Extra Legroom Seats Are Now An Elite Benefit Of American-JetBlue Alliance

American Airlines and JetBlue introduced reciprocal elite benefits this past fall. The major omission was reciprocal access to extra legroom seats, largely a function of JetBlue not even offering those to their own elite members.

However JetBlue has been rethinking its elite benefits and now both JetBlue and American elites gain access to extra legroom seats on both airlines at check-in.

In addition,

  • Same day confirmed changes are now available, too. AAdvantage Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members get same day confirmed changes on JetBlue, and JetBlue’s elite (Mosaic) members get same day confirmed changes on American. Giving all JetBlue elites same day changes on American is generous.

  • Starting in April American Airlines Admirals Club members flying JetBlue can use their club lounge access. Several months before the pandemic American started restricting use of lounges to passengers flying the airline and certain partners same day (but exempting lifetime club members). JetBlue should have been one of these partners on relationship launch.

These benefits add to priority check-in and boarding and complimentary checked bags.

The U.S. Department of Justice is suing to unwind the partnership between American and JetBlue which is absurd because the government had only just approved this partnership and there was no new information suggesting any changes in the few months since that had happened – and because the partnership makes the two carriers together a viable competitor against United and Delta in New York.

Of course those two competitors don’t like it and lobby against it (Senator Amy Klobuchar, representing Delta, has pushed DOJ here) and other carriers want the Justice Department to extract even more slots from the two airlines in New York and give those slots to them. It’s an opportunity to extract rents.

My only concern with the partnership is that the two airlines are swapping who operates what route, and American doesn’t believe it has to honor award tickets in the cabin booked when exiting a market served by its joint venture partner.

Still, reciprocal elite status earning and benefits are meaningful for customers, and extra legroom seats are the most tangible yet for many. This needs to extend to at booking for higher tier American Airlines elites. Hopefully as JetBlue launches its new elite tiers it will.

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. Question.

    I’m One World Ruby. I have no AA status. Will JetBlue offer the same benefits?

  2. I’ve said this before, but in the case of New York, the ability of Admirals Club members to access a club when flying JetBlue is pretty meaningless when the largest terminal of the JetBlue / AA alliance (JFK Terminal 5) has no lounge

  3. The lounge access in bos & lax (& many others) will be nice. Both have lots of AA & plenty of B6 connections. So not meaningless to many non jfk flyers. A bit one dimensional but I see your point.

  4. The link says ….. “starting today, when checking in for an American or JetBlue flight, AAdvantage status members and TrueBlue Mosaic members can choose complimentary Main Cabin Extra or Even More® Space seats when available”….so it’s only upon check-in (not when booking) and then only if still available. Nice, but not nice enough.

    Jet Blue has so many different fare options it’s as confusing as heck. It appears you must pay more just for the benefit of bringing on a carry-on. I think I will continue to avoid the Blue and stick with American where my Platinum privileges are clear (if degraded since the introduction of Platinum Pro).

  5. This seems to me to really make Mosaic a redundant status level. Am I correct that effectively the only differentiation from an AA Gold now is that you get a free drink? I can’t think of a compelling reason to include your B6 number vs your AA number when flying B6 metal.

  6. Will this mean Jet Blue be able to access Alaska Lounges were AA does not have them like in SEA?

  7. When checking in…come on man. So it’s going to be like the old days of WN where you had to set your alarm to get checked in. Brutal.

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