America and JetBlue started rolling out their Northeast partnership earlier in the year, working together on flights out of New York and Boston.
Initially you could only earn miles in your home program when booking a codeshare flight on the other airline. But codeshares have the potential of being really frustrating for customers and American couldn’t even assign seats on JetBlue.
The alliance wasn’t really paying dividends for customers until now. Reciprocal mileage and status-earning on all flights operated by either airline is now available to members of both the TrueBlue and AAdvantage programs.
- JetBlue members earn miles, including elite bonus miles and app/web booking bonus on any American Airlines operated flight (with base points counting towards elite status).
- American members earn miles, including elite bonus miles and elite qualifying miles on any JetBlue operated flight.
Now codeshares are an option for members, which means they can use these when it makes sense for an itinerary (such as getting a better price) but it is not necessary to benefit from the alliance. This makes JetBlue a real partner of American from the median consumer perspective and is a huge win.
While the government approved the alliance it is now investigating the partnership at the behest of competitors who either don’t like them being a stronger competitor (Delta, United) or who would love the federal government to extract more slots from them in New York (or DC) and redistribute those.
But it really does make JetBlue+American competitive against Delta and United in New York – so while there are fewer ‘separate’ players there’s more viable competition. And now consumers will see direct benefit for their mileage accounts and status.