6 Thoughts On Yesterday’s JetBlue Points Match Trip To Las Vegas

Filed Under: JetBlue, Travel
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As some of you may recall, in late June JetBlue came out with their Points Match promotion, where they basically offered to match the points balances of Virgin America Elevate members.


This presented quite an opportunity, as Starwood is transfer partners with Virgin America, meaning you could transfer Starpoints to Virgin America, and then get those points matched.

In my case I was lucky to have just over 50,000 Virgin America Elevate points, which JetBlue would match to 75,000 points. The one catch was that I had to take one roundtrip flight by August 31.


I’ve had a busy few weeks of travel, so only took my roundtrip flight on JetBlue yesterday, given that the promotion expires on Wednesday.

So I spent the evening flying from Long Beach to Las Vegas to Long Beach, which are basically just two 40 minute flights. The fare was rather expensive — about $250 — since I was planning last minute and flying on a Sunday. There were weekday fares of $80 roundtrip. However, this worked best for my schedule, and it seemed worth spending $250 to acquire $1,000+ worth of points.

With that in mind, I figured I’d share some thoughts about this trip and JetBlue as a whole:

Long Beach Airport is awesome

I had never flown out of Long Beach Airport before. What a nifty little airport!

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Security was a breeze, and past security was a beautiful open air space.

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The terminal itself was spacious, and had plenty of seating and outlets, along with free Wi-Fi.

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The airport doesn’t have any gates, so all flights are boarded by ramp, which is sort of fun as an aviation geek. So I dig the airport, and would consider flying into and out of here in the future (as long as I depart during non-peak times, due to traffic to/from LA).

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JetBlue’s service is better

The last time I took an unnamed legacy airline between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, there was no service “due to the short duration of the flight.” Meanwhile on JetBlue, they do a drink service (choice between a bottle of water or can of soda) and snack service (choice between cookies or Cheez-Its). Impressive!

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Not all JetBlue crews are created equal

I recently flew JetBlue Mint, and was blown away by the friendliness of the crew. The crew was possibly the best one I’ve ever had on a US airline. I knew that Mint crews were specially picked, though have found that JetBlue offers superior service in general.

Well, that wasn’t my experience on this flight. The crew wasn’t actively bad, and in fairness they were working hard, but they also just weren’t friendly. The lead flight attendant in particular was rather abrasive. I had the same crew both ways as well…

Why Even More Space seating is worth it

JetBlue already has fantastic pitch in economy, though the first few rows of the cabin are Even More Space seats. I booked last minute, so all the non-Even More Space seats were occupied. So I paid $25 each way to upgrade, to avoid the possibility of ending up in a center seat somewhere in the back of the cabin.

The extra legroom was sort of unnecessary for such a short flight, but there’s one thing that makes Even More Space awesome — for the most part, these seats will be the last to be taken, since most people are happy with JetBlue’s normal legroom. So you have the best chance of scoring an empty seat next to you if booking JetBlue’s Even More Space seating. For example, in both directions yesterday I had the entire row to myself. Score!

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Views, views, views!

I’m an aviation geek above all else. If there’s one thing I love about flying out west, it’s the views. And you can’t beat a ~40 minute flight, since there’s stuff to see out the window almost the entire flight.

The world sure is beautiful from above!

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JetBlue Plus Card really is awesome

After I registered for the points match promotion I signed up for the JetBlue Plus Card, which was such a good choice.

But beyond that I earned 6x points per dollar spent on JetBlue purchases, which is in addition to the 6x points I usually earn for tickets booked through JetBlue’s website, for a total of 12x points per dollar spent.

On top of that I get a 10% refund on all points redeemed, which makes my 75,000 point bonus from this promotion worth an extra 8,000+ more points. That’s awesome!

The card also offers an annual points bonus, which more or less offsets the annual fee on the card.

Bottom line

JetBlue is pretty awesome overall, though like every other airline, they have their good and bad employees. However, overall the flying experience is fantastic, between free wifi, free snacks, and comfortable seating. I’m looking forward to seeing my account update with an extra 75,000 bonus points!

Did you do a mileage run (or points run, I guess) to take advantage of JetBlue’s Points Match promotion? Where did you fly?

  1. I flew the inaugural Reno-Long beach. It was a blast. The crew was upbeat, they had inflight raffles, lots of giveaways and free food/ribbon cutting at the gate. BEST news is the fare was $36 round trip including tax and 5 days after the trip my 24 Jet blue points posted (i only got 3 points per dollar before tax since I booked through Orbitz) AND my 50,000 point match hit as well!

  2. Flew LGB to OAK on Saturday and back for the promotion $125rt. First time flying out of LGB and must say I was blown away. Will do everything in my power to not fly out of LAX anymore domestically. As an OC resident, SNA and LGB ftw!

  3. Yep, I did a ORD-JFK run last month. I fly to NYC a lot and am relocating there next year, so these miles should be insanely valuable!

  4. My wife and I are flying LGB-SFO tomorrow afternoon and back Wednesday evening. We decided to make a short trip out of it, so we’re using IHG points to stay at the Holiday Inn and spending the day at Alcatraz before returning Wednesday night. Looking forward to seeing LGB and using JetBlue, which I don’t get to do since they stopped flying BUR-LAS.

