Tuesday, June 16, 2015

And then Mosaic happened...

As I said in the post yesterday, status is best earned when someone else is paying. Well, my hubby's most-recent work flight on JetBlue Mint posted this morning and he crossed the threshold into JetBlue "Mosaic" elite status. While he's United gold until Feb 2016, he left them for JetBlue at the start of 2015 (more information on why he left United here). The other big development driving his move is that his company changed their rules and started paying for Business Class for transcontinental red-eye flights. Since policy also requires him to pick a flight within $100 of the lowest fare offered, Mint is almost always going to be his only choice.

JetBlue's loyalty program is entirely revenue-based, so you earn status based mostly on how much you spend. Likewise you redeem points for a fixed amount of money (≈1.4¢ each). The Mosaic benefits are covered here, but I think the most exciting one is that you immediately get 15,000 bonus points (a $210 value) when you reach status.

15,000 bonus points for this Mint flight!


The 3 extra bonus points per dollar when booking might be nice, but with the corporate travel desk booking most of his flights we'll miss out on a bunch of the potential point bonuses from booking directly on JetBlue.com and using our personal JetBlue Amex. 

When we're flying domestically on our own dime, we usually aim for a Premium Economy seat unless there's a cheap First Class fare or a Saver-level First Class award seat available. Mosaic allows you to upgrade to a Premium Economy seat with points, but sadly not to Mint class. It's also unclear if they'll let you upgrade with points if you've paid cash for your ticket. According to this chart over on the Points Guy, it sounds like the "upgrade with points" option isn't priced particularly well (only 1.25¢ per point compared to paying cash to upgrade)UPDATE: For 2016, JetBlue improved Mosaic to include discounted point redemptions for Even More Space – up to 9¢ per point versus the normal 1.5¢ valuation for their points! In addition, they also added free drinks for Mosaic members flying in Economy. 

The rest of the options are pretty standard (early boarding, free bag, ticket changes with no fee). And on a Stockholm Syndrome-esque note, one of the best things about being United Gold is the dedicated customer service number... But our experience with JetBlue so far is that everyone who calls in gets handled quickly and fairly regardless of status. The quality of the Big 3 airlines has fallen so far that we just accept that only top and mid-tier elites are worthy of decent service. Though during a big east coast snow storm or summer hurricane, the elite line might come in handy for rebooking. 

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