The One Major Exclusion in the JetBlue / American Airlines Partnership That Matters Most (to Me at Least)

JetBlue aircraft parked at the tarmac (Source: JetBlue)

A few weeks ago, American Airlines AAdvantage announced that its members could earn miles when flying on JetBlue flights. The number of AA miles you can earn flying JetBlue is identical to what you’d earn flying on American Airlines itself:

  • AAdvantage member – 5 miles for every U.S. dollar
  • Gold elite member – 7 miles per $ (40% bonus)
  • Platinum elite member – 8 miles per $ (60% bonus)
  • Platinum Pro elite member – 9 miles per $ (80% bonus)
  • Executive Platinum elite member – 11 miles per $ (120% bonus)

For elite status purposes, you can earn:

  • 3x EQM for full-fare ‘Mint’ (J)
  • 2x EQM for discounted ‘Mint’ (C, D, I)
  • 1x EQM for Economy
  • Nothing for Basic Economy tickets (L class)

One Small Detail Buried in the Small Print…

One of the more exciting developments in the airline industry is JetBlue’s entry into the transatlantic market, starting with flights to London, England from New York and Boston.

Our sister site in the UK is truly excited about the potential for Mint / Business Class return flights for $1,500 or so…

But some of us are also very focused on picking up a nice stash of redeemable miles when crossing the Atlantic in Business Class. Alas, this isn’t going to happen via the AA partnership.

Why?

American Airlines has a joint venture for transatlantic flights with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Finnair. This includes reciprocal mileage earning, redemptions, benefits, etc. And since JetBlue isn’t a part of the joint venture, AA can’t issue AA miles for JetBlue flights that compete with the joint venture.

So kudos to AA and JetBlue for not letting that get in the way of the wider partnership, but it is nonetheless disappointing for those of us who might have tried Mint for their next transatlantic flight, but will have to think twice about missing out on earning miles…