  5. I did an overnight trip to Washington DC from Hartford. The flight is an hour each way. The flights were a little over $100 total, and I stayed in a hotel for a mattress run. So I killed two birds with one stone and got some sightseeing in to boot!

  6. Flew one of the last LGB-IAD red eyes. Loved flying out of LGB, with decent food options – not your average airport choices. Nice, easy walk from the rental car drop off to the terminal.
    Not sure if this options is only available to Mosaic members, but I selected even more space seats for an Orlando flight and I was able to use points. 400 points for a seat they were selling for $40. Even if I only would pay $20, still a decent value from points.
    Also did the match and the points were deposited within a week for both me and my wife.

  7. Don’t you have Mosaic status? One thing I found out during my Jetblue mileage run was that FA will actively upgrade you into Even More Space seats if you are Mosaic. Had this happened to me on both legs of SEA-LGB. So, you probably didn’t have to pay for that seat.

    Wish I knew that wifi is also free, but not a big loss.

  8. I LOVE flying in/out of LGB!! They completely renovated it a couple of years ago, which is why it looks so nice and new. The outdoors space is fab, food options are great too. And I always go through security in a matter of minutes.

  9. Did one day turn TPA-DCA last weekend with my wife, so mileage run x 2. All 150,000 points posted the following weekend. I hadn’t flown them since my first time in 2001. Crew was great. I love when massive points balances post to any of my accounts!

  10. LGB is the best! Even before they added precheck, never waited more than a few minutes in the security line.

  11. flew AUS to MCO rt over the weekend for 75k run. matched to mosaic from aa plat, have to say it made me forget about aa altogether… their ‘even more’ seat has more pitch than aa A319 F domestic, at least 3 rounds of jack coke/Cabernet and tons of chips/snacks each way – all complimentary. given out bottled water for 44 min delay on plane… nice service. will go LGB instead of LAX on my next trip to LA.

  12. Doing BOS-JFK tomorrow for the PointsMatch promo. Got it for $100 during one of the sales, + $50 to try EMS. Was planning on just staying in the terminal and working from a lounge but I think I will try to hit up Rockaway Beach Surf Club to try out the tacos for lunch.

  13. I did SMF-LGB-LAS r/t for my 75K bonus, and they were great, short flights. I love LGB because even a tight (35 min) connection is a breeze. JetBlue has always been one of my favorite airlines, and they didn’t disappoint on this trip. The CEO, Robin Hayes, and the director of west coast airport operations were both on my flight, so that was a fun bonus as well!

  14. I did a combo Points Match + Status Challenge. I flew from NYC to SF in Mint to give it a test run. Netting 50,000 JetBlue points + Mosaic status through the end of 2017. Spent about 1550, so a little steep – but with all the points, the status, the comfort, it was well worth it for me. I was also able to get my JetBlue Plus sign up bonus on this one purchase, so in all I’m getting 50K on the points match, 30K on the sign up bonus, about 9300 on the card spend, and about 4500 for the flight for a total of about 93K miles. Not bad at all!

  15. For our JetBlue promo run it was our first time flying JetBlue. It was a great experience. We’ll have so many miles I don’t know if we’ll need to pay for a flight anytime soon but if we did I’d prefer JetBlue over other airlines for short flights.

  16. This is one of the best promotions ever. Was sitting with tons of Starwood points anyway and worried about what’s going to happen to the program when the merger with Marriott is completed. So that’s 40k less I needed to worry about from SPG, and now I have 50k Elevate and an additional 75k TrueBlue after a quick JFK-BOS-JFK jaunt which I booked through the Ultimate Rewards portal for 8,800 points. Wife and I also signed up for the JetBlue Plus cards and just got our bonuses from those. The future is bright!

  17. LGB is fantastic and was even pre-renovation…yes, even sitting in portable trailers waiting to board beat other area airports. The terminal is tiny and just steps across a road to get to rental cars. Add to that the fact that home base for me is SLC and DL and B6 compete SLC – LGB so fares stay reasonable. And throw in the times B6 has a sale, we’ve had $97 RT before! I’ll gladly avoid WN, AS, AA, and UA to avoid LAX (when not connecting).

  18. Just went to BOS over the weekend for my semi-last minute match trip ($170). Had the same exact water and snack service given that from JFK-BOS is roughly 45 minutes each trip. And yes jetBlue’s service and coach leg room is very hard to beat.

  19. LGB is awesome to go up to Oakland and back. Fly that route once or twice a year and don’t have to deal with SFO or LAX doing it. There’s limited routes out of LGB and not many direct flights but totally worth it for some of the short direct flights they offer.

  20. I did EWR-BOS for $110, I have never been to Boston so I decided to spend the weekend there as well. Stayed at the Westin Copley Place, it was amazing experience for the 2 days, got a suite upgrade on the 28th floor with an amazing river view. Did the Ducktours, Tea Party Museum, Freedom Trail Hike , Harbor Trail and spent time at the parks and a few pubs. I’d definitely recommend the b.Good burger shop at Boylston St. Overall this was one of my favorite short trips ever.

