I'm a 36 year old librarian who loves to run, read, do yoga and hang out with my friends and family. I ran the 2008 & 2009 Boston Marathon for Team Eye & Ear to support the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Go Team Eye & Ear!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I think there's a hole in my frequent flier pocket

A couple of nights ago, Nick and I were talking about how terrible the frequent flier program at Jet Blue is. You need to accumulate 100 points to qualify for a complimentary round-trip flight; however, your points expire after a year. Depending on the distance, each flight is assigned a point value. For example, a flight from here to Buffalo, NY is worth 2 points and a flight from Logan to California is worth 6 pts. In other words, you'd have to make 9 round-trip cross country flights within a year to earn your free flight. Last year, I think I was up to 6 points from some flights to Buffalo; however, I'm back down to zero. To rub salt in the wounds, I just got the following email from Jet Blue:

0 TrueBlue Points! As you can see, I'm well on my way!


Marathon Libraian said...

Actually, if you book online, you get double points, so a round trip to the west coast would give you 24 points. I've that that journey at least 15 times in the last 4 years and I've managed to earn several free flights. I think it really only benefits the people (like me) who practically live on planes. Oh, and if you do have a JB credit card you get like 50 points for signing up and they don't expire (as long as you use it once a year). But there's an annual fee. Jet Blue has it's faults, but it's the first airline I've used that I actually get to redeem my miles. I flew AA for years and never got anywhere.
-Danielle, the other Librarian

Nick P. said...

I fly quite a bit for business and try to capture all my points on American and the OneWorld alliance. In fact, I was able to redeem my points to fly my wife and I to Hawaii from Boston first class round trip. AA miles never expire just so long as you travel one a year on their airline. I believe that is the standard across the majority of the industry. I fly Jet Blue for personal travel only, which is what the typical passanger in America uses the airlines for. Business travellers fly a lot but are a smaller portion of the population using the airlines. Given that fact and Jet Blue's reputation as a discount airline, I think the company isn't really doing a good job of meeting the needs of it's customers. In response to my email to them complaining about the expiration of their points, there reply was as follows:

"Dear Mr. Priselac,

Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways regarding our TrueBlue Program. As you discovered, TrueBlue
points do expire after a year. We offer ways to earn more points than just the points that are
earned per segment. When our customers book online at jetblue.com, they earn double points for their
flights. We also have a partnership with American Express which allows customers a way to upgrade
their TrueBlue accounts so points are extended for an additional year. We also offer our customers
the option to purchase points on jetblue.com through their TrueBlue account.

You used the example of 4 points per segment, the points per segment earned for a medium haul flight
of 601 to 1500 air miles, to 16 points for the roundtrip flight booked online at jetblue.com. This
allows our customers who book 7 flights to earn flight gratitude if they are taking the same medium
haul flight. For our customers who travel cross-country on JetBlue's long haul flights(over 1501 air
miles) they earn 6 points per segment . This means after 5 roundtrip flights an award flight is

To find out whether a flight is considered short, medium or long, click on the TrueBlue point
calculator below:


We've also recently made some changes to TrueBlue, perhaps they might work for you. Our JetBlue
American Express Cardmembers can extend their TrueBlue points an extra year! To say "Thank You" for
being a loyal JetBlue customer, all JetBlue American Express Cardmembers have the life of their
TrueBlue points extended for one year. This allows our infrequent travelers an opportunity to earn
flight gratitude. Keep in mind card approval is subject to credit review and their is an annual fee
of $40.00. You must be the flyer and primary cardholder for the purchased flights to get the
benefits of the card. So enroll for a new JetBlue American Express card, and your points will never

They basically told me to F off and then offered me a credit card. What customer service!