Home Airline Loyalty Qatar Airways & JetBlue now offer reciprocal mileage earning

Qatar Airways & JetBlue now offer reciprocal mileage earning


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Earlier this year, Qatar Airways and JetBlue announced that their “strategic partnership”  would be expanding with the airlines codesharing on more routes and with reciprocal loyalty program benefits on the way for Privilege Club and TrueBlue members. As of yesterday, one of those reciprocal benefits was finally delivered with JetBlue and Qatar Airways flyers now able to earn points/miles on both airlines.

The announcements

This is what Qatar Airways has had to say:

“Qatar Airways and JetBlue are launching a reciprocal loyalty partnership, bringing additional perks to members of both airlines’ loyalty programmes. Qatar Airways Privilege Club members can now earn Qmiles on flights operated by JetBlue and JetBlue TrueBlue members can earn points on Qatar Airways flights.

Privilege Club members can now fly to more destinations across the United States, the Caribbean and Central America, by connecting beyond Qatar Airways’ U.S. gateways onto JetBlue’s network of 100 cities, while earning Qmiles. This brings the total number of destinations in the Americas to more than 300 cities, allowing Privilege Club members to earn Qmiles when they fly with our partner airlines.”

And while there doesn’t appear to have been a formal press release about this from JetBlue, this is what the JetBlue Qatar Airways partner page now says:

“TrueBlue members can earn TrueBlue points on all qualifying Qatar Airways-operated flights. Qatar Airways’s network spans over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries, with easy connections with JetBlue in New York (JFK) and Boston. Earn TrueBlue points with Qatar Airways based on the type of fare you purchase and the distance you fly. TrueBlue members can earn bonus points for flying on Qatar Airways’s premium offerings in First and Business.”

Note: Elite status credits are not (yet) being awarded.

Earnings

JetBlue has published an award chart for Qatar Airways and it’s based on distance flown rather than the cost of a flyer’s fare.

JetBlue Qatar Airways award chart

If you compare that to the award chart that American Airlines publishes for Qatar Airways, you’ll see that based purely on the number of points/miles earned, the JetBlue award chart is slightly more generous across a wide number of fare codes.

Clearly, the decision on whether to credit Qatar Airways flights to TrueBlue or AAdvantage is unlikely to come down to just how many points/miles are awarded (crediting to TrueBlue will not currently earn status credits while crediting to AAdvantage will), but this is still something to keep in mind.

As an aside, it’s interesting to note that JetBlue doesn’t appear to have been brought up to speed with the news that Qatar Airways ‘P Class’ fares are no longer First Class fares. They’re the airline’s ‘Business Lite’ fares and so should be earning considerably fewer points than JetBlue appears happy to hand out.

Qatar Airways doesn’t publish award charts for partner airlines but you can use the airline’s Qcalculator to see how many Qmiles are on offer for JetBlue flights and you can work out the earning rates from what the Qcalculator shows.

New York to Los Angeles

New York to Miami

New York to Chicago

Unsurprisingly, Qatar Airways is awarding miles based on distance traveled and these are the earning rates:

  • Business (C,D,I,J) – 125% of distance flown
  • Economy (B,E,H,K,M,O,P,Q,R,S,U,V,W,X,Y,Z) – 100% of distance flown
  • Economy (N) – 50% of distance flown
  • Economy (L,T) – 25% of distance flown

While not perfect, these earning rates align quite closely with what JetBlue offers TrueBlue members for Qatar Airways flights.

Overall, the program to which you chose to credit your flights will clearly depend on which currency you value the most and which program offers you the best elite status earnings so, for now, I suspect that most people will continue crediting their Qatar Airways and JetBlue flights to the same program they’ve been crediting them to all along.

That may change when Qatar Airways and JetBlue start offering elite status credits for travel on each other’s flights – we’ll have to see what those earnings look like – but, for now, I don’t see the status quo changing.

One interesting option

There is one interesting new option that the JetBlue/Qatar Airways partnership now offers that wasn’t available before – flyers now have a new program to which they can credit JetBlue’s transatlantic flights.

The American Airlines/JetBlue partnership doesn’t allow flyers to credit flights on either of JetBlue’s London routes to the AAdvantage program, but you can now credit those flights to the Qatar Airways Privilege Club.

The earning rates are far from amazing – they’re the same as the earning rates for JetBlue’s domestic flights – but for oneworld flyers with little interest in the TrueBlue program, this is good news.

Note: Don’t forget that the Qatar Airways Privilaege Club is a transfer partner for the Citi ThankYou program so any miles credited to the Privilege Club can be topped up with earnings from cards like the Citi Premier Card and the Citi Prestige Card.

Bottom Line

Qatar Airways and JetBlue are starting to make good on the promises they made back in April by introducing reciprocal mileage earning for Privilege Club and TrueBlue members. Flyers still can’t burn Privilege Club miles on JetBlue or TrueBlue points on Qatar Airways but that’s something that’s apparently on the way and while no mention has been made of elite status credits, I’m hopeful that they’ll be offered somewhere down the line as well.

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