JetBlue will match your Elite status from another airline
Got an email today from JetBlue announcing that they'll grant you Mosaic status if you're an elite on another airline.
- Virgin America®: Elevate® Silver, Elevate® Gold
- Alaska Airlines®: Mileage Plan™; MVP® Gold or MVP® Gold 75k
- American Airlines®: AAdvantage Platinum® or Executive Platinum®
- Delta®: SkyMiles Medallion® Gold, Platinum or Diamond
- Southwest Airlines®: Rapid Rewards® A-List Preferred or Companion Pass
- United®: MileagePlus® Premier® Gold, Platinum or Premier1K®
- Emirates: Emirates™; Skywards Silver, Gold or Platinum
Looks like the only Silvers welcome at this party are Virgin and Emirates... But the news for the silvers and those with no status is that they're also offering a status challenge to anyone: earn 3750 base points in 90 days and you qualify for Mosaic through 2017.
The Facebook reaction has been mixed. While some people are mad that, say, a United 1k can now have Mosaic status when a "loyal" JetBlue flier who only flies 3 times a year can't, I don't think the grumpiness is really warranted. With Alaska acquiring Virgin, this is a make-or-break time for JetBlue. They have hands-down the best domestic First Class (a.k.a. Mint) and dissatisfaction with the big three carriers is running high given how they keep gutting gutting their loyalty programs. Now is the time for a bold move. A status match gets frequent fliers to come try their product and hopefully get them to stay without having that feeling of losing their current status. In addition to this, JetBlue is also expanding the Mint product to a bunch of new markets and pricing it aggressively.
I should also point out that Mosaic is quite a bit different from other Elite programs; the biggest difference being that Mosaic members don't get complimentary upgrades. I'm honestly happy about this. So much of what's made domestic air travel crappy is how elites treat First Class as "upgrade class", and because no one pays for it so there's no incentive to make it an attractive product to everyone. That's the secret to JetBlue Mint's awesomeness - you have the incentives in place to always make it worth paying for.
I think the next big move they need to make is to have more earning and redeeming partners. So much of what drives loyalty to the big 3 is the idea that their miles (often earned from flying on someone else's dime for work) give them access to a huge range of international destinations. Right now the only other airline you can redeem TrueBlue points with is Hawaiian... Let's see what happens.