JetBlue TrueBlue finally seems to realize that there’s value in adding award redemptions on partner airlines, if you want people to be loyal to the program. The program has just introduced online award redemptions on Hawaiian Airlines, as flagged by AwardWallet. While the two carriers have had a partnership for over a decade, previously you had to book these awards by phone.
This development comes just shortly after JetBlue TrueBlue added award redemptions on Qatar Airways. I like the way that TrueBlue is headed…
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JetBlue adds online award redemptions on Hawaiian Airlines
JetBlue and Hawaiian have had a partnership for over a decade, offering connectivity on the mainland for flights to and from Hawaii. While it has been possible to redeem JetBlue points on Hawaiian, members needed to call to book, which seems like an outdated concept at this point. Fortunately that has just changed.
It’s now possible to redeem JetBlue TrueBlue points for travel on Hawaiian Airlines online. Here are the basics of these redemption opportunities:
- These awards are bookable directly on JetBlue’s website, on the homepage, by selecting the “use TrueBlue points” button
- There are no carrier imposed surcharges on these redemptions
- Redemptions on Hawaiian are possible in both business class (marketed as first class by Hawaiian) and economy class throughout Hawaiian’s network
- While there’s not an award chart, award pricing seems to be a combination of zone based and segment based; that means you pay more if you have an itinerary that includes more than one segment
- To find award availability, you’re best off searching Hawaiian Airlines’ website for saver award availability, and if it shows there, it should also be bookable through JetBlue
Just to give some examples of award pricing, a one-way inter-island award costs 5,000 points in economy or 10,000 points in business class.
A one-way mainland West Coast to Hawaii award costs 20,000 points in economy or 40,000 points in business class.
A one-way mainland (non-West Coast) to Hawaii award costs 37,900 points in economy or 99,900 points in business class.
A one-way Australia to Hawaii award costs 45,000 points in economy or 99,900 points in business class.
For what it’s worth, I value TrueBlue points at around 1.3 cents each. So I’d say these redemption rates are fair, though nothing to get too excited about. Redemption rates on Qatar Airways are generally going to be more attractive than these redemptions.
JetBlue partner awards are long overdue
JetBlue is really trying to revamp its TrueBlue loyalty program, and make it more of a profit center. Historically I’d say the program has just been kind of lazy in terms of perks, and hasn’t done much to encourage incremental engagement (flying or credit card spending) in terms of elite benefits. On top of that, JetBlue hasn’t put any effort into offering partner award redemptions.
With JetBlue increasingly being in a tough financial spot and realizing that it’s greatly lagging the “big three” carriers when it comes to loyalty program revenue, I think we’re finally seeing some effort on that front.
For one, we’ve seen the launch of the new TrueBlue loyalty program. While not more rewarding for everyone, it does quite a bit to encourage incremental business. I think introducing partner awards that are easily bookable online is another thing that can make TrueBlue more lucrative.
So while I wouldn’t say the program is competitive just yet in terms of partner redemptions, TrueBlue is moving in the right direction, and I’m happy to see this.
JetBlue TrueBlue has just rolled out online award redemptions on Hawaiian Airlines, just days after introducing award redemptions on Qatar Airways. It’s fantastic to see JetBlue finally investing in offering partner award redemptions, because this is an important component of a program.
What do you make of JetBlue TrueBlue redemptions on Hawaiian Airlines?