Awesome: American & JetBlue Introduce Reciprocal Mileage Earning

Awesome: American & JetBlue Introduce Reciprocal Mileage Earning

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In early 2021, American Airlines and JetBlue Airways launched a strategic alliance in the Northeast. Up until this point, reciprocal mileage earning was only available on codeshare flights, while it has now been rolled out (nearly) systemwide. This is really exciting, and I’m also generally delighted by the execution of this. Let’s go over the details.

Earn American AAdvantage miles on JetBlue

Effective immediately it’s possible to earn American AAdvantage elite qualifying and redeemable miles for travel on JetBlue, regardless of which airline you book through.

When it comes to earning redeemable miles, JetBlue is the first American AAdvantage partner where you’ll earn miles based on how much you spend rather than as a percentage of the distance that you fly. As a matter of fact, mileage earning will mirror what you’d get on American, down to the elite bonuses:

  • AAdvantage members earn 5x miles per dollar spent
  • AAdvantage Gold members earn 7x miles per dollar spent (40% bonus)
  • AAdvantage Platinum members earn 8x miles per dollar spent (60% bonus)
  • AAdvantage Platinum Pro members earn 9x miles per dollar spent (80% bonus)
  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum members earn 11x miles per dollar spent (120% bonus)

When it comes to elite qualification, AAdvantage members will earn:

  • Elite qualifying miles (EQMs) based on the distance flown — paid business class (Mint) tickets earn 200-300% EQMs, economy fares earn 100% EQMs, and basic economy fares earn 0% EQMs
  • Elite qualifying dollars (EQDs) based on the ticket cost, just as on American

Note that in all cases where the mileage earning rates are based on spending, the base fare and fuel surcharges do qualify, while the government imposed taxes and fees don’t qualify.

There is one major exclusion — you can’t earn American AAdvantage miles for travel on JetBlue between the United States and Europe, so JetBlue’s new service between New York and London wouldn’t qualify for mileage earning or elite status qualification.

Sadly JetBlue’s Europe service is excluded from this agreement

Earn JetBlue TrueBlue points on American

Effective immediately it’s possible to earn JetBlue TrueBlue points for travel on American, and those points even qualify towards Mosaic status. Once again, points earning rates pretty closely reflect what you’d earn if flying JetBlue:

  • TrueBlue members earn 3x points per dollar spent (1x points for basic economy), which also count towards Mosaic status
  • Mosaic members earn 3x bonus points per dollar spent
  • TrueBlue members who book through JetBlue’s website or app earn an extra 3x points per dollar spent (1x points for basic economy)

As is always the case, base fare and fuel surcharges qualify as eligible spending, while the government imposed taxes and fees don’t.


Earn JetBlue TrueBlue points on all American flights

My take on this loyalty reciprocity

I’m impressed by the rollout of this loyalty collaboration between American AAdvantage and JetBlue TrueBlue:

  • It’s fantastic to see how widespread the reciprocal mileage earning and elite qualification opportunities are; the only thing that makes me sad is that you can’t earn American AAdvantage miles for travel on JetBlue across the Atlantic, but I suppose that’s also not surprising
  • The airlines are doing a lot to create metal neutrality here, in the sense that you roughly earn miles and qualify towards elite status at the same rate on both airlines
  • The next big challenge will be rolling out reciprocal mileage redemption opportunities, as well as introducing reciprocal elite perks

Personally I’d say this is about the best case scenario when it comes to reciprocal mileage earning and elite status qualification. And I have to say, American AAdvantage is looking pretty appealing for domestic travel with the ability to earn miles at an attractive rate on both Alaska Airlines and JetBlue.

Being able to earn American AAdvantage miles on JetBlue is awesome

Bottom line

American and JetBlue have rolled out reciprocal mileage earning across most of their networks, and the mileage earning rates are excellent. Members will generally earn miles and qualify towards status at the same pace for travel on the other airline as they would on their own airline.

What do you make of the AAdvantage & TrueBlue reciprocal mileage earning arrangement?

