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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, and LinkedIn.


  1. This is nice if you spend a lot of money on Amazon.com. Only Hawaiian offers miles (1:1) for a click-thru to Amazon and now those miles can be used more readily within the plain old 48.

    1. Agreed that it is nice, Keith, at least in theory. But until we see what the actual rates are and how the two companies reconcile their very different earning/redemption structures it is hard to know for certain.

      I do know that JetBlue has a fare class designated already for “free ticket” vouchers so they could probably just use that for HA miles redemptions as well. Or something similar. Or they might do something completely different. We just have to wait and see.

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