American & JetBlue Launch Reciprocal Elite Perks, Award Redemptions Coming Soon

American & JetBlue Launch Reciprocal Elite Perks, Award Redemptions Coming Soon

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In early 2021, American and JetBlue launched a strategic alliance in the Northeast. The concept behind this partnership is that JetBlue has amazing connectivity in the Northeast, and American wants to grow its long haul presence out of New York, but needs connecting traffic. Personally I think the partnership is good for consumers, though the DOJ disagrees, and is trying to challenge the alliance.

There’s some fantastic news when it comes to the partnership — American and JetBlue are rolling out reciprocal elite benefits as of today, and we can expect reciprocal award redemptions between the two airlines starting in November.

American & JetBlue reciprocal elite benefits

American and JetBlue introduced codeshare flights early this year, then as of May 2021 reciprocal points earning opportunities were rolled out, and now reciprocal elite benefits are being rolled out.

American & JetBlue have a strategic alliance

This is pretty straightforward for now — American AAdvantage elite members, as well as JetBlue TrueBlue Mosaic elite members, now receive select elite perks when flying with the other airline. This includes:

  • Priority check-in
  • Up to two free checked bags, weighing up to 50 pounds each (AAdvantage Gold members get one free checked bag on JetBlue, while all other elite tiers with both airlines receive two free checked bags)
  • Priority baggage handling
  • Priority security
  • Priority boarding (with Mosaic passengers on JetBlue, and with Group 4 on American)
  • Free same day flight changes (only for Mosaic members on American)
Get reciprocal priority boarding with American & JetBlue

This is a great start, though as you can tell, this still doesn’t offer full reciprocity. The good news is that we should see even more reciprocal elite benefits for AAdvantage and TrueBlue members in the future. There’s no timeline and no details, so what should we expect?

  • I think we could see reciprocal extra legroom economy seating (Main Cabin Extra on American and Even More Space on JetBlue); presumably policies would vary based on your exact status
  • JetBlue Mosaic members and American Executive Platinum members receive a free alcoholic drink in economy, so perhaps that could be reciprocal on the other airline as well
  • While I suppose anything is possible, I highly doubt we’ll see reciprocal first class or Mint upgrades; JetBlue doesn’t offer Mosaic members Mint upgrades as an elite perk, and I can’t imagine American would offer first class upgrades without reciprocity
  • The one potential upgrade perk I could see would be some systemwide upgrades for Mosaic members; I think this would be offered in a limited capacity, and would be intended to encourage JetBlue Mosaic members to fly American long haul, though there’s not much that JetBlue could offer reciprocally
I wouldn’t be surprised to see reciprocal extra legroom seating in the future

American & JetBlue reciprocal award redemptions

Starting at some point in November, American and JetBlue intend to roll out reciprocal award redemptions. The execution of this is a bit tricky, given that:

  • JetBlue TrueBlue is a revenue based award program, where the cost of a ticket when redeeming points directly reflects the cash cost
  • American AAdvantage publishes an award chart but then has different award levels, so award pricing doesn’t directly reflect the cost of a ticket when paying cash

So, what should we expect? If you want to redeem American AAdvantage miles on JetBlue, award pricing will follow American’s typical partner award chart (with a major catch), which looks as follows:

In other words:

  • A JetBlue economy ticket will price at 12,500 AAdvantage miles one-way within the United States, which is awesome
  • A JetBlue Mint ticket will price based on the “First” column, rather than the “Business / First” column, meaning that a Mint ticket will cost a minimum of 50,000 AAdvantage miles one-way
  • Not only that, but you’ll have to pay an additional 15,000 AAdvantage miles for one-way for many Mint routes, including segments from Boston, New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or Palm Beach, to Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • JetBlue’s transatlantic flights are excluded from this alliance, so it won’t be possible to redeem AAdvantage miles for them
  • As far as award availability goes, economy awards on JetBlue will book into the “P” fare class, while business class awards will book into the “I” fare class

So yeah, 65,000 AAdvantage miles for a one-way Mint ticket isn’t exactly a great deal. Ultimately I’m happy to see reciprocal mileage redemptions coming, and in this case I think there’s a lot more value in economy than in Mint.