Conversations (36)
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  1. Kathryn Dalton

    The jet blue app allows me to choose American but will not let enter my FF AA number. Only a key pad comes up and AA uses letters and numbers. How do I add my AA FF number
    Thanks

  2. Mike McCreesh

    what if you are Mosaic on Jetblue and Executive Platinum on American? do you still get reciprocal miles or just the program of the airline you are flying on that trip?

  3. Jason

    Despite a two hour hold time they added my AA number and did so easily. Cheerfully.

  4. JodyJM

    @jason chat via the AA mobile app. Both Customer Service and Reservatjons can change your ff number for your unflown reservation. I would chose CS as they are still domestic US employees and generally much faster and more accurate in chats. AA is outsourcing CS soon so better hurry.

  5. Tim Dunn

    You really should be careful about what you read on the internet.
    I’ve read that I am the mayor of a city and yet I don’t get paid for it or attend any meetings.
    I’ve also read that I’m banned from Cranky Flier but I participated in the discussion there just today.
    And then you and I could add up all of the hubs where Delta supposedly loses money and yet they...

    You really should be careful about what you read on the internet.
    I’ve read that I am the mayor of a city and yet I don’t get paid for it or attend any meetings.
    I’ve also read that I’m banned from Cranky Flier but I participated in the discussion there just today.
    And then you and I could add up all of the hubs where Delta supposedly loses money and yet they would have to be making a dollar of profit for every two dollars of revenue that comes through ATL in order to subsidize all of their money-losing hubs. If ATL is so profitable for DL, why can’t any other airline figure out how to crack the code and duplicate it? Or maybe all of those internet “facts” about DL’s hubs aren’t true, just like my internet and offline history.
    What isn’t up for debate is that American execs just said on a recorded and transcribed presentation to investors that they have not been profitable for years across the Atlantic and Pacific, confirmable by DOT data, and AA would no longer have need of scores of widebody aircraft. AA will be a smaller international airline whether you like it or not.
    Given that AA has now given two large low-cost competitors access to rich, passenger level data, one on each coast, it is absolutely worth consideration how AA will do in a world which is considerably different than being the third global competitor to DL and UA that Doug Parker promised ten years ago that AA would be.
    We all have biases but when ten people tell you that you are drunk or bleeding, you are probably the one with a bias if you disagree with those people.
    And, one more item. Can you explain how Delta is still calling the A350 its Flagship Aircraft on its website even though AA and DL each agreed to drop AA’s suit barring DL’s use of the term?

  6. Vroom

    Timely post! Could someone advise on this scenario?

    I found a flight on JetBlue's website that was actually on AA metal. Could I claim Alaska miles since the operating plane is AA?

  7. Radio

    Tim,

    Your "revelations" merely state the obvious. It doesn't take a financial genius to figure out that American was losing money on too many of its flights for too long a time. I'm guessing that your "perfect airline" loses money on some flights as well. That's the nature of the airline business. Based on what I've read elsewhere, your "perfect airline" isn't doing so well in Seattle, and was losing money in New York...

    Tim,

    Your "revelations" merely state the obvious. It doesn't take a financial genius to figure out that American was losing money on too many of its flights for too long a time. I'm guessing that your "perfect airline" loses money on some flights as well. That's the nature of the airline business. Based on what I've read elsewhere, your "perfect airline" isn't doing so well in Seattle, and was losing money in New York until recent years. I guess investing in that kind of "strategic flying" is good business - if it's done by your "perfect airline." But if it's done by other airlines, and especially by American Airlines, the "devil" incarnate, it's automatically bad. Why the double standard?

    Companies lose money on aspects of their operations all of the time. That's especially true when they expand or enter new markets. The idea is that those new ventures will become profitable down the road. Sometimes it works. sometimes it doesn't. That's business. And one can certainly argue that American held on to its unprofitable flying too long. Having been in business myself, I know how hard it was to let go of something I worked hard to create. But that's life. More than one "expert" thought your "perfect airline" held on too long in New York. But its patience is now paying off. If I'm not mistaken, your "perfect airline" still loses money on its refinery. Should it dump that? Or is there a greater good? There's no way to know when "strategic" investments of any kind will turn profitable, if they ever will, or even if it's necessary that they do so, if they positively contribute to the overall enterprise. That distinction isn't always as black and white as airline bloggers think it is, or should be.

