JetBlue Offers Points Transfer for Virgin America Fliers
Photo courtesy of JetBlue
It is no secret that JetBlue has been courting Virgin America’s fliers since its takeover by Alaska Airlines. ‘Blue indirectly targeted Virgin loyalists with a recent promotion for cross country flights. Now, it is taking a more direct approach, offering to match Virgin’s frequent flier points on its own TrueBlue program.
Members of Virgin’s Elevate program have to act quickly to take advantage of this offer. First, they must sign up for TrueBlue, then they are required to take a screenshot of their Elevate dashboard and then mail it to JetBlue by July 4 along with their new TrueBlue number. New members have to wait for confirmation of eligibility for the promotion (which will be sent via email). They will then have to book a round trip flight with JetBlue by Aug. 31. After this first trip is on the books, the Elevate points will be transferred to the new TrueBlue account.
Will JetBlue’s courting of Virgin America’s frequent fliers work?
It certainly makes sense on some levels. JetBlue and Virgin both have customer-friendly, tech-savvy images. Both are popular with younger, hipper fliers who value connectivity and comfort. Though it is known as one of America’s more customer-friendly airlines, Alaska Airlines lacks a lot of the traits that attract certain fliers to Virgin America, so there is reason for Virgin fans to worry about coming changes.
READ MORE: Could The Virgin America Brand Survive?
However, Alaska CEO Brad Tilden has hinted that he may consider operating Alaska and Virgin as two separate brands under one ownership group. So Virgin could still live on after the merger. The question, then, would be how much Virgin would change under this new ownership. There will certainly be pressure from Alaska’s shareholders to make Virgin more profitable and to reduce its debt. This could mean cutting some of the features that give Virgin its image.
Also, it remains to be seen how Virgin’s customer-facing employees, who are known for their friendliness, feel about working for their new employers.
Because of these uncertainties, Virgin fliers might still be tempted to give JetBlue a try, even though there is a chance Virgin could live on as part of the Alaska group.
At the very least, Elevate members can hedge their bets by joining JetBlue and give themselves an alternative airline and frequent flier program should the changes coming to Virgin America be more than they can stomach.
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