JetBlue Mint redemptions are going to be expensive

As far as redeeming JetBlue TrueBlue points on American goes, no details have yet been revealed about what that will look like, but we should learn more soon.

Bottom line

American AAdvantage and JetBlue TrueBlue have just rolled out reciprocal elite perks. For now we’re seeing reciprocity when it comes to check-in, checked bags, security, and boarding. This is a great start, though hopefully we see some more reciprocal benefits rolled out in the future.

We should also expect reciprocal award redemption opportunities starting in November. I’m happy to finally see this, though the Mint redemption rates aren’t quite as good as I had (probably too optimistically) hoped.

What do you make of the reciprocal elite perks and award redemptions between American and JetBlue?

Conversations (26)
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  1. Jim Napier

    Being one of the last people to enjoy free bags on JetBlue back in the day, it'll be nice to get free checked bags on JetBlue once more.

  2. Leigh

    What I’d love to know…does flying on JetBlue count towards AA EQD’s or EQM’s (or Segments) for status? Does it have to be on codeshares? Anything published on this yet that I’ve missed?

  3. Vince

    Great they are finally sorting the free checked bags with status but what about allowing for lounge access?? As an AC member through my Citibank card I'd like to be able to access the LAX T6 AC when flying out on JetBlue but that is still not allowed... unless you're flying to NY that is.

    1. Max

      This is supposed to be a northeast partnership. I always thought all these benefits were intended for flights to or from the northeast only. I don't think you can even purchase a ticket on the other carrier if not flying there.

    2. Bob

      Is LAX T6 AC access allowed when you're flying B6 to NYC? I'm in exactly your situation and fly to NYC often with B6. I never knew I could access the AC when flying B6. Where did you see that?

  4. John

    With Capital One losing jet blue, Citi's current temporary AA transfer, and Jet Blue and AAs reciprocal award redemptions, could this signal a more permanent Citi transfer partner ? I sure hope so

  5. Bob

    Do you only receive the reciprocal benefits if you input your FF# from the airline with which you have status? For example, I'm Mosaic with B6 but don't have status with American. If I flew American, is the only way I can get the reciprocal benefits listed here if I book with my B6 FF#? Or can I just use my AA FF# and the system will somehow know I'm Mosaic and provide me with...

    Do you only receive the reciprocal benefits if you input your FF# from the airline with which you have status? For example, I'm Mosaic with B6 but don't have status with American. If I flew American, is the only way I can get the reciprocal benefits listed here if I book with my B6 FF#? Or can I just use my AA FF# and the system will somehow know I'm Mosaic and provide me with the benefits. I ask because I'd rather credit American miles to American when flying American, but not at the cost of losing the reciprocal benefits. Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    1. Max

      I'm pretty sure you have to use the FF# of the airline you have status with to get the benefits.
      I've been buying JetBlue tickets on AA site and using my JetBlue FF# to be able to access Admirals Clubs with my Citi Exec card, but also to have Mosaic benefits.

    2. Bob

      @Max, thanks for your comment, and that's what I suspected.

      One clarification: If you use your JB FF# on the AA flight, how can you access the Admirals Club with your Citi Exec card? I'm in the exact same situation as you, but I thought your Admirals Club membership was tied to your AA FF#. If that's not on the reservation, how can you access the club?

    3. Max

      The rule is that you can access AC if you purchase a ticket that's marketed OR operated by AA. So, as long as you purchase the ticket on the AA site, it's an AA-marketed flight. When you print your boarding pass, it'll show an AA flight#, so you can show that to the AC front desk employees along with your Citi Exec card.

      The first time I tried this in the beginning of the partnership,...

      The rule is that you can access AC if you purchase a ticket that's marketed OR operated by AA. So, as long as you purchase the ticket on the AA site, it's an AA-marketed flight. When you print your boarding pass, it'll show an AA flight#, so you can show that to the AC front desk employees along with your Citi Exec card.

