There Are Several Hiccups For JetBlue Elites Trying To Get Benefits Flying On American

Reciprocal elite benefits on American Airlines and JetBlue are now live. That means,

  • priority check-in
  • priority security
  • priority boarding
  • priority checked baggage
  • two complimentary checked bags (1 for AAdvantage Golds)

There’s no priority seating benefit yet, but that’s coming, however it’s not going to be extra legroom seats for free on either airline. JetBlue doesn’t give these seats to its own members for free (JetBlue elites can buy the seats at a discount at the airport when traveling on JetBlue).

However the integration process isn’t going to be completely smooth.

Some American Airlines agents will miss a JetBlue elite member’s Mosaic status.

  • The reservation doesn’t have a status ‘banner’ the way American and oneworld status has
  • However there’s a prompt in the QIK check-in window showing JetBlue status, and the status is in special service remarks in the reservation
  • In addition JetBlue has been added to the frequent flyer program options in AACoRN, and this shows a member’s status and applicable benefits

Waived bag fees aren’t authomatic for JetBlue elites flying on American. Agents have to manually waive the bag fee entering reason code 10 – on One/Tier MSC and then add the B6 (JetBlue) carrier code in the MSC dialogue box. That means JetBlue elites may be paying for bags at check-in kiosks and will ahve to seek refunds. Automation is coming for this in ‘early 2022’.

The American reservation system also has bugs which fail to show that a bag is consdered premium and to add a Priority Bag tag. Agents then have to go validate the customer’s status, which I imagine many will not bother to do.

One note that I missed when the benefits were first announces is that JetBlue elites receive free same day confirmed changes on American but this is not a benefit for travel on JetBlue.

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. Hi, Gary, what about the reverse? Are their teething pains for AA elites flying on JetBlue that one should know about?

    Thanks!

  2. I recently booked ATL JFK flight and realized it says operated by jetblue. I am unable to choose seats, I am unable to update passenger data. When I try to add the itinerary, it says There is already a TrueBlue# linked to this itinerary. Please contact 1800-JETBLUE if you believe you’ve reached this message in error. That means I cannot choose seats, and most likely will have to pay bag check fees even though I am Platinum with AA. Thanks gary for the tip off.

  3. What exactly is the AAcoRN system used for? Is it used in reservations, airports, or both? I’m surprised it would take that long to get the free checked bag benefit hard-coded in the system for both online check-in, kiosk, and agent.

    Frankly, most of these benefits aren’t that exciting. I mean, what frequent flyers use priority security lines now that TSAPre is a thing? Sure, in 1995, priority security line could be a valuable benefit.

    The free checked bag is a tangible benefit, but obviously its difficult to use. There are going to be a lot of agents who either don’t know B6 gets the free bags or don’t know procedurally how to process the allowance.

    Also B6 Mosaic elites get free even more space seats on a space available basis at the airport, and it is a first come first serve process manually done by any AO airport agent. It cannot be done online, with kiosks, or over the phone. There is no charge for this option for Mosaic elites.

    Mosaic elites can use their points to buy “discounted” even more space seats anytime prior to departure via online or reservations. However, this benefit was devalued during the pandemic so now the point value required to acquire an even more space seat is much more expensive than in the past. A Mosaic elite can also apply this points even more space seat offer for other companions booked in the same PNR.

    AA elites are going to be disappointed when they see they cannot get free even more space seats in advance on B6 like they get MCE seats on AA.

    B6 elites flying AA might be less disappointed since they are not used to getting free even more space seats in advance. However, even before the formal change it was customary that gate agents would often give EMS seats to B6 elites. I imagine AA gate agents might give MCE seats space available to B6 elites. This will probably be possible with light flight loads when AA does the single agent boarding. 🙂

    Upgrades and waived fees are really what people want.

  4. @sam there is a Jetblue PNR locator in your AA reservation. Use that to choose seats on Jetblue.com. If your TrueBlue number is stuck to the reservation, you’ll need to call Jetblue to get it switched to AAdvantage number.

  5. I tried the pnr number on jetblue… it has all options disabled. Unable to select seats says this option is unavailable… practically nothing can be done with that ticket .. it just says you are ready to jet!

  6. @Sam – not sure why you haven’t already done this but how about calling JetBlue and explain the situation? I wouldn’t act helpless like you are. So what if the website won’t let you make the changes, I suspect an agent will be able to assist.

  7. @Sam, similar to you, I booked my flight using my JetBlue True Blue reward number. I couldn’t change it myself online. I called the JetBlue number, and the agent on the phone was able to switch my reward number to American Airlines. They also added the Even More Speed feature to my ticket for free. They couldn’t add free bags to my account, but said I can handle that at check-in. Thanks for the heads up that the free baggage feature may require some additional work at check-in.

  8. Etl
    I was trying to avoid calling jetblue as the wait times are high .. I guess I will have to now as this is the only way I can select seats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *