Two weeks ago JetBlue introduced a generous status match offer to poach disaffected Delta Air Lines elite members who felt SkyMiles no longer valued their loyalty. We should finally hear soon the details of how Delta plans to stop the bleeding of top customers walking away from brand loyalty. In the meantime, JetBlue’s offer stands through the end of the month. Alaska’s offer is, too.
JetBlue only just launched a meaningful status program five months ago, completely revamped as part of aligning its offerings with historically more loyalty-focused American Airlines. Now they’re using it to compete with Delta, which has a big presence at JetBlue’s New York and Boston hubs. JetBlue is even placing personal welcome calls to Delta elites making the switch.
Now JetBlue has announced new benefits for elite members, which should make them more attractive to Delta elites – and to their existing frequent customers.
- Confirmed business class upgrades at time of booking. Currently third-tier elites receive 4 upgrade certificates and top tier elites receive 2 more, and 2 can be used for a transatlantic segment and 1 for any other flight – provided space is available 24 hours prior to departure.
Starting January 4 these certificates can be used at time of booking, rather than confirmed only if JetBlue fails to sell out the cabin. These certificates cannot be gifted (but can be used for the passenger and a companion) and aren’t eligible for use on basic economy fares, but will not be capacity controlled however “[t]he number of certificates required to redeem will be dynamic and change based on the route and other factors, like flight prices.” The number of certificates required will vary from one to four.
- Car rental and hotel status. IHG One Rewards Platinum status becomes a new choice benefit for elites in 2024, and all elites will be eligible at some point in 2024 for an Avis status match.
- Dedicate elite phone lines for Mosaic 3 and 4 elites.
- Gift elite status Mosaic 4 elites will be able to gift Mosaic 1 status (but without a choice benefit selection, 5,000 bonus points or travel package bonus).
The current status program was itself a big improvement, and it appears that the 2024 changes are generally improvements as well. Confirmed upgrades are special, and JetBlue’s business class product is very good. The airline still has progress to make operationally, and still lacks airport lounges. But they’ve investing heavily in their status program.