American and Qatar Airways recently launched a strategic partnership, American and JetBlue recently launched a strategic partnership, and now JetBlue and Qatar Airways are expanding their partnership.
JetBlue & Qatar Airways expand codeshares
Today it has been announced that JetBlue and Qatar Airways are offering an expanded codeshare agreement. While the airlines have had some form of a partnership since 2011, it’s now being taken to the next level.
As of today, you can book Qatar Airways flights between select markets directly on jetblue.com, for travel as of April 19, 2021.
You can now book Qatar Airways travel on jetblue.com
Now, generally you’re still better off booking direct unless you’re planning an itinerary that involves travel on both airlines, but it’s still cool to see. Qatar Airways may have cheaper fares direct, you have more mileage earning potential if you’re on a direct “QR” code flight (not to be confused with the “QR codes” that have become so commonplace due to coronavirus), and it’ll be easier to make changes if there are schedule changes or you need to cancel.
With this development, the “B6” (JetBlue) code will be places on flights between the following nine airports and Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH):
- Boston Logan International Airport (BOS)
- Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
- Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
- New York’s John F. Kennedy international Airport (JFK)
- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)
This is intended to provide unique connectivity between the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America, and Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
On top of that, the JetBlue code will be placed on Qatar Airways flights to the following seven destinations beyond Doha, allowing further connections:
- Amman, Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
- Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)
- Maldives’ Male International Airport (MLE)
- Oman’s Muscat International Airport (MCT) & Salalah International Airport (SLL)
- Seychelles International Airport (SEZ)
- Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
- Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport (EBB)
JetBlue & Qatar Airways are expanding their codeshare agreement
Expect reciprocal points earning & redemption
Up until now JetBlue and Qatar Airways haven’t offered a loyalty program collaboration, but that will change:
- JetBlue TrueBlue and Qatar Airways Privilege Club will offer reciprocal points earning opportunities as of later this year
- In the future (with no timeline as of yet), the two programs will offer reciprocal points redemption opportunities
With JetBlue TrueBlue planning on introducing award redemptions on both American and Qatar Airways, here’s to hoping that JetBlue introduces award pricing with fixed costs on these partner redemptions.
Up until now one major downside of the TrueBlue program has been the lack of decent partner redemptions, and it would be so awesome to see that change.
JetBlue & Qatar Airways will offer a frequent flyer agreement
My take on this expanded partnership
I have three major thoughts and takeaways from this announcement.
First of all, I’m thrilled to see Qatar Airways’ success as of late, in particular with the airline improving partnerships with both other airlines and countries:
- For years we saw a battle between US and Gulf carriers, and that’s now a thing of the past, with Qatar Airways partnering with Alaska, American, and JetBlue; Qatar Airways claims to partner with US airlines on more routes across the US than any other global airline
- On top of that, the Gulf blockade was recently ended, so Qatar Airways again has access to Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE
The Gulf blockade is over, at long last
Second of all, there’s the bigger question of how exactly the American, Alaska, and JetBlue partnerships will evolve:
- American now has separate close partnerships with Alaska and JetBlue
- Qatar Airways has close partnerships with all of these airlines
- Alaska Airlines recently joined oneworld
Is there any chance we see JetBlue join oneworld?
While I wouldn’t necessarily read into this purely based on today’s announcement, some questions remain:
- Could we eventually see JetBlue join the oneworld alliance? It seems unlikely, but then again, a couple of years ago it would have seemed unlikely for Alaska to join oneworld, so who knows
- Will we see some consolidation in the US, either between American and Alaska, American and JetBlue, or Alaska and JetBlue? Regulatory issues aside, these airlines are largely complementary
- A few years back Qatar Airways wanted to invest in a US airline, so one has to wonder if that might be on the table once again
Lastly, isn’t it funny how it kind of just seems to be the whole airline industry vs. Delta here? Alaska, American, and JetBlue are basically teaming up to try to compete as efficiently as possible against Delta in many markets, and on top of that we know that Delta and Qatar Airways get along about as well as Harris and Ryan on 90 Day Fiancé (apologies to anyone who doesn’t watch the show, and to anyone who does watch the show, can we agree that Stephanie is on a different level than any other cast member ever?).
JetBlue and Qatar Airways have expanded their codeshare agreement, and JetBlue now codeshares on most of Qatar Airways’ routes out of the US. The airlines will introduce reciprocal points earning opportunities as of later this year, and will introduce reciprocal points redemption opportunities in the future.
This is especially exciting news for Qatar Airways, as it now has three strong US partners. On top of that, I can’t help but feel like we’re eventually getting to the point where something further might happen between any combination of Alaska, American, and JetBlue.
What do you make of the expanded JetBlue and Qatar Airways partnership? Do you think we could see JetBlue join oneworld?