UPDATE, July 23: JetBlue has confirmed all details of the program as described below in a release, as well as on their website.
Rumors of JetBlue introducing a recognition program for their most frequent flyers have circulated for years. The pace of these stories—including possible details of the program—have increased of late, culminating with an internal memo about TrueBlue Mosaic being leaked earlier this week. The memo offers details on both the qualification requirements and the benefits the program will offer.
First off, let's be clear that JetBlue is not calling this an elite program. It is an effort meant to identify the company's best customers while avoiding setting up tiers or ranks, at least as much as is possible. They have prided themselves on operating a relatively egalitarian operation and any change to that structure presents potential problems. It is not clear how well that part will work, especially since there are very real benefits being provided to those "elite" customers. But they are trying.
From the memo:
"TrueBlue Mosaic reflects the way our airline has always treated Customers, and will grow our relationships as JetBlue evolves over time. It's an innovative way of bringing together meaningful benefits to form a better way to fly. While other airlines categorize their Customers, we've always steered clear of items that feel elitist or exclusive, and this strategy has helped carve our name in the industry.
TrueBlue Mosaic—named for one of our iconic tailfins—identifies with this value, and will provide our most frequent travelers with useful, solid benefits that will make them feel special."
Much like other aspects of the TrueBlue program, qualification will be based on annual spend. A minimum spend of $5,000, or 30 one-way trips with a spend of $4,000, in a calendar year will qualify customers for the TrueBlue Mosaic badge. The benefits for reaching this level are being reported as:
–100% bonus on base flight points. This translates to an additional three points per dollar spent on flights.
–Free Even More™ Speed
–Early boarding (even for travel companions!)
–Access to a dedicated Customer Service line available 24/7
–A second bag checked free
–Ability to use TrueBlue points to purchase an Even More™ Space seats
–Six Even More™ Space seat upgrades
The Even More Speed product is what allows passengers to receive priority access at certain TSA checkpoints. This benefit is currently available at more than 30 of the carrier's 75 stations. Even More Space is the new name for their seats with additional legroom. These customers are also the first to board JetBlue flights, giving them early access to overhead bin space as well.
These benefits sit somewhere between the bottom and middle tiers of most legacy programs and the qualification requirements sit somewhere in the same area, too, for most customers. While the $5,000 entry point is a lot of money in annual spend, it does not appear to be too far out of line compared to what other mid-tier elites would spend based on the number of miles required and average fares.
JetBlue officials offered no comment on any potential changes to the program.
Seth Miller is an aerophile and a wanderlust. No trip is too short or too long and no destination too near or too far. In addition to closely following the travel loyalty program industry, Seth works to help educate others on the opportunities these programs offer through online travel communities and writes about his travels in his blog, The Wandering Aramean. You can also follow Seth on FaceBook and Twitter.
Photo credits: Jetblue via Shutterstock