Thursday, March 15, 2007


For a road-warrior like me, no-frills airlines like JetBlue and Southwest have brought a whiff of freshness in the stale airs of the big carriers like American Airlines, Delta, United and US Airways. What I like best about Jetblue are the personal television monitors, a la Singapore Airlines, to survive the long cross-country flights. They had friendly staff who made funny pre-boarding announcements until the FAA clamped down on their humor. There are constant servings of beverages and junk food (like my favourite Terra Blue potato chips) to satiate the thirst and hunger cravings.

They have gotten a lot of flak lately for the recent flight cancellations at JFK in New York where they left passengers stranded in the terminals. This happens to me every time I fly through O'Hare during winter on just about any airline.

My only complaint about Jetblue was and is their frequent flier policy. For each flight completed and each reservation made online you get a certain number of points (Max of 8 for a coast-coast) and once you reach 100 points or about 8-10 roundtrips before you get a free round-trip. (Southwest requires 16 roundtrips for a free ticket). The problem with the JetBlue policy is that these points expire in a year so if you are unable to make the 100 points in a year they will be gone. I have watched my 92 points vanish in the last month. This rule is draconian...I am still redeeming my American Airline miles that I earned in 2000.

I had stopped flying on American because their service went down the tube after 9/11. I used to have a choice of two hot meals on coach during my trips from Austin to San Jose in 2000. Now I dont even get peanuts that Southwest hands out with glee.

I restarted my trips on AA as my manager got me an Admirals Club membership as a spot award. This membership provides me access to their lounges so I can sink into their comfortable leather sofas, watch the telly or read the magazines, and get on to the internet before and after a flight. This lounge feature is a good strategy for airline companies as frequent fliers are bound to get hooked on it and stick with the carrier.

I have lesser incentive to fly on JetBlue now as I have to make all my travel arrangements with our official travel agent which means I dont get the reservation points anymore, thereby doubling the number of trips I need to make for the magic 100 points. I am only hoping JetBlue sees the error in their ways and win back their customers loyalty. They can start by reinstating my lost 92 points!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

a quick tip for future reference: your trueblue points don't expire if you have the jetblue american express card.