JetBlue Partners With American, But Wants You To Know Their Product Is Much Better

American Airlines and JetBlue have partnered, letting you earn miles and status when flying the other airline, and codesharing on routes out of New York and Boston.

The partnership is off to a bit of a rocky start with problems assigning seats, earning miles, and communicating baggage charges. The government suing to stop it months after approving it.

American is now able to assign seats for customers when they sell a codeshare flight on JetBlue. The two airlines are getting closer. And reciprocal elite benefits are coming this fall. However JetBlue wants to make sure customers still understand that their inflight product is better. So they’ve revamped their website to make this clearer.

JetBlue Airways’ next challenge in its partnership with American Airlines is making sure travelers know whose plane they will be on.

JetBlue is revamping its website to more clearly call out services it offers, like free Wi-Fi and snacks, or its business class, Mint, for jointly sold flights, JetBlue’s President and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty said in an interview this week.

“Transparency eliminates confusion,” Geraghty said. …The redesign will likely include bullet points to show what each flight offers, she added, and will take several months.

JetBlue used to be a genuinely better airline. Over the past decade they’ve slowly worked to become just a little worse. But they still offer,

  • More legroom than American
  • Seatback televisions, which American has been removing
  • Free wifi (American charges)
  • Alcoholic beverage sales (American says they won’t serve alcohol in coach until the federal mask mandate is lifted)

If a customer goes to the JetBlue website and books a JetBlue flight, they expect the JetBlue product. Having to pay for wifi, getting less legroom, and with no seat back television is going to be jarring. And it risks undermining the brand JetBlue has built. If they’re known for anything it’s their TVs from when they went all-in on live TV 20 years ago.

Of course, while I think the JetBlue-American combination creates more competition in the Northeast (making them viable against United and Delta), codeshares themselves serve almost no customer benefit.

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, 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. The biggest disadvantage that JetBlue has is consistently ending up in 9th out of 10th place in US DOT on-time statistics.
    and it isn’t because they fly out of congested airports in the NE because other airlines including AA run better on-time on the same routes.
    The reason why Delta has grown as much in the NE as it has and gets as large of a fare difference as it does is because of JetBlue’s poor on-time and American’s poor product presentation and delivery in most areas besides on-time.

    American and JetBlue do compliment each other well. They both significantly underperform each other on different elements of airline service

  2. Agree. Why wouid Jetblue agree to a codeshare with Amercan? Jetblue has much better product than AA ( IFE, more legroom in coach, free WI-FI, alcoholic in coach, better passenger service, etc.)?

  3. I have flown American Airlines many times. It doesn’t matter to me if they have TV or not or wi-fi or not etc… what matters to me is their flight crew , their attention to handicap,The cleaning of the plane and getting for point A to B. I have flown others but American is my air transportation

  4. The one recent BOS – DCA I booked on B6 round trip was delivered both flights on an AA older plane. The B6 website said nothing about this being the plan and if I had wanted the inferior AS product I could have gone to that website and ordered it. The number of flights in the northeast is down with this regional fake merger and we as a flying public are not better off for it. Where once two actual aircraft flew this route every hour it’s now one. And usually AA branded. I favor the new law suit. And I can’t believe I just said that.

  5. @Bill Sell. It’s a business route with no business travel currently happening. Have you seen frequencies on any other business route around the country lately?

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