JetBlue Virgin points match showed up PLUS new Alaska routes

A few months ago, JetBlue and Alaska were both vying to purchase Virgin America. In the end, Alaska won but most people think they overpaid by about half a billion dollars. Both airlines' responses since the purchase have been, uh, interesting.

A few weeks ago, JetBlue decided to run a points match challenge, where people with Virgin America miles could email them a screenshot of their Virgin account and if you took one JetBlue round trip before the end of August, JetBlue would match the miles in your Virgin account (with a few very reasonable asterisks here and there). Well, my status match came through today and my recent flight to Portland yielded me around $500 worth of free JetBlue points!

Free $500? Yes, please!

In other, somewhat-related news, Alaska just announced that they'll be taking advantage of newly-opened slots at Newark (EWR) and adding 4 new flights there from the West coast. Then, a couple days later, Virgin announced they'd also be adding additional Newark flights! I don't quite get the logic here, since Virgin already flies out of Newark and Alaska doesn't... like why not just add Virgin flights to those routes? Narrow-body planes on a transcontinental flights aren't fun to begin with, but at least Virgin has a vastly better First Class on their planes than on anything United (or Delta) is flying to those destinations. Alaska's planes have the same Crappy Domestic First that most of United's do. No idea what the thinking is here. I'd heard one person float the idea that all of Virgin's planes could be refreshed to lie-flat First + Premium Economy configuration and have it be a luxury brand while leaving Alaska to be the "work horse" airline. Can I just say that I'm totally in favor of that :)


Start date
City pair
Departs
Arrives
Frequency
Nov. 10, 2016
Portland-Newark
6:55 a.m.
2:55 p.m.
Daily

Newark-Portland
3:55 p.m.
7:05 p.m.
Daily
Nov. 21, 2016
San Diego-Newark
9:55 a.m.
5:55 p.m.
Daily

Newark-San Diego
7:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m.
Daily
Mar. 12, 2017
San Jose-Newark
6:30 a.m.
2:55 p.m.
Daily

Newark-San Jose
4:05 p.m.
7:40 p.m.
Daily
May 14, 2017
Seattle-Newark
11:50 p.m.
8:06 a.m.
Daily
May 15, 2017
Newark-Seattle
9:30 a.m.
12:25 p.m.
Daily

I love the idea of Virgin becoming a boutique luxury brand!

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