  21. Registered for the match then lucked into JetBlue’s 2 day sale. Flew Long Beach to San Francisco on a Wednesday for roughly $75 r/t and scored a total of 75,288 points! While the airplane was older, the service was good. I loved the Long Beach airport and was surprised that Jet Blue uses the SFO International terminal. But, that allowed me to use my Priority Pass at the Air France-KLM lounge prior to my return trip. Have to say, it was a fun and lucrative trip.

  22. Flew sfo-lgb rt last Sat for $100 less, booked during on sale.
    Interesting things happened.
    I noticed that 2 people booked exactly same flight as me. Both of them were sitting nearby, and I was sitting same row and side with one of them (I sat aisle seat rt while he sat at window seat rt)
    What a chance!

  23. Too bad regular seats weren’t available. I usually like the back of the plane when landing in LGB. You’re the first off and the seats are free!

  24. Yep! Wife and I both status matched from VX Gold to Mosaic, and then flew LGB-SAC-LGB this past Saturday for $79 r/t each. Got upgraded for free to Even More Space at the gate on the way there. Left LGB at 11:15AM, back to LGB at 2:40PM, 150K points richer.

  25. Ben have you ever flown out of Burbank? It’s such a great airport for people that live in LA. It’s usually more expensive than flights out of LAX but well worth it. I can show up to the airport ~20 minutes before my flight and still have plenty of time to board on time as security and check in lines are usually non existent.

  26. I basically did the opposite run as you Lucky and thought it was a great experience. I went LAS – Long Beach – LAS. Enjoyed some sushi at the Long Beach airport and hopped back on for the return in Vegas. Not a bad little trip for 75k points!

  27. I used to fly out of LGB a lot for cross-country trips to Boston. I think the small size of the airport is a feature – getting from security to the gate (and vice versa) is super quick and it’s ideally located for Orange County residents.

    I found on recent flights out of LGB that their TSA Precheck procedures haven’t been great. They usually don’t have a separate Precheck lane open and they instead give you an orange card that affords you special Precheck privileges in the regular line (I’ve experienced this at other airports too, depending on available TSA resources/time of day). However, even with Precheck they require you to remove your toiletries from your bag, which is not a requirement for Precheck according to the TSA website. I’ve complained to LGB a few times about this but they haven’t changed it.

  28. Like the author (and many of the previous posters), my wife and I signed up for the “points match” promo with JetBlue re: Virgin America. We ended up flying SFO-LGB-OAK, and spent a night in LA. Unlike the author, I didn’t have a JetBlue credit card, but earned 2x points on the purchase using my Barclays Arrival+ card — then used my points on the card to cover the purchase, PLUS getting 680 points for the purchase itself. So the flight was essentially FREE, plus I earned 680 points on the Barclay card. From JetBlue, my wife earned a total of 30,712 points, while I earned 75,712 (actual flight + Even More Space + points match). Total: 106,424 deposited in our pooled account. Sounds great, right?

    Like the author, we also paid extra for Even More Space, BUT . . . whoever heard of bulkhead seats having LESS LEGROOM!!! I’m only 5’11”, but sitting in 1C, I couldn’t even stretch out my legs. That was ridiculous! (I quickly changed my return flight to a different row and had more legroom — and was far more comfortable — on the return flight.) And also — like the author — we suffered throughout the flight with one of the surliest, sour flight crews. Both flights were fairly unpleasant experiences, making me long for Virgin America — even Southwest! (I agree, however, LGB is a breeze but for LA’s famed traffic . . . then again, so too is BUR.)

    The purpose of the promotion was, of course, to entice Virgin America customers over to JetBlue (and away from Alaska+Virgin). I keep hearing great things about JetBlue generally, and their MINT service in particular, but at this point, our plan is to use our points to fly MINT to JFK . . . take Virgin America, first class, back to SFO . . . and then forget about JetBlue for the foreseeable future. For me, I get a free trip to New York, but for JetBlue, they have yet to win me over as a future customer.

  29. JetBlue cancelled my 8:00 flight to JFK for the promo! Fortunately they automatically put me on the next flight out and an EMS seat was available. At 6’4″ I enjoyed the extra 6-7″ even if it was only a 45 minute flight.

    My seatmate was a FA from the 8:00 and she told me the new plane was JetBlue’s first put into service. Colloquially known as “Christine” (she didn’t get the reference), she was a little long in the tooth, but we arrived without incident.

  30. @Ryan Are you from Reno?

    I didn’t know they still did anything special for inaugural flights. I wanted to do that flight too but my b-day was the next day and didn’t want to stay overnight in LA.

    Instead I booked a RNO-JFK Roundtrip when fares dropped to $255 because I had never been to NYC before, and I am now on my way back to RNO (currently somewhere near or over Minnesota).

    2 days after I booked the RNO-JFK trip, they did the $19 each way sale to LGB, though it was too late for me to cancel and change the trip.

    I did upgrade one-way to JFK on the red eye to EMS just to see if I could get some sleep but I couldn’t. Though it was nice having 1 of only 2 or 3 empty middle seats. Both flights were practically sold out.

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