Earn triple TrueBlue points on JetBlue’s Cuba flights


Planning a trip to Cuba before March 18, 2017? Flying on JetBlue can earn you triple TrueBlue points for that trip. The company announced the new promotion this morning and registration is required before purchasing tickets.

Bonus offers are always nice for passengers but for the airlines such moves typically represent a means to induce more travel on poorly performing routes. And that should not come as much of a surprise with the new Cuba service. American Airlines is already culling some non-Havana frequencies and Delta is pushing its Cuba service through its Vacations package arm, despite the fact that US citizens are not legally eligible to take vacations in Cuba today. JetBlue’s move here is yet another way an airline can try to address weak demand.

It is also worth noting that JetBlue’s typical approach to a new market is to arrive with lower fares and to create a larger market for passengers. That’s very hard in the Cuban market where regulations, while only minimally enforced, still limit the eligible passenger population. And neither cheap fares nor bonus points can solve that part of the problem.

Put another way, the Cuba market has shifted from wholly isolated to massively over-served relative to the number of passengers who are likely to make the trip. That’s bad news for the airlines as they now sit on those Havana slots in anticipation of further liberalization of the market, opening it to free passenger movement between the two countries. That move worked for the legacy carriers at Tokyo‘s Haneda airport where each who held a night slot kept that when the slots moved to the more desirable daytime operations. But it is incredibly unclear how long the airlines will have to wait for that liberalization to happen.

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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. Fares are soooooo low it almost 3x nothing.

    Wonder how much fun it would be to do a same day turn? Methinks there’d be some ‘splaining to do?

    1. If you’re going anyways then no sense leaving the points on the table.

      I’m sure a same-day turn to Havana could ork given multiple daily flights. I would not try to do a quick turn on the same plane in and out unless you’re an employee and know that you can get away without clearing immigration. I’ve had friends burned by that in the past.

      1. as a lark I might do it. Need to re-position from MCO to FLL and instead of Amtrak or RedCoach…? Why NOT fly via HAV?

        But the base fare is something crazy like $42… Not a good sign when the taxes/fees are almost 2x the base fare.

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