There have been a lot of surprising changes to the airline industry since March. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many airlines to offer full refunds on basic economy fares. Some are only selling middle and aisle seats. And of course—masks required. The latest surprise comes from American Airlines and JetBlue. The two airlines have just announced a brand new partnership.
Both JetBlue and American promise better travel options with their new partnership. First of all, the change will bring integrated website booking capabilities, convenient connections, and improved on-the-ground experience. With two airlines being able to operate under a single reservation, connecting flights may become more flexible.
The biggest change will be the expanded flight network of both airlines. JetBlue will grow into New York City, with flights added to LaGuardia (LGA) and Newark (EWR), in addition to increasing presence at JFK. Fares will become more competitive, and previous customers loyal to JetBlue will now be able to access 60 new destinations. Other airlines in the Northeast such as United and Delta will certainly feel the affects of the new competition.
On American’s end of the deal, customers will have better access to global destinations from JFK such as Tel Aviv (TLV), Athens (ATH), and the return of seasonal service to Rio de Janeiro (GIG). In the future, this partnership will allow American to better facilitate long-haul markets in Europe, Africa, India, and South America.
By now you’re definitely wondering: what about loyalty? That’s a great question. Neither JetBlue or American Airlines have released details on the merging of their loyalty programs. However, they both hint that their respective loyalty points will be honored across both airlines.
Don Uselmann, JetBlue’s VP of Loyalty comments, “We are working with American to bring TrueBlue members additional opportunities to earn and redeem TrueBlue points.”
We are also eager to learn about how elite status will be handled across both airlines. Again, neither airline has made a statement regarding loyalty status. This announcement begs the question whether or not other airlines will follow suit and decide to work together. As an effort to save the collapsing airline companies, it doesn’t seem so far fetched at all. Stay connected with us for more details on American Airlines’ and JetBlue’s exciting new partnership.