Etihad and JetBlue Introduce Reciprocal Mileage Earning & Spending

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Etihad is currently trying to expand its presence in the USA. For that, not only have they added a new route to Boston but they’ve also scheduled the mighty Airbus A380 for their flights to New York. The choice of those 2 cities is no coincidence, as these are JetBlue hubs. All those Etihad passengers can now connect to other American cities with JetBlue since Etihad has signed a new codeshare agreement with the American airline.

One part of that agreement has come into effect today: Etihad Guest members can now earn miles on all JetBlue flights, and JetBlue TrueBlue members can do the same on all Etihad flights. Furthermore, it is also possible to spend the programs’ miles for flights with either airline.

Both programs credit miles according to the booking class and the flown distance. Also, both programs only credit award miles. It is NOT possible to earn a status at either program with these flights.

TrueBlue’s table for Etihad flights is pretty standard, giving similar amounts than other programs. Etihad is slightly more generous overall, especially for business class. 130% of the distance for Mint class I is the most that you’ll get at any program.

Here are some examples of how many miles you would now earn for a few exemplary round trips:

At Etihad Guest:

  • New York – Syracuse: 104 miles
    (Economy class L)
  • New York – Bermuda: 1,524 miles
    (Economy class P)
  • Boston – London: 8,152 miles
    (Mint business class I)
  • Boston – Amsterdam: 8,962 miles
    (Mint business class I)

At True Blue:

  • Boston – Abu Dhabi: 6,668 points
    (Economy class E)
  • Amsterdam – Bali: 7,902 points
    (Economy class L)
  • New York – Doha: 18,350 points
    (Business class W)
  • London – Abu Dhabi: 18,854 points
    (First class A)

Are these miles even worth something?

While it’s nice to know that you can earn miles or points at these programs, the question arises if you should credit these flights at these programs. While we already gave you an idea of how many miles you’d get, here are some examples of how many miles you’d need for a couple of one-way routes:

At TrueBlue:

  • New York – Nashville (2h20 JetBlue non-stop flight): 5,500 points
  • New York – Aruba (4h39 JetBlue non-stop flight): 15,000 points
  • New York – London (7h13 JetBlue non-stop flight): 34,800 points
  • Abu Dhabi – Tokyo (9h25 Etihad non-stop flight): 49,000 points
  • Washington – Abu Dhabi (13h Etihad non-stop flight): 59,900 points
  • Rome – Phuket (5h20 + 6h40, Qatar Airways via Doha): 95,000 points in business class
  • Boston – Paris (7h10 JetBlue non-stop flight): 170,000 points in business class

At Etihad Guest:

  • Abu Dhabi – Male (4h15 Etihad non-stop flight): 5,105 miles + AED 305 (~€76)
  • Boston – New York (1h25 American Airlines non-stop flight): 6,000 miles + US$19 (~€17)
  • Miami – Boston (3h20 American Airlines non-stop flight): 15,000 miles + US$25 (~€23)
  • Boston – Paris (7h18 JetBlue non-stop flight): 45,000 miles + US$32 (~€29)
  • Abu Dhabi – Tokyo (9h25 Etihad non-stop flight): 95,000 miles + AED 1,195 (~€300) in business class
  • New York – Abu Dhabi (12h45 Etihad non-stop flight): 522,125 miles + US$544 (~€501) in business class
  • Washington – Seoul (13h + 8h25, Etihad via Abu Dhabi): 793,500 miles + US$700 (~€645) in business class

Overall, I’d say that crediting JetBlue flights at Etihad Guest is not exactly worthwhile. You’ll have to fly a lot of jetBlue flights to get a good award flight out of it. Etihad’s award flight prices are mostly unattractive. Should you be one of the few people who fly JetBlue Mint class and are based in Abu Dhabi, you could use those ~8000 miles for a medium-range Etihad flight.

On the other hand, there may be a few more people for whom crediting Etihad flights at TrueBlue could make sense. One long-haul economy ticket should already get you a short-haul flight within the US.

Cover Picture: Photo by Sachin Amjhad on Unsplash

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