    Can you prove (not merely assert) that American can't come up with enough flying to justify 150 widebody aircraft? Even if it can't, when did that become a crime? And even more to the point, when did having a heavily domestic network become a crime? Southwest, Allegiant, Spirit, Frontier, et. al. are heavily domestic airlines and are consistently more profitable on a percentage basis than your "perfect airline." In fact, Southwest, an imperfect, mainly domestic carrier, reported a profit for the first quarter. So did Allegiant. But your "perfect airline" reported a loss, as did the "devil" incarnate. Go figure.

    I didn't write that you "work" in the industry. I wrote that I saw a bio about a Tim Dunn who "worked" for Delta - Past tense. If you aren't that Tim Dunn, why didn't you just say so? If you are that Tim Dunn, it just gives you more credibility in my mind.

    I used to fly Northwest a bunch, and still happily fly Delta when it's the best option for me. But my experience tells me that Delta isn't quite as perfect as you allege. It's really not substantively different than any other airline, in spite of all of its in-seat TVs.

    Enjoyed the chat! Cheers!

  8. Tim Dunn

    You should be more concerned that Cranky Flier himself today noted exactly the concerns I raised about data sharing because they are real. Unfortunately, you and others think that inhibiting facts you don't like makes them less real. AA's sharing of itinerary data is a huge risk and, as CF himself notes, could be further reason why the DOJ might reopen an investigation of the AA-B6 relationship.

    While you dance around trying to pretend...

    You should be more concerned that Cranky Flier himself today noted exactly the concerns I raised about data sharing because they are real. Unfortunately, you and others think that inhibiting facts you don't like makes them less real. AA's sharing of itinerary data is a huge risk and, as CF himself notes, could be further reason why the DOJ might reopen an investigation of the AA-B6 relationship.

    While you dance around trying to pretend otherwise, AA's own execs have admitted in publicly available comments what I have said for years - which is that AA has operated large parts of its international network on a "strategic flying" basis which means they lost money for most of the year. They said that mindset will end and it clearly had to and that is good for AA's future - even if it benefits DL and UA in international markets. AA cannot come up with 50-60 aircraft worth of new international flying that will be profitable on a year-round basis. AA's international network will be smaller.

    Passing fare class specific information to AS via oneworld and B6 via systemwide loyalty earning is strategically problematic for AA.

    I don't work in the airline industry but do know how to read publicly available airline data. AA's own executives are confirming what I have been saying for years but a whole lot of AA's fan base don't want to hear. Another blogger is raising the same concerns I did about the latest AA-B6 loyalty program. Just maybe, others see the world the way it reall exists even if it isn't what you and others want to admit.

  9. Jake

    “Delusion”

    — a fragrance brought to you by tim dunn

  10. Radio

    Tim Dunn,

    44 new 787s, 50 new A321XLRs, and 39 new 737-8MAX aircraft are being delivered to American in the next 4 years.

    To the widebodies: If one does some simple math, 112 + 44 = 156. That's remarkably close to 150, isn't it? As Derrick Kerr mentioned on the Wolfe call, American doesn't have to retire its 777s. That doesn't mean it can't or won't. It can be flexible. Among other things, Kerr...

    Tim Dunn,

    44 new 787s, 50 new A321XLRs, and 39 new 737-8MAX aircraft are being delivered to American in the next 4 years.

    To the widebodies: If one does some simple math, 112 + 44 = 156. That's remarkably close to 150, isn't it? As Derrick Kerr mentioned on the Wolfe call, American doesn't have to retire its 777s. That doesn't mean it can't or won't. It can be flexible. Among other things, Kerr mentioned is that the 777s are paid for. They may not be the most fuel-efficient aircraft in the sky - but they're paid for. Did I mention the 777s are paid for? I guess it's all in how one wants to read between the lines. As I listened to the call, I got the distinct impression that Raja was talking about possibilities and options, not hard-and-fast, set-in-stone plans. An enhanced ability to adapt is a theme I'm hearing from a lot of airlines post-pandemic.

