American And JetBlue Introduce Reciprocal Mileage And Elite Status Earning

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.

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Am I missing something, or is there STILL no info on reciprocal elite benefits?

  2. Agreed. Aside from eqm, I see nothing about early boarding, free bag allowance, etc.

  3. So any thoughts Gary on how this would work to get free bags if you have the Jetblue credit card and want to earn American Airline miles for status?

  4. @JC – I am confirming my understanding of this [based on card terms you just need to buy your jetblue ticket with the card and enter your jetblue # at time of booking, but if you change the account you’re crediting to later that should still make you eligible, just working on whether this actually happens in practice]

  5. Given B6’s plans to grow to Europe, this is really big for them – at AA’s expense. It is hard to believe that AA will benefit anywhere to the degree that much smaller B6 will.
    Given that AA execs said they do not intend to replace the 50-60 widebodies they are down since covid started because they have consistently been unable to make that many international aircraft profitably operate on a year round basis, B6 will be the beneficiary.
    It is also further announcements like this that give the DOJ reason to be concerned about the AA-B6 deal given that AA has essentially chosen its successor at slot-controlled LGA and JFK.

  6. However, you still can’t select a seat when you book on one airline and fly another. I booked AA on B6 for DFW-LGA because it was cheaper than on AA.com. But I can’t choose seats on JetBlue.com. For that, I’ll have to call. Which means waiting five hours for a callback. Not as seamless as it should be yet.

  7. This is starting to smell a lot like a merger plan. Wonder if JB and AMR lawyers are trying to figure out how to get around the regulators.

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