JetBlue adds incremental perks like early boarding and booze to keep travelers reaching for status

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A JetBlue Airways plane is seen at Cancun International Airport. On Wednesday, March 23, 2022 at Cancun International Airport, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Artur Vidak | NurPhoto | Getty Images

jetblue airways has unveiled new perks for less frequent travelers striving for elite status, the latest carrier to rethink its loyalty program in response to changing travel habits.

The new system institutes more incremental steps to earn perks, including early boarding (except for basic economy ticket holders), priority security checking, an alcoholic beverage on board, or bonus frequent flyer points, each time a customer 10 earns the so-called. “Tiles”.

A customer earns one of those tiles for every $100 they spend on JetBlue and travel-booking platformor on flights operated by its partner in the Northeast US, American Airlines, Customers can also earn Tile by spending $1,000 on a JetBlue credit card.

The changes are part of JetBlue’s larger overhaul of its TrueBlue program, which the carrier announced Wednesday.

Other changes include:

  • JetBlue breaks down its unique Mosaic position into four tiers, each with tailored benefits. Travelers will need 50 Tiles to earn Level 1 of that program, and it comes with benefits like access to seats with extra legroom at check-in and same-day flight changes.
  • At the top level, after earning 250 tiles, passengers can upgrade to the Mint business-class cabin, when available. They can also make four helicopter transfers on the Blade between Manhattan and John F. Kennedy International Airport or Newark Liberty International Airport.
  • JetBlue is also offering perks when a customer levels up to elite status, such as a pet-fee waiver or a $99 credit card statement credit.

The new plan comes as airlines adjust their lucrative frequent flyer programs to keep customers more tied to spending, which also includes rewards credit cards. there have been many carriers raising the bar to reach the position. They are also meeting changing travel habits, such as the increasing dominance of leisure traveler As traditional corporate travel has not reached pre-pandemic levels.

American Airlines late last year, for example, raised spending limit required To earn elite status for customers. It also introduced interim benefits for frequent flyer program members who accrue loyalty points but not enough for elite status, such as perks such as early boarding and coupons for “preferred seat seats”, which are placed at the front of the aircraft. Close to but no extra leg room in car bus etc.

And Delta Airlines said in January that it would start free wi-fi offered on its planes for passengers enrolled in its SkyMiles frequent flyer program.

“We’re at a point where the dollar is pretty much omnipotent, if you want to earn position,” said Kyle Potter, executive editor of Reuters. thrifty traveler, a travel and flight deals website. “There’s not much incentive to stay loyal to that airline… unless you’re a classic road warrior.

“JetBlue and other airlines are smart to offer these mid-points, to put something within reach, a reason to fly that airline even if it doesn’t seem possible to reach that big step of the situation,” he said.

JetBlue is trying to acquire budget carrier Spirit Airlines, but the Justice Department sued to stop the deal earlier this year. If JetBlue prevails, then carrier plans To do away with Spirit’s ultra-low-cost model and retool its planes in JetBlue’s style.