Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission that helps contribute to the running of the site. Traveling For Miles has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling For Miles and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities. For more details please see the disclosures found at the bottom of every page.
American Airlines and JetBlue first announced their (slightly surprising) partnership back in July LAST YEAR but other than offering members of each other’s loyalty programs the ability to earn their preferred currency when flying, the partnership has offered little in the way of reciprocal elite status benefits. Starting this fall, however, that’s set to change.
JetBlue and American Airlines have been making a big deal of their new alliance and have gone to great lengths to promote their strength in the US Northeast as well as focusing attention on the fact that, between them, the airlines offer lie-flat seating in the premium cabin on 11 of the domestic transcon routes that they operate.
Vasu Raja, American’s Chief Revenue Officer, has this to say about the partnership “[The] Northeast Alliance with JetBlue gives customers more choices and benefits and raises the bar on offering an industry-leading experience.” He went on to say that the airlines are unlocking more destinations for travelers, offering more flying for both their teams, offering a better suite of products and “a premium experience in the Northeast.”
That’s all very nice and very impressive but as nice and impressive as aspects of this partnership are, the people who fly these airlines with the greatest frequencies also like to be able to make the most of their (often) hard-earned elite status when they travel and, so far, other than limited reciprocal mileage earning and limited reciprocal elite credit earning (which were introduced in May), there hasn’t really been much to tempt elites from one airline to fly with the other.
Fortunately, starting this fall (no specific date has been given) this will change when American Airlines and JetBlue elites will see the two airlines launching what they’re calling “the first phase of reciprocal benefits”.
Admittedly, this “first phase” isn’t going to get many people excited as it only extends to ensuring that AAdvantage and TrueBlue elites get reciprocal priority check-in, priority security and priority boarding as well as an enhanced baggage allowance of up to two complimentary checked bags, but it’s a start and it’s certainly better than nothing.
Sadly, there’s still no indication of when flyers will be able to burn AAdvantage Miles on JetBlue or TrueBlue points on American Airlines and based on how Iong it has taken the airlines to roll out this this first phase of reciprocal elite benefits, I doubt we’ll see these options offered this year. The first half of 2022 is probably a reasonable target but even that may be ambitious.
American Airlines and JetBlue have announced that members of their frequent flyer programs will gain a limited number of reciprocal elite benefits starting this fall. None of the benefits that will be rolled out are particularly exciting or “sexy” but they’re better than nothing and being given access to priority check-in and security should improve the airport experience for some.