Chase Adds JetBlue as a Transfer Partner, Loses Korean Airlines

Chase Adds JetBlue as a Transfer Partner, Loses Korean Airlines

Chase added JetBlue as an Ultimate Rewards transfer partner today, a few days after losing Korean Airlines. JetBlue is one of my favorite U.S. airlines and one of the few that isn’t packing their planes with seats at the expense of leg-room. They provide free in-flight Wi-Fi, free cable TV, and serve gourmet snacks on the flight. I have not flown on their transcontinental premium cabin called Mint just yet.  It is a product which many travel enthusiasts have rated as the best business class service for domestic flights in the U.S. JetBlue routinely has flash sales and when the cash price of a ticket is cheap, so is the redemption using their frequent flier miles for that particular flight. If you’re based in the Boston, NYC, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and Los Angeles areas where JetBlue has a vast network, you will benefit from this partnership the most. You can transfer UR points into JetBlue if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred. If you have the AMEX Platinum or Gold, you can also transfer AMEX Membership points. Most of the time, the transfer rate is 1000 AMEX points for 800 JetBlue TrueBlue miles (right now its 1:1 as a promotion) so I would advise against using the AMEX option at the non-promotional rate. Chase has it as 1:1 but also remember to use the Chase Portal and see if you can get a better redemption if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You get 1.5 points per mile by booking through their portal and it’s certainly possible that the UR travel portal may be the better redemption option versus transferring to JetBlue.

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Unfortunately, this comes a few days after the news that Chase has dropped Korean Airlines as one of their transfer partners. For international and long-haul travel, this was a very valuable SkyTeam transfer partner as you were able to get great travel redemption’s on SkyTeam alliance partners such as Delta, KLM, Air France, Alitalia, Aerolineas Argentinas, and non-alliance partners such as Emirates. From the continental U.S., it was possible to fly from the East Coast to Hawaii for 25k miles round-trip, a bargain when you consider the cash price frequently tops $1k. Here is to hoping that Chase adds another transfer partner that has a vast international network such as Korean Airlines.

JetBlue Making Significant Changes to its Partnership With Amazon

JetBlue Making Significant Changes to its Partnership With Amazon

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Simply put, this really sucks. I have benefitted greatly from this partnership between JetBlue and Amazon over the last 18 months or so and I am sure many of you reading this have benefitted as well. Even though I’d still get points if I make an Amazon purchase while flying and being connected to JetBlue wifi, I don’t fly JetBlue enough where I’d be able to take advantage of this frequently. If you’re based in the Midwest or a smaller airport that doesn’t have a ton of JetBlue service, you’re probably in the same boat. It’s even harsher for those who utilize the free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime frequently. I have no idea whether it was Amazon or JetBlue that called off the partnership but you have until March 27th to accumulate TruBlue points via Amazon shopping.

Beware of How You Joke Around With a Pilot – First Hand Account

Beware of How You Joke Around With a Pilot – First Hand Account

Thanks to Tyler Stone, a great friend and special contributor to MilesForPlaces for sharing this first hand account on a recent flight from Orlando, Florida to Albany, NY.

“On this day, my JetBlue flight was scheduled for an 11:40 am departure out of Orlando to Albany. The boarding process was business as usual.  Everyone  was already on the plane.  Then around noon, just prior to taxiing out to the runway, the Captain announced that there would be a further delay. He went on to say that he had been piloting for over 25 years and takes his job very seriously. He has built his life and his family around this career and has a clean record (sounds very agitated)

At this point, everyone started looking at each other like “what the hell is going on?” Captain continued that a passenger had claimed he saw the pilot at the bar and that these kinds of statements are taken very seriously.

“If a passenger makes these types of statements and other passengers overhear this, it can cause widespread panic among other flyers. Because of this,  I’m going to have to step off the plane and conduct some tests to ensure I am safe to fly. I can assure you that I have not consumed any alcohol prior to this flight and the gentleman who made this statement claimed he made it in a joking manner”

All the passengers were clearly annoyed at the man who made the comments. The Captain then mentioned that FAA personnel would have to meet with him and clear him prior to flying. An airport employee came on the plane and escorted the elderly gentleman who made the comments. He looked pretty embarrassed and obviously knew he messed up.

The Captain ended his brief speech reiterating that the passenger had clearly said he was just joking after the fact but these kind of statements are taken seriously and need to be followed up on.  The Captain said “you wouldn’t joke about having weapons while going through TSA. Likewise, it’s not appropriate to make these types of ‘jokes’.”

About 10 minutes or so passed. The elderly passenger who made the statement was led back onto the plane. Again, he looked visibly embarrassed and had just about every eyeball on the plane honed in on him.

A few moments later the pilot came back on and said everything was taken care of and we would be departing shortly (he still sounded very angry at this point). The rest of our flight was pretty uneventful and we got to Albany safely. The moral of the story, don’t compromise a pilot’s ability to do his job by making a smart ass comment that can get him in trouble.”

