JetBlue Just Rented Itself a Quality Frequent Flyer Program, and Made the Airline More Attractive

JetBlue and Singapore Airlines have introduced reciprocal mileage-earning.

You can earn JetBlue’s TrueBlue points when flying Singapore Airlines:

You can earn Singapore Airlines Krisflyer miles when flying JetBlue:

This relationship makes a lot of sense for both airlines, and it makes a lot of sense for passengers. There are good, strategic reasons to select one earning option or the other for your flying.

JetBlue gets onward connecting passengers, and Singapore Airlines gets feed for its New York JFK – Frankfurt – Singapore flight. Interestingly, they’ve developed a relationship with Virgin America which helps them support their San Francisco – Hong Kong and Seoul onto Singapore flights.

Their Star Alliance partner United has a hub in San Francisco and yet Singapore went outside of the alliance for that partnership. United has a hub at Newark, but Singapore ended their Newark – Singapore non-stop and continues to operate their JFK flight… while United is completely abandoning JFK.

Clearly Singapore feels United isn’t getting the job done for them. (And I’ve seen quite a bit of discounting of economy seats on Singapore’s Houston flight, another one out of a United hub.)

For passengers — especially U.S.-based passengers in the Northeast (eg Boston and New York-based, though also South Florida) — this presents strategic options.

  • JetBlue points don’t expire, while Singapore miles expire after three years. So JetBlue is good for the occasional flyer who doesn’t play the mileage game aggressively.

  • Singapore is a transfer partner of American Express, Chase, Citibank, and Starwood — so the points are easy to get and top off. Thus it’s a great option for the occasional JetBlue passenger. Plus Singapore has good premium cabin award availability on their own aircraft, and good United domestic award pricing.

  • This makes it possible to fly JetBlue and still earn points that can be redeemed for premium cabin international travel. In fact, you can fly JetBlue’s excellent premium cabin Mint product and earn miles that can be reasonably-well redeemed for premium cabin experiences as well. You don’t have to choose between your miles and a good travel deal any longer.

To my mind this makes JetBlue travel a lot more attractive, precisely because I consider the TrueBlue program an also ran but the Krisflyer program is quite useful.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] JetBlue Just Rented Itself a Quality Frequent Flyer Program, and Made the Airline More Attractive by View From The Wing. JetBlue & Singaporea are now reciprocal mileage-earning partners. Not a big deal unless you have a lot of paid flights with either airline, but still a nice addition regardless. […]

Comments

  1. Could this be SQ pissed about UA abandoning JFK? SQ no longer services EWR directly, and this gives them a way to get people in and out of their JFK flights…

  2. So now, if I want to fly BOS-JFK-FRA using SQ miles, is it possible in 1 itinerary using B6 from BOS-JFK? Any idea on cost?

  3. Agreed. This makes JetBlue a more viable option, especially for those looking to accrue miles for redemptions rather than status for upgrades. With the competition moving to revenue-based frequent flyer programs anyway, and with JetBlue offering superior legroom (though not superior seat width) in economy anyway, I can see affiliation with Singapore changing some folks’ calculations (possibly including my own) about JetBlue versus the Big Four. Thanks for sharing this news.

  4. Certainly better than nothing, but given that redeeming Singapore Airlines miles on Star Alliance partners has:

    1) Higher “official” mileage cost
    2) No 15% discount

    I’m curious as to what it actually costs to redeem an award involving Virgin America or JetBlue. Their website is very dodgy about it….

  5. @Tim If you are a paid member of PreCheck or Global Entry then what’s important is your Trusted Traveler Number, not your frequent flier number. If you get it by virtue of being an elite (which I actually think is a discontinued program) then it could matter.

  6. Be careful Some low fare SQ codes get you zero True Blue points

    If I was a frequent transcon B6 flier and could rack up enough (flights and AMEX membership rewards) for a SQ biz/first flight within 3 years – I’d jump on this in a heartbeat.

    Here’s a good scenario – a walk up one-way on BOS-DCA tomorrow is $289 (254 fare plus taxes) and is in B fare bucket. Would you rather earn 398 Krisflyer Miles or up to 2032 TrueBlue points (if you book online and use True Blue AMEX)?

  7. JetBlue , I love flying with you. Anyway anytime. This is just another addition to your lovely airline. I love the frequent flier program it makes me fly more with all those free miles.
    Keep it comming.

  8. @joelfreak

    The only places that UA served from JFK were SFO and LAX…. which are also SQ stations.

    Who in their right mind is going to take UA p.s. SFO/LAX-JFK-FRA-SIN when they could take LAX-NRT-SIN or SFO-ICN/HKG-SIN?

  9. UA leaving JFK had nothing to do with this hook-up. SQ has not codeshared with UA for some time. Those two airlines do not get along at all.

    I agree this is a win for B6. Buy Mint, accrue to KF is not a bad plan at all, and I think it will win Jet Blue some business. Mostly more United defections.

  10. We need more competition. Please everyone, ask your friends if they would consider starting an airline.

    We should let me3 fly purely domestic routes.

  11. Any word on earnig rates and whether you’ll earn full 9x base fare if you are Mosaic and crediting to SQ?

    Also, do we think miles credited to SQ won’t count towards re qualifying for Mosaic when flying B6? And I presume SQ paid floghhts credited to B6 wont help toward Mosaic requalification.

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