JetBlue was on a cost-cutting trajectory going into the pandemic. They haven’t eliminated change fees the way other U.S. airlines have on non-Basic Economy fares. But they’re having to turn to their loyalty program to drive bookings.
And they’ve announced several changes that make it easier to earn elite status, and more valuable to do so. They’re introducing lower qualification thresholds, several months of a companion pass, and new bonuses.
JetBlue Elites Get Companion Pass For 5 Months
Elites will get to bring a companion along with them at no fare for travel booked and flown January 1 through May 20, 2021.
Clearly JetBlue is expecting a surplus of extra seats for awhile – but not, at this point, for all of 2021. The benefit is going to take away some revenue from seats they’d otherwise sell, but the bet here is that they generate incremental travel when the cost to someone already earning elite with them is so much lower. People with a high propensity to travel can be encouraged to travel more.
Companion bookings must be made by phone, ringing the JetBlue elite phone line.
Easier Elite Status In 2021
Normally status is earned after 15,000 qualifying points or 12,000 points and 30 flight segments. That was reduced to 7500 in 2020 and will again be 7500 in 2021, and they’re also offering qualification at 6000 points and 15 segments in 2021.
Customers with the JetBlue Plus or business co-brand credit card can earn Mosaic status after $50,000 spend already. New for 2021 (only) is the ability to earn status with $30,000 spent and 4000 qualifying points.
Since the Department of Transportation approved the JetBlue-American Airlines partnership via omission it should be easier than ever for JetBlue customers to earn Mosaic elite status in 2021.
Elite Extra Legroom Seat Benefit Is Live
JetBlue doesn’t offer free upgrades to business class (“Mint”) to elites and until now hasn’t offered ‘Even More Space’ extra legroom seat upgrades either. Better coach seating is finally a perk of the status, albeit only when seats are available on the day of travel.
To request these seats you have to see a customer service agent at the airport – Mosaic desk, ticket counter, or gate.
Meanwhile, JetBlue has increased the number of points Mosaic members have to spend to book extra legroom coach seats in advance. That’s insane.
New Point Bonuses For Earning Qualifying Points
JetBlue is offering new threshold bonuses in 2021 for flying beyond the amount necessary to earn elite status.
- 10,000 qualifying points: 10,000 bonus points
- 20,000 qualifying points: gift elite status to a friend that will be valid through 2022
- 30,000 qualifying points: free roundtrip flight certificate
Since they’re reducing the flying necessary for status they want to make sure customers who do fly with them next year have a reason to keep doing so, even once they’ve earned elite for 2022.