American Airlines’ new partnership with JetBlue

Well, we didn’t see this coming. In a new recent announcement, American Airlines said that their new strategic partner would be JetBlue.

The Highlights

Just like when Alaska bought Virgin America to create the premier airline in the Northwest   USA, American and JetBlue are hoping to create something very similar in the Northeast corridor, while still maintaining their individuality.

Partnering together will allow them both to serve more passengers and, in a strange Covid pandemic reality, allow for new ways to try and make it out of this mess together.

The Flying Experience

Both airlines are going to enter into a codeshare agreement, meaning that you should be able to have one ticket incorporating both JetBlue and American flights, allowing for easier connections, baggage transfers, check-ins, and more.

Since JetBlue has such a commanding presence in the New York market, this would allow many people to fly into JFK on a JetBlue domestic flight and fly out on an American Airlines international flight, without having to leave the airport and start the check in process all over again.

Surprisingly, some of those expanded benefits will include the exceptional transcontinental services offered by both airlines. JetBlue’s Mint and American’s A321 three-cabin service will be shared as well.

We had the chance to try out both and I will have to say, that I think that JetBlue’s mint will probably win out over American’s service.  

New and Expanding Routes 

American announced, at the same time they announced this partnership, that they would be launching new flights from JFK to Tel Aviv (TLV), Athens (ATH), and Rio De Janiero (GIG). Because of the new partnership (and of course the new traffic), American would now be able to launch new flights into Europe, South America, Africa, and surprisingly, India.

American Airlines 777, from Bizjournals.com

Reciprocal Loyalty?

Here’s where it could get interesting.

The announcement was pretty vague, but did hint at some exciting opportunities to come:

We’re always looking for ways to expand value for our AAdvantage® members. We look forward to sharing information about new loyalty benefits for AAdvantage® and TrueBlue members soon.

So, it’s not a no, and it’s not a yes, but it’s a “we’re gonna tell you soon.” So, what could happen in a loyalty agreement?

  • When redeeming miles, can you now redeem JetBlue miles on longhaul American flights? What about transcon flights?
  • When earning miles, can I now earn AA miles by flying JetBlue?
  • Can I earn elite miles while flying JetBlue?
  • Will Mosaic status allow access to American lounges? 

The opportunities are endless when you launch a new partnership, and since JetBlue isn’t going into Oneworld (that honor is held by Alaska Airlines) it’ll be really interesting to see how they reward each other’s frequent fliers.

My Thoughts

I’m excited to see new partnerships like this emerge. Airlines are trying to find unique ways to make it through this coronavirus mess, and at the same time, reward their customers with reasons to stick around and fly more with them. 

We haven’t flown JetBlue because there truly was no reason for us to fly it. Now, with the ability to earn American miles and points, we might have to start looking more at JetBlue and what they have to offer.

Are you excited about these new announcements? Do you see yourself flying JetBlue and hopefully crediting to American?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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20 Comments

  1. Yes, I’ll now look into joining Jet Blue

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    • It’s like the worst airline in the world meets the best airline in the world. How’s that going to work? You wouldn’t get me on an American Airlines flight if my life depended on it. Just another garbage US airline like so many of them. JetBlue and Alaska are the only two exceptions. Of course Southwest sounds out the best customer service of any US carrier but when it comes to space there’s a very limited space. At least I can buy it on Alaska or JetBlue. Imagine flying JetBlue mint service and then walking on board an American Airlines Jet and gets slammed into those horrible seats and get fed that horrible food. Grumpy old flight attendants who hate their job. No thanks.

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      • You do have a point. Mint service is where it’s at.

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      • Greg –

        When I heard about this partnership, I had the same reaction as you. I think most of the reader here would agree that United and American are awful airlines with poor flying experiences. Their treatment of us as customers is abysmal. I use Jet Blue, Southwest, and Alaska as much as I can. They value their customers, have reasonable fee policies, and employees who generally like working there and have a great attitude with customers. Their reward programs are all very good, albeit with limited networks.

        My fear with this partnership is that Jet Blue’s program will deteriorate into the mess of American Air. Of course it will start well and generally go downhill from there. I hope Mr. Nickel-D’Andrea spends some time addressing this fear instead of worrying about using airport lounges. His lack of knowledge of Jet Blue is a major deficiency of this blog. He clearly has a preference for American.

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    • I avoided Jet Blue, only because the last thing I needed was another Loyalty program. Assuming they provide reciprocal programs, I am likely to take them earning AA miles on their Mint service transcon routes.

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  2. Best news they could announce next it that I can fly Jet Blue using the 160,000 AA miles I have built up on my AA credit card and had no use for because I couldn’t stand the service on AA

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    • We never redeem miles on American but always look on their partners.

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    • I would use every AA mile on Jet Blue !

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    • I’ve been flying JetBlue since I moved to FL in 2004. I would love to use my accumulated points toward International travel on AA. But I really don’t know what great comfort level will be

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  3. I’ll fly Jet Blue Mint out of FLL and have the miles credited to my AAdvantage account whenever I can. It will save me the trip down to Miami. I hope Jet Blue offers more Mint flights out of FLL for long distance domestic flights

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    • Miami airport is awful isn’t it

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  4. I really like Jet Blue. I fly them all the time to FL and New York. I have always liked American especially when I was working and flying all over the country. This is a great partnership and am looking forward to seeing it happen.

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    • Thanks Frederick. I agree! More options are usually a good thing 🙂

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  5. I always wondered why Jet Blue had not “hooked” up with a partner. So many years of rumors of Jet Blue being bought or merged into another airline.
    Hopefully for them they chose the correct partner but I think United would have been a better choice (they don’t seem to compete against each other much so a United Jet Blue connection seemed better.

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  6. I’m Mosaic with JB. Prior I was Exec Platinum with AA, decided to leave AA to JetBlue because of various reasons and I was not happy with AA.
    This partnership is not helping me since I don’t plan to travel with AA. JetBlue is expanding their routes to EMEA and so does AA. It would make sense if JB did partner with airlines that has more APAC routes instead imo.

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    • What about if you needed to fly AA internationally

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  7. Will AAdvantage miles be convertible to Jet Blue miles and vv? If yes at what exchange- 1:1 1:3 etc

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    • Nah. I don’t see that happening. Doesn’t happen with any other partnership. But a boy can dream!

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