      The first time I tried this in the beginning of the partnership, I'd bought the ticket on JetBlue.com so I wasn't eligible to enter, but the nice front desk lady let me in that day. She also explained that I should buy the JetBlue tickets on AA to get access to AC with no issues.

    4. Max

      BTW, I do this every week. I'm on a JetBlue flight twice a week in case you're thinking I'm just getting lucky, lol.

    5. Bob

      @Max: Thank you for your helpful, informative responses. So to recap, you go to aa.com, purchase a ticket on a flight operated by JetBlue, and input your JB FF#. Inputting your JB FF# gets you your Mosaic benefits and credits the points to JB. However, because you bought the JB flight on AA's website, your boarding pass will have an AA flight number which would allow you access to the Admirals Club. Is that right?...

      @Max: Thank you for your helpful, informative responses. So to recap, you go to aa.com, purchase a ticket on a flight operated by JetBlue, and input your JB FF#. Inputting your JB FF# gets you your Mosaic benefits and credits the points to JB. However, because you bought the JB flight on AA's website, your boarding pass will have an AA flight number which would allow you access to the Admirals Club. Is that right? If so, that's absolutely brilliant because it gives you the best of both worlds.

    6. Max

      Yes. That pretty much sums it up for benefits on day of travel.

      However, because you're buying on AA.com, I'm not sure you get the Mosaic benefits pertaining to flight changes. I still haven't come across a situation where I've needed to change or cancel my flight.

      When I used to book on JetBlue.com before the partnership, I could pick any other flight the same day and switch to it if I wanted to without...

      Yes. That pretty much sums it up for benefits on day of travel.

      However, because you're buying on AA.com, I'm not sure you get the Mosaic benefits pertaining to flight changes. I still haven't come across a situation where I've needed to change or cancel my flight.

      When I used to book on JetBlue.com before the partnership, I could pick any other flight the same day and switch to it if I wanted to without paying any fees or fare difference. I haven't tried that when booking on AA.com yet, but I'm assuming AA would want to charge you the fare difference... not really sure.
      If that's not a concern, ignore everything after the first line :)

  6. Mike

    Seems AA's sleeping with lots of new members might hit a snag with their previous BA fans who flies quite a lot with them and used to get these exclusive privilege's - how many of these seats, etc can be given away free for Elite members of other programs.
    Let's see how it plays out in the coming time

  7. David

    Only AA seems to have this on their website and it only refers to using AA Status on JetBlue.

    https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/aadvantage-program-updates.jsp

    Does anyone know how to use my Mosaic status on AA? Do you just put your JetBlue FF number on your AA booking? Thanks for any help!

    1. David

      Looks like you need to book AA on jetblue.com to get benefits as per email:

      Starting today, as part of our alliance with American Airlines, you can enjoy some of your favorite Mosaic perks when you book an American-operated flight on jetblue.com, including:
      Priority check-in desks at the airport
      Access to expedited security lanes
      Priority boarding (Group 4), with dedicated boarding lanes (now at most JetBlue gates, too)
      Up to 2...

      Looks like you need to book AA on jetblue.com to get benefits as per email:

      Starting today, as part of our alliance with American Airlines, you can enjoy some of your favorite Mosaic perks when you book an American-operated flight on jetblue.com, including:
      Priority check-in desks at the airport
      Access to expedited security lanes
      Priority boarding (Group 4), with dedicated boarding lanes (now at most JetBlue gates, too)
      Up to 2 free checked bags—available at check-in desks (online and kiosk bag check coming soon)
      And, by the end of this year, Mosaic members will also have access to preferred seat selection via the American app or AA.com.

  8. tom

    I bet we get a extreme devaluation on the redemption side in Nov, with the addition of B6 redemption partner thrown in as a distraction

  9. JB

    I'm an AA Executive Platinum and I am trying to book a ticket on jetBlue. Blue Basic (their basic economy) is about $25 cheaper per person and I have a party of 4. The restrictions with it are that there are no carry-ons allowed, no seat assignment until check in, and are last to board. Will my AA status "override" any of these restrictions (especially the carry-ons/check in bags)? I just booked the tickets yesterday so I can still refund them.

    1. Leigh

      Super good question.

