JetBlue’s changes are (mostly) bad news for Mosaic