    To some of the other "early retirements" (which your "perfect" airline - Delta - also did): 50 new A321XLRs will replace 34 mostly international 757s that were retired early. Some simple math reveals that's a net increase of 16 transatlantic/South America capable narrowbodies. But some of that 757 flying, specifically from Phoenix to Hawaii, has been taken over by plain vanilla A321NEOs.

    The 39 new MAX aircraft, due for delivery in the next two years, will replace 42 retired 737-800s and there are more on the way. Not to mention that the A321NEO orders are continuing to come in, with 39 due this year and next.

    If the recovery is going to be as choppy as many analysts predict, airlines may not need 2019 level capacity for a while. And if what most airlines are saying is also true, that they can adjust capacity to market conditions more rapidly and efficiently than ever before, then maybe they won't need quite as many aircraft to transport the same number of people.

    If the bio I read about you online is accurate, you used to work for Delta. I only mention this because I read your rather nasty-sounding comment that complained about the Cranky Flier's former employment at America West, where he knew the current American management team. When did working at an airline become an impediment for an airline commentator? I'd think it's an asset. More to the point: Isn't your critique an example of the pot calling the kettle black? If you can be loyal to your former employer, why can't others be loyal to theirs? Why the double standard? Your loyalty is admirable, but Delta isn't as perfect as you claim it is. No airline is as good or bad as its rabid fans or harsh critics allege.

    Back to the topic: When did it become a crime to focus one's business where it's strong? It's no secret that American has struggled internationally, especially in Asia and to a lesser extent, Europe. But why the need to blow that fact totally out of proportion? Isn't it a good business practice to focus one's assets where they make the most money? Isn't it also wise to partner with others when they have something you can't offer? That's why airlines form joint ventures and alliances, isn't it? To the critics who've said alliances shouldn't have two or more domestic airlines, I offer US Airways/United in Star, and Delta/Northwest/Continental in Sky Team as examples of why that argument is specious at best.

    It's worth noting that airlines such as Southwest, Frontier, Allegiant, Spirit, et. al. tend to be more profitable on a percentage basis than the legacies, even though they have no widebodies, and have a limited international footprint. And when all is said and done, isn't the general idea of running a business to make money? Each airline is unique. It has its own challenges and strengths. Let's wait and see what happens in the next few months and years before we automatically rush to judgment.

  11. Tim Dunn

    Roberto,
    here are the excerpts from AAL's presentation
    " We’ve always struggled in long-haul international outside South America. And so for us, when we bring it back, the things that we’re bringing back then you get a whole lot of problem. If we go back in time, we were an airline that had, probably, 50 or 60 too many wide-bodies, in the sense that they could make money part of the year, but...

    Roberto,
    here are the excerpts from AAL's presentation
    " We’ve always struggled in long-haul international outside South America. And so for us, when we bring it back, the things that we’re bringing back then you get a whole lot of problem. If we go back in time, we were an airline that had, probably, 50 or 60 too many wide-bodies, in the sense that they could make money part of the year, but not for the entire year. And so we tried a lot of really opportunistic things to do. COVID gave us a chance to go and really reset that and so what comes back is not, it’s there, just point about 787, we’re just going to go get a bunch of 787s and put them in markets because we think they’re strategic. The idea is any of those airplanes that are, again, need to be able to produce a real return on capital is comparable we can do with domestic systems.

    google "transcript aal at Wolfe transportation conference" and you will get several providers that have transcripts of the event. Of course, you can also find the actual audio recording including on AAL's investor site.

    You can see AAL's widebody fleet as of 12/31/2019 at 150 and then on 12/31/2020 at 112 (both on AAL's 10K to stockholders, available on AA's investor site as well as other locations). At 12/31/2020, AAL had 44 787s on order, a few less units than the 47 in their 777-200ER fleet. They said it is possible they will not use those 787s to rebuild their international fleet back to its pre-covid size and might use them to replace their 777-200ERs.

    AAL will become more domestic focused which should be concerning given that AS and B6 will both have access to AA passenger data via their loyalty programs if AA customers choose to use those two smaller airlines for mileage accrual.