      Also AA EXP, and did a lot of oneworld international flying this summer. On international “basic economy” (intra Europe on Iberia), my AA/Emerald status benefits overrode the fare rules…took several phone calls between the AA EXP desk and their IB counterparts to confirm it.

      I think it varies by international or domestic travels. Would be great to have clarity.

  10. Vir

    I wouldn’t be surprised if AA goes away with the award charts and implement dynamic pricing before award redemptions are announced next month.

  11. Max

    Damn... I scrolled really fast to Mosaic benefits on AA hoping to see Main Cabin Extra as a benefit, but it's only the bs preferred seats. Ugh.

  12. etravelstheworld

    Is there any chance that JetBlue moves away from revenue based awards at least when redeeming for AA.

    I don’t see how this partnership works if JetBlue miles do not have a fixed price on AA metal. For example flying J internationally on American might cost you 800,000 true blue points? That is like Delta extortion pricing.

    There cannot be that much of a difference between redeeming for J on JetBlue vs a...

    Is there any chance that JetBlue moves away from revenue based awards at least when redeeming for AA.

    I don’t see how this partnership works if JetBlue miles do not have a fixed price on AA metal. For example flying J internationally on American might cost you 800,000 true blue points? That is like Delta extortion pricing.

    There cannot be that much of a difference between redeeming for J on JetBlue vs a partner. The balance for trade when it comes to redemptions between AA and JBLU would be off.

    I say this as someone with a ton of JetBlue miles who wants to be able to use them on AA long haul flights.

    1. tom

      DL extortion pricing is exactly what we will get going by all the rumors

    2. Francois

      At a recent jetBlue event I was told by a c-suite level exec that jetblue redemptions on Qatar will be revenue based. While not 100% as things change if this is true then I suspect AA will be revenue based too, as unfortunate as that is.

    3. etravelstheworld

      This is an omen for the miles game. I’m afraid that if AA moves closer to JetBlue’s model and all the other airlines could follow. AA is the last stand for the miles game.

      This didn’t matter so much for JBlue because they were regional and didn’t have international business class. Now that they are going to launch London flights and partner with AA, we should worry.

      Delta is already well on its...

      This is an omen for the miles game. I’m afraid that if AA moves closer to JetBlue’s model and all the other airlines could follow. AA is the last stand for the miles game.

      This didn’t matter so much for JBlue because they were regional and didn’t have international business class. Now that they are going to launch London flights and partner with AA, we should worry.

      Delta is already well on its way with its extortion prices. United basically eliminates award availability on most routes.

  13. Ben L.

    Very happy to see partner award redemptions are nearly here. I picked up the Barclay JetBlue Business Card back when it had the 100,000 mile bonus in anticipation of this. JetBlue isn't very useful to me on its own, but having another currency to book AA flights with is quite useful.

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David

Looks like you need to book AA on jetblue.com to get benefits as per email: Starting today, as part of our alliance with American Airlines, you can enjoy some of your favorite Mosaic perks when you book an American-operated flight on jetblue.com, including: Priority check-in desks at the airport Access to expedited security lanes Priority boarding (Group 4), with dedicated boarding lanes (now at most JetBlue gates, too) Up to 2 free checked bags—available at check-in desks (online and kiosk bag check coming soon) And, by the end of this year, Mosaic members will also have access to preferred seat selection via the American app or AA.com.

Mike

Seems AA's sleeping with lots of new members might hit a snag with their previous BA fans who flies quite a lot with them and used to get these exclusive privilege's - how many of these seats, etc can be given away free for Elite members of other programs. Let's see how it plays out in the coming time

etravelstheworld

Is there any chance that JetBlue moves away from revenue based awards at least when redeeming for AA. I don’t see how this partnership works if JetBlue miles do not have a fixed price on AA metal. For example flying J internationally on American might cost you 800,000 true blue points? That is like Delta extortion pricing. There cannot be that much of a difference between redeeming for J on JetBlue vs a partner. The balance for trade when it comes to redemptions between AA and JBLU would be off. I say this as someone with a ton of JetBlue miles who wants to be able to use them on AA long haul flights.

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