It seems that often we don’t have too many choices when we fly. Living in Alaska we were limited to one airline to get to Anchorage or Seattle so it made sense to keep a loyalty to them just to collect the miles. When we lived in Mongolia we had two destinations we could fly to yet again — Beijing or South Korea. We tend to just go with the least expensive airline that gets us to our destination. As a result, we have memberships in quite a few frequent flier programs. Keeping up with them is a hassle. I have been applying for accounts for Jacob lately and one thing that I have taken advantage of is a number of opportunities with JetBlue for miles.
First, they let families pool their miles for free. This itself is awesome. Instead of each of us individually collecting miles we’re all contributing to one account which we can then redeem for a free ticket or reduced fare.
The second is that they have a badge system for members of TrueBlue. You can earn badges by flying to destinations, shopping with partners, staying in certain hotel chains or renting cars from affiliated agencies. Earning a badge is apparently something that they want you to then post on social media so they get a little bit of free advertising. Some of the badges come with mileage bonuses. Fly three round-trip flights and earn an extra 5,000 miles with the badge. Or, fly to every JetBlue destination and get an extra half a million miles. I’m starting off with the freebies… connect to Twitter and Facebook. Doing those two along with the free miles for joining their badges program added 850 miles to my account. If Pepper and Jordan do it then we’ll add over 2,500 miles to our family pool.
Some of this apparent excessive mileage gifting from the airline reminds me of Alaska Airlines when they offfered something like 250 miles just for doing a web check-in. Or other incentives to hook customers on their new practices.
I’m especially excited about JetBlue because they are running a sale fare that we’re taking advantage of. For $99 each we can fly from Seattle to Anchorage one way. The date limitations work perfect for our return home this summer. Yes, Anchorage isn’t home. No, flights from Anchorage to Petersburg are not less than from Seattle. But for less than $400 we can get the whole family to Anchorage? With the money we save on flights we can grab a car and spend a week traveling the state!