  12. Randy

    Do you earn AA lifetime miles?

  13. Roberto

    @Tim Dunn

    “Given that AA execs just said yesterday at an investor conference that they will not be replacing 50-60 widebody international aircraft.”

    I’m confused. They already had 9 333’s & 24 763’s scheduled for retirement. They only added 14 332’s due to COVID. 20 788’s are coming next year, along with 23+ 789’s starting in 2023. That doesn’t leave them 50-60 wide bodies short. Does that mean the remaining 772’s won’t be replaced?

  14. Vince

    Unless I am grossly missing something this is kinda a nothing-burger for now still.
    - Can I use an AA credit I have to book a JetBlue route AA doesn’t fly? (LAX->CHS direct) Doesn’t seem so as even pulling up “All Airlines” on AA’s site won’t show the direct.
    - Can I use my AA Gold status to not pay the $140 vig for my and my daughter’s bags? Doesn’t seem so.
    ...

    Unless I am grossly missing something this is kinda a nothing-burger for now still.
    - Can I use an AA credit I have to book a JetBlue route AA doesn’t fly? (LAX->CHS direct) Doesn’t seem so as even pulling up “All Airlines” on AA’s site won’t show the direct.
    - Can I use my AA Gold status to not pay the $140 vig for my and my daughter’s bags? Doesn’t seem so.
    I guess what I can do is buy the tix on the JetBlue Plus card to get the free bags but then since that’s tied to my JetBlue # can I even add my AA# to bother getting the points??
    And yes, when the cost of checking a bag adds 30% more to the price of the ticket I reserve my right to complain about it. :-/

  15. Dominic Yeo

    I wouldn't be surprised if JetBlue did a California partnership with UA, and codesharing with UA and SQ on transpacific. I'd be inclined to think that they merely picked AA because of opportunity, and thus they'd probably need a strategy for Pacific and Latin America too.

    American AIrlines strategy has turned out to mirror China Southern Airlines more than I realized, who similarly has a partnership with XiamenAir and Sichuan Airlines on the domestic front.

  16. Gaurav

    Jason, it might be easier to just plan to update it at the airport.

  17. CDKing

    @JB its B6 operated flights. Partner of a partner you don't earn in most, if not all programs, unless some AA starts partnering with Emirates.

    @Adam - You can credit AS to AA already now that AS is part of Oneworld. I think what Ralf really means is AS + B6 tie up

    @Bob - Nope you cant transfer points between the 2 programs.

  18. Bob

    So this has nothing to do with being able to actually to combine the JetBlue and AA points in order to use the combined balance to book a flight on either airline or Oneworld partners?

  19. Tim Dunn

    B6 has been dreaming about having data on AA's customers and AA just agreed to give it to them. Really quite remarkable that AA, a carrier that is multiples of times larger than B6, would think they will benefit as much or more than B6.
    Given that AA execs just said yesterday at an investor conference that they will not be replacing 50-60 widebody international aircraft because they have not been able to profitably...

    B6 has been dreaming about having data on AA's customers and AA just agreed to give it to them. Really quite remarkable that AA, a carrier that is multiples of times larger than B6, would think they will benefit as much or more than B6.
    Given that AA execs just said yesterday at an investor conference that they will not be replacing 50-60 widebody international aircraft because they have not been able to profitably operate that many aircraft on a year-round basis for years, AA is giving its future away to AS and B6, both of which will gain rich and valuable AA passenger information.

  20. Waz

    Is there a way to change my Jetblue "Blue Basic" fair to a fare to one that will earn EQM? I can't see any option to "upgrade it" on the Jetblue site....

  21. Russ

    How do I activate this reciprocity? Do I need to give AA my JB number and JB my AA number?

  22. Joe

    Update on my post above. After speaking with a supervisor, the friendly agent was able to update with no issue. As well as another flight next week, same issue. Woot!

    Would be great if they could fix this so customers could do this online so we're not wasting so much of agents' time on this issue.

    Regardless, still excited for this development! (And thank god AA has a callback feature. Which B6 does not!)

