JetBlue and Etihad expand partnership to include mileage earning, redemptions


JetBlue is bolstering its partnership with a major Gulf airline. Starting Wednesday, the New York-based carrier will expand its partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways to include certain loyalty benefits.

That means, going forward, you’ll be able to use your TrueBlue points to book a flight aboard Etihad — or vice versa. And the same goes for earning miles.

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Growing partnership

JetBlue and Etihad have been partners for close to a decade. But their link-up has been a much simpler codeshare arrangement, allowing travelers to book itineraries with seamless connections between the two carriers.

But until now, Etihad Guest and TrueBlue loyalists have not been able to earn or redeem frequent flyer miles when booking travel on the opposite carrier.

That’s about to change.

Once the two carriers’ partnership expands Wednesday, TrueBlue and Etihad Guest members will be able to earn and redeem points in the loyalty program of their choice when flying on the network of either airline, JetBlue shared in a statement Tuesday.


What this means for travelers

Adding Etihad as a loyalty partner would seem to bring the Abu Dhabi-based airline more in line with the array of airlines with which JetBlue has frequent flyer program tie-ups — from Qatar Airways to Singapore Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and Icelandair.

From time to time, JetBlue’s other partnerships have produced compelling opportunities for travelers to find business-class partner award deals using TrueBlue points, such as in Qatar’s Qsuite.

If you have a stash of TrueBlue points — or credit card rewards that transfer to JetBlue or Etihad — this partnership could open up more flexibility and opportunities for redemptions.

JetBlue and Etihad expand partnership to include mileage earning, redemptions

Etihad’s Residence aboard its Airbus A380. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

For instance, you may find future opportunities to use TrueBlue points for a flight aboard Etihad’s Airbus A380 out of New York. Or you might be able to transfer a flexible currency like American Express Membership Rewards points to JetBlue for a Mint redemption across the Atlantic.

JetBlue and Etihad expand partnership to include mileage earning, redemptions

A JetBlue Mint suite on its Airbus A321neo. SEAN CUDAHY/THE POINTS GUY

“This partnership extension delivers both JetBlue TrueBlue and Etihad Guest members more ways to earn and redeem on travel, making exploring either airline’s network of top global destinations even more rewarding,” Christopher Buckner, JetBlue’s vice president of loyalty and partnerships, said in a statement announcing the news.

No elite status benefits

Despite the bolstered partnership between JetBlue and Etihad, there is one downside: no reciprocal elite status perks for Mosaic members traveling aboard Etihad, or Etihad Guest elites flying on JetBlue.

For now, at least, the partnership will be limited to an “earn and burn” arrangement, a JetBlue spokesperson told TPG. That means you’ll be able to earn or redeem miles on either carrier in the loyalty program of your choice — but the reciprocal benefits will largely stop there.

Related reading:

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By: Sean Cudahy
Title: JetBlue and Etihad expand partnership to include mileage earning, redemptions
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Published Date: Tue, 07 May 2024 12:54:23 +0000