JetBlue Tries To Lure Other Carriers’ Business Travelers By Giving Them Elite Status Right Away

One reason some business travelers and other frequent fliers stick with one program is that they’ve logged enough miles to earn the bonus perks available to elite travelers. Switching preferred carriers would mean having to start from scratch. JetBlue is hoping that it can lure some frequent fliers away from its competition by offering them instant TrueBlue Mosaic status.

Mosaic is the higher level of the carrier’s TrueBlue rewards program. Members get things like two free checked bags for them and their traveling companions, early boarding and dedicated customer service lines. But it also requires a lot of flying on the airline to earn that status — either 15,000 points or 12,000 points and 30 flights, all in a calendar year.

But for the next few weeks, JetBlue is offering automatic Mosaic status to travelers currently enrolled in any of the following programs:
•Alaska Airlines: Mileage Plan MVP Gold or MVP Gold 75k
•American Airlines: AAdvantage Platinum or Executive Platinum
•Delta: SkyMiles Medallion Gold, Platinum or Diamond
•Southwest: Rapid Rewards A-List Preferred or Companion Pass
•United: MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum or Premier1K
•US Airways: Dividend Miles Preferred Gold, Platinum or Chairman

So what’s the catch?
Anyone who signs up for this switch will then only have 90 days to run up 3,750 flight points on JetBlue. At three points for every $1 spent on a ticket’s base fare, that’s $1,250 worth of JetBlue travel in just three months. For some frequent fliers, that would mean shifting all or most of their air travel booking away from their current preferred carriers.

The big risk there is that many elite status programs require members to keep flying with some level of frequency or risk being downgraded to a lower tier. Travelers who are always just flying enough to keep that status will probably not be tempted to try out JetBlue’s program.

After years of being looked at as the discount airline people didn’t hate to fly, JetBlue is trying to carve out a foothold in the more lucrative business traveler market, introducing lie-flat seating and even single-seat “suites” for higher-paying customers on cross-country flights, then rolling out in-flight WiFi that offers casual users a free level of service and paying users something more suitable for business needs.

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