  23. Joe

    Current experience -- on hold with AA right now -- trying to change my AA metal flight tomorrow PBI-PHL-PBI from my AS number to B6 ... is that the first-line agent isn't familiar with this yet. Did not it had rolled out nationally/on all US flights. Currently checking with his help desk.

    I agree that is frustrating that you can never seem to book American metal through AA site or mobile app and provide...

    Current experience -- on hold with AA right now -- trying to change my AA metal flight tomorrow PBI-PHL-PBI from my AS number to B6 ... is that the first-line agent isn't familiar with this yet. Did not it had rolled out nationally/on all US flights. Currently checking with his help desk.

    I agree that is frustrating that you can never seem to book American metal through AA site or mobile app and provide your AS or B6 number. They prompt you to "change passenger name." Which is frustrating because you then have to call and update. I suppose it's a learning curve.

  24. MARK

    thanks, thanks, thanks. Two days ago, I booked Jetblue and now I can earn AA miles instead of Jetblue.

  25. Adam

    @Ralf I hope so! I would *love* if I could fly AS, B6, and AA and credit them all to AA to get useful miles. This could form a real competitor to UA for SFO-based flyers.

  26. Ralf

    First Alaska, now JetBlue... Alaska+JetBlue next?

  27. W

    This is amazing! This will be especially helpful when I travel with my family. I have Executive Platinum status with AA, but with a family of 4, we have to pay for two people to get upgrades. If we're going to stay in Economy, then Jetblue is an awesome choice to have. Since AA doesn't have TV's on many routes, and if we can get extra legroom seats, then B6 might be the better option without me having to compromise on my status.

  28. JB

    If I book an Emirates flight through Jetblue, would I be able to credit these flights to AA? Such as booking Tampa to Dubai through JFK on B6's website, with the first leg on Jetblue and the second on Emirates? Or would only the first leg credit to AA?

  29. MP

    The timing of this is slightly annoying for me because I took a Mint flight last week that I credited to TrueBlue, but as someone who typically would take 1-2 B6 flights a year (and is moving to a B6 hub), I definitely welcome the opportunity to earn some incremental AAdvantage points

    Next, I'd love to see Mint flyers on B6 operated/marketed flights get Admirals Club access in airports where AA and B6 share terminals (LAX, FLL).

  30. Drew Kennedy

    How is this partnership based on the ticket price for earning, I mean if it’s a wholly JetBlue operated and marketed flight, how would AAdvantage know what the actual
    ticket was worth? Don’t think JetBlue can share the ticket pricing details with AA?

  31. Jason

    Except it's annoying. I have a JetBlue flight Friday and I want to remove my JetBlue True Blue number from my reservation and put my American Airlines number on the reservation. I cannot do it online - it doesnt allow you to change it online - and there's a nearly 2 hour wait time to get through to reservations. typical.

  32. Alex

    Matthew is right. JBLU transatlantic flights are categorically excluded.

    I am also worried about the future implications of earning EQDs and miles based on fare at a partner airline. That would take away the last remaining mileage arbitrage opportunity.

  33. Terence

    The question is, how to look up B6's fare codes in their stock? B6 seem to only use generic Mint than J/C/D/I in the Fare description.

  34. Joey

    Interesting. I wonder what the AAdvantage redemption rates will be on JetBlue Mint!

  35. Matthew

    I don’t think this is correct, “It’s fantastic that you can earn miles and elite activity across all flights, whether you want to fly JetBlue between New York and London”

    If you look at the AA site, United Kingdom is not one of the regions listed where you can earn AA miles on B6.

    1. Ben

      @ Matthew -- Good catch, thanks. Post updated. Grrrr...

Featured Comments Load all 36 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Kathryn Dalton

The jet blue app allows me to choose American but will not let enter my FF AA number. Only a key pad comes up and AA uses letters and numbers. How do I add my AA FF number Thanks

Mike McCreesh

what if you are Mosaic on Jetblue and Executive Platinum on American? do you still get reciprocal miles or just the program of the airline you are flying on that trip?

Jason

Despite a two hour hold time they added my AA number and did so easily. Cheerfully.

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