American Airlines and JetBlue’s new “Northeast Alliance” begins sponsoring the members of the two airlines’ loyalty programs. Since the agreement was announced last year, the two airlines have launched a new code-share partnership, promising more are in the works – including possible changes to how miles earn and redeem, as well as elite benefits.
Travelers can now earn AAdvantage miles and Elite status credit while flying with JetBlue. On the flip side, flyers can now also earn TrueBlue points and Mosaic Elite status credits when they fly Americans.
However, this partnership works like no other mileage partnership that either airline currently has. Instead of earning miles based on flight distance, you will earn AAdvantage miles or TrueBlue points based on the fare you paid. This has potentially interesting implications for the future of both programs.
Here’s a closer look at what travelers can expect with these new changes.
How to Earn AAdvantage Miles on JetBlue Flights
American Airlines passengers can now earn AAdvantage miles on JetBlue flights, just like most American Airlines fares. AAdvantage members flying JetBlue can earn 5 miles for every dollar spent on the base price and airline-imposed surcharges.
Gold: 7 miles per dollar (40% bonus).
Platinum: 8 miles per dollar (60% bonus).
Platinum Pro: 9 miles per dollar (80% bonus).
Executive Platinum: 11 miles per dollar (120% bonus).
How to Earn AAdvantage Elite Status Credits on JetBlue Flights
In addition to earning AAdvantage miles, travelers can now earn Elite AAdvantage tier credit even when flying on JetBlue-marketed flights.
The table of earnings accurately reflects the Elite Tier Credits you would earn while flying on American Airlines-marketed flights.
Your income from elite status will vary based on both ticket type and ticket cost. This is how the revenues are shaken:
Elite Qualifying Miles: You will receive 1 EQM for every mile flown in Economy, unless you are flying on a Blue Basic fare – the airline’s Basic Economy product. You will receive 2 EQMs per mile flown in most JetBlue Mint tariffs (Business Class). Only full price JetBlue Mint tickets (read: really expensive last minute bookings) earn 3 EQMs per mile flown.
Elite Qualifying Dollars: Flyers receive EQDs for elite status based on the amount paid for a JetBlue ticket, excluding government-imposed taxes and fees. But here, too, you will not receive any EQDs with a JetBlue Blue Basic ticket (Basic Economy).
Elite qualifying segments: You will receive 1 EQS per flight segment that is flown with JetBlue, except with JetBlue Blue Basic tariffs (Basic Economy), where you do not earn any.
What this means for AAdvantage members
Going forward, whether you fly American or JetBlue, your miles and Elite Status income will be nearly the same. If you currently have AAdvantage Elite status, you may want to stay on American flights to take advantage of the Elite benefits. However, you will receive the same amount of AAdvantage Miles and Elite Status Credits when you fly on either airline.
In itself, this is not a huge development. However, this can be a tipping point where AAdvantage members earn miles and elite status credits with other partner airlines. If American and JetBlue can exchange data to make this revenue-based earnings system work, American can potentially do so with other partners – especially joint business partners like British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas.
If this is implemented, it could potentially end a link to AAdvantage Elite status. Currently savvy AAdvantage members can Book partner airlines selectively to earn more EQMs and EQDs than they would earn on American Airlines flights. For example, AAdvantage members can earn far more miles and Elite Status Credits flying on low-cost premium economy fares from Japan Airlines or British Airways than if they booked the same fares through American Airlines.
How to earn TrueBlue points on American Airlines flights
TrueBlue members now earn points when flying on American Airlines flights. Earning rates are pretty similar to earning points on JetBlue flights – but there is one catch to be aware of.
Earn a base of 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent on all ticket types except Basic Economy (these flyers earn 1 TrueBlue point per dollar). Mosaic elite American Airlines fare members earn an additional 3 TrueBlue points for every dollar spent.
There are a few key exceptions, however. American Airlines flights booked through AA.com but credited to TrueBlue will not receive a booking bonus for the JetBlue app / website. If you are one JetBlue Plus card Owners, the news is worse: you will not earn bonus miles for spending on the airline’s credit card.
This means that when you book an American Airlines flight through the JetBlue website, you will earn much more TrueBlue Points – especially if you are on a flight JetBlue Plus card Holder.
Type of points / miles available by place of purchase
JetBlue app / website booking bonus points
Mosaic bonus points / miles
JetBlue Plus card Bonus points
Potential total points / miles per US dollar spent
How to Earn Mosaic Elite Status Credits on American Flights
As part of this expanded partnership, flyers can now earn elite qualification points on American Airlines-operated flights that apply to their mosaic status. Earn 3 Mosaic Qualifying Points for every dollar spent on all plans except the basic economy. Earn 1 Mosaic Qualifying Point for every dollar spent.
If you’re aiming for mosaic status, you may want to forego flying on simple economy fares.
What this means for TrueBlue members
This partnership gives TrueBlue loyalists a lot more opportunities to earn points in their preferred program. You can now fly on America’s extensive network and earn both TrueBlue points and Mosaic status credit.
Nerdy tip: Check prices on American and JetBlue websites. If prices are the same, book through the JetBlue website to maximize your TrueBlue earnings.
TrueBlue members have already earned miles with a number of other partners – including Emirates, Hawaiian Airlines, Icelandair and JSX. However, American is the first partner where TrueBlue members can earn Mosaic Status Credits. It will be interesting to see if American continues to be the only partner with whom this is possible, or if JetBlue will enter into similar partnerships with other airlines in the future.
The final result
Whether you are an American elite or a JetBlue loyalist, you just got a new way to earn miles, points and elite status credit with your favorite program. You can now earn AAdvantage miles and Elite status credits on JetBlue flights that are similar to American flights. And as long as you book through the JetBlue website, you will earn TrueBlue points on American Airlines flights as well as on JetBlue.
This is an exciting development. However, the unique way airlines have set Earnings Quotas makes us wonder if this is a linchpin in how you will earn miles and partner elite credit in the future – for better or for worse.
What’s next for the American JetBlue partnership? Based on what has been angry with airlines, we hope that mileage redemptions and mutual benefits for elite status will be added soon.
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