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As JetBlue has a partnership with American Airlines, most people who fly with the airline probably credit their flights to either JetBlue’s TrueBlue program or to the American Airlines AAdvantage program. For JetBlue’s transatlantic flights, however, the AAdvantage program isn’t an option and that’s where another of the airline’s partnerships can suddenly become useful.
Historically, most people outside of the US didn’t really have much use for JetBlue. It was a niche airline that (aside from a few routes to Mexico and the Caribbean from the East Coast) didn’t have an international presence.
However, when the Northeast alliance was announced and when JetBlue started codesharing with American Airlines, it became a lot more interesting, and now that it’s operating flights across the Atlantic, JetBlue is an option that considerably more people are hearing about.
That’s great, but from a miles & points point of view, there’s a small problem with JetBlue’s American Airlines partnership which makes it considerably less useful for international travelers – you can’t earn AAdvantage miles or AAdvantage Loyalty Points on JetBlue’s transatlantic flights.
This may not be an issue for fans of the TrueBlue program, but for those of us for whom TrueBlue has little purpose, this isn’t good news.
One of the other options open to JetBlue’s transatlantic flyers is the Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer program, but unless you happen to be planning to book a Singapore Airlines flight or are already a frequent flyer with Singapore Airlines, that’s probably not a particularly useful option to have.
A potentially more useful option comes in the form of another of JetBlue’s partnerships – its partnership with Qatar Airways – which doesn’t always get the publicity that it possibly deserves.
Like the JetBlue/American Airlines partnership, the Jet Blue/Qatar Airways partnership has it’s limitations – JetBlue flights don’t earn Privilege Club status credits and you can’t earn Avios on JetBlue flights to/from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington – but unlike the JetBlue/American Airlines partnership, there is no restriction on earning Avios on JetBlue’s transatlantic flights.
For a lot of people, this is a great option to have because unlike Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles, Avios can be put to great use on a wide variety of regional short-haul routes which are often expensive to book with cash.
As you should be able to see from the image above, travelers who credit their eligible JetBlue flights to the Qatar Airways Privilege Club will earn miles based on the distance flown and the cabin in which travel is taken, and that’s great news for anyone who manages to book a good deal*.
*With the cost of a ticket not being factored into the number of Avios a traveler can earn, a great cheap fare will earn as many Avios as a vastly overpriced fare in the same cabin.
With the distance between New York JFK and London measuring 3,451 miles…
… and with the distance between New York JFK and Paris measuring 3,635 miles…
… anyone booking a JetBlue round-trip transatlantic Business Class fare will pick up between 8,627 and 9,087 Avios.
Economy Class passengers booking any fare class other than “L” will earn between 6,902 and 7,270 Avios, while passengers booking the very cheapest transatlantic Economy Class fare (L class) will earn between 1,725 and 1,817.
That’s not great, but it’s not terrible either.
I’m more than happy to admit that the number of Avios on offer isn’t exactly spectacular and that the fact that Privilege Club elite credits are not on offer is a little disappointing… but this is better than nothing.
For a lot of people, crediting flights to TrueBlue or KrisFlyer will only create a small points balance that may not get redeemed for years or that may not get redeemed at all (KrisFlyer may expire them before they can be used), so the Avios option will be attractive.
Keep in mind that Avios earned through the Qatar Airways Privilege Club can be transferred to the British Airways Executive Club and from there they can be moved to Aer Lingus or to Iberia Plus.
This means that there are a variety of ways in which Avios earned from JetBlue’s transatlantic flights can be used effectively and economically and when it comes down to it, flexibility is king in the miles & points world..