 

Earning JetBlue Points on Emirates

For those of you traveling overseas on Emirates, don’t miss out on an easy opportunity to earn JetBlue points. You can make an Emirates Skywards membership and earn points  for Emirates but unless you’re traveling frequently or making multiple trips on business class, it will take a while to accumulate anything meaningful. Instead, you can enter your JetBlue number and earn miles for a program that doesn’t require a ton of miles for travel.  The number of JetBlue miles you earn is based on distance and class of booking. You can see the chart below

 

 

If you end up booking the cheapest fare on Emirates, economy saver, you will get 1 point for every 2 miles in distance that you have traveled. If you’re wondering how many JetBlue miles that will earn from your departure city, use a website such as http://www.webflyer.com and enter your departure and arrival city. I’ll use a round trip from New York City (JFK) to Dubai (DXB) as an example.

 

The round trip distance is 13,660 miles. Were you to book an economy saver fare, this would earn you half of that or 6,830 JetBlue points. If you booked economy flex, you would receive 13,660 JetBlue points and the amount increases as you increase your booking class. The most valuable aspect of JetBlue’s frequent flier program is that they allow a 2 adults and 5 children to combine their miles into a family account free of charge. The individuals do not have to be related so you can also share the points with a friend. If you have parents that are traveling overseas via Emirates, you can sign them up and have them earn points as well. And if they don’t intend on using them, they can book you an award ticket on JetBlue under their account.  So when you’re booking your ticket on Emirates, just remember to click the drop down tab under “frequent flyer program” and click JetBlue. Enter your TrueBlue number and those points will be credited to you in about 10-14 days after the conclusion of your trip.

When booking on Emirates.com, select JetBlue and enter your TrueBlue number on this screen. 

Leveraging Your Routine Spending into Points: JetBlue

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post the first step you should take prior to flying is enrolling in that airline’s frequent flier program (if you haven’t already). It only takes a few minutes and it’s free. And the best part about being part of a frequent flier program is you don’t necessarily have to travel to earn the miles. You can allow your routine spending habits do that for you. For this post I’ll go over the benefits of using JetBlue as a gateway to Amazon.com.

JetBlue – If you do any type of shopping on Amazon.com, JetBlue’s frequent flier program (TrueBlue) is one which you should absolutely sign up for. If you click on the Amazon.com link through JetBlue’s website and then make your purchase on Amazon, you get 3 points per dollar on your purchases. All it takes is a few clicks and I have posted screenshots below on how to get to the link. Just as an FYI, make sure your browser cookies are enabled so JetBlue can verify you shopped on Amazon using their link.  Another important thing to remember is making sure you add items to your cart AFTER clicking on the JetBlue link. If something was already in your cart, JetBlue won’t track that as a purchase you made via their link and the points won’t be credited.

Step 1) Make a TrueBlue account with JetBlue if you don’t have one. When you log in, this is the home screen. Click on the blue rectangle.

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Step 2) Click on “our partners” on the bottom left

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Step 3)  Click on “learn more”JetBlue3rdPage

 

Step 4) This is the last step. When you click on “shop and earn”, you are directed to Amazon.com.

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Once you are on Amazon.com, everything you purchase except Amazon gift cards will earn you 3 points per dollar. Amazon sells gift cards to retailers such as Starbucks and Whole Foods. Those also earn 3 points per dollar. From my experience, points will usually post one month after you have made the purchase on Amazon.

For those of you near JetBlue’s main hub in New York City  (JFK) as well as secondary hubs such as Boston, Los Angeles (Long Beach), and Fort Lauderdale, you would benefit the most since you have access to just about every non-stop route that JetBlue flies.

If you live in a city such as Minneapolis, Indianapolis, or St. Louis you might ask yourself if a few clicks are worth the trouble when JetBlue does not fly to your respective city. But let’s say you wanted to take a trip to California and you wanted to visit both San Francisco and Los Angeles. If time and fatigue were not an issue, you could make the 380 mile drive up or down the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. But if you wanted to save time and fly, that is a route that JetBlue serves. It is also a route that does not require a ton of points for an award ticket. A random search for an August date shows that it takes 3,000 points to fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

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One way flights from San Francisco to Los Angeles (Long Beach Airport) are as low as 3,000 miles per one way ticket.

 

For my Chicago friends and family, let’s say you wanted to visit South Florida via Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport. You could make this round trip happen in September for as low as 6,800 points or 3,400 points one way.  If you use Amazon with any type of regularity, don’t miss out on your opportunity to earn JetBlue points.  As far as I know, JetBlue is the only airline that has a partnership with Amazon which allows you to earn points.

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In my opinion, JetBlue has the most family friendly frequent flier program of all the U.S. carriers. They allow 2 adults and 5 children to pool points into a single household account. The individuals do not have to be related so you can also make a combined account with a friend. This makes it much easier to accumulate and redeem for award travel. So while you’re signing yourself up for an account, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get your spouse and kids signed up as well.