My first 2014 elite target hit: TrueBlue Mosaic


To be fair, I didn’t really intend to have TrueBlue Mosaic status from JetBlue this year. There’s no good reason I should given that I won’t spend $5,000 on flights with them unless they add a couple routes which meet my work patterns (and I actually start traveling more for work). But earlier this year they announced an open challenge to everyone and also a status match. So I took it, just in case. Turns out that the status match was a very, very smart move.

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My favorite elite benefit is not upgrades but fee waivers. I’ve said that for years about Continental and then United waiving award change fees for top elites and I was very impressed when JetBlue added change fee waiver for all fares to its Mosaic benefits roster (Alaska Airlines does it as well for their top elites). And even before I decided to make a run for the Mosaic challenge the fee waivers on paid tickets came in handy as I made several changes to revenue bookings in the past three months to accommodate work schedule changes, get on the inaugural Mint flight or otherwise make things easier for me. I saved hundreds of dollars thanks to the benefit. I also was able to be more flexible in my travel planning. Yes, it is money sunk “in the system” so I have to spend it with JetBlue but it is also money that I will likely spend over the course of a year anyways. This way I have the initial layout earlier (yes, they benefit from that, but not as much as from my change fees would have been) and then just work off the balance. So long as I’m not ever putting too much in to the pool I like that a lot.

And the free changes ultimately made hitting the Mosaic challenge a lot easier.

The challenge was $1,250 in base fare spending over 90 days. My window was a little shorter because of other planned travel at the end of the challenge period but overall it wasn’t too hard to hit. I had the Mint ticket at $599, a work trip to Phoenix around $300 and a work trip to Chicago around $200. That’s just over $1,000 in base fares right there. But I also didn’t have any other trips booked nor expected. So I booked a flight just to make the numbers. Not a huge out of pocket expense and the 15,000 bonus points are worth about $200 back anyways. But then I had to cancel it. No big deal as the changes are free. I did that a few times. Eventually it came to pass that I had an event to attend in San Francisco and the fares across all the airlines which met my schedule were about the same. It was, sadly, way more than I wanted to pay for a transcon but such is life some days. And so, at the end of May I headed to JFK and boarded a JetBlue flight to SFO. As soon as the flight posted I got the email congratulating me and the 15,000 bonus points showed up in my account.

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I love it when a plan comes together. Especially a plan I didn’t really make. I actually said a few times that I didn’t plan to get there, but with the $599 from Mint and the two work trip paid for the cost out of pocket to top off and get free changes all next year was really quite reasonable. Especially when it ended up being travel I was going to do anyways.

As for my other goals this year, United Platinum Premier status is still on the radar for the same reasons – I like fee-free award changes. A lot. I’ve used that benefit at least 5 times on my current trip alone. I need another ~20k in PQMs for that which shouldn’t be too hard. And my AAdvantage Gold is likely to lapse, though I do have trips to Vienna and St. Maartin booked. Who knows??

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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 .

3 Comments

  1. Would love it if UA incorporated some fee waiver on rev tix into either top tier status or their club card. Would make my life so much easier and would shift me quickly back from WN on certain routes.

    1. Sure, but I’m not holding my breath. Not the sort of thing any of the legacies seem to be in to lately. Then again, they also weren’t in to revenue-based rewards programs and that’s shifting, too. Maybe some day….

  2. So I did the Mosaic Challenge starting in November 2013 and qualified in February 2014. Love the status but three things:

    1) I never received my 15,000 bonus points. Should I have? I asked one rep and I think they gave me some line about it not applying to Mosaic Challenge.

    2) did you have mosaic benefits during the challenge period before you earned Mosaic status? Super frustrating.

    3) Even though I had it in an email from a JetBlue rep that the status would be for all of 2014 and 2015 if I qualified after January 1, 2014 they tried to F me over by only giving me status for 2014 and refusing to give me status for 2015 until I had to raise the possibility of filing suit and going to the media. Their initial offer was a $300 voucher for me to go away and not ask for 2015 status. Insulting. They also suggested I do another challenge in 2014 so I could qualify for 2015 Mosaic status.

    Thankfully I prevailed and now have status through end of 2015 (as promised and indicated in the terms) but definitely left a bad taste in my mouth and made me re evaluate Jetblue as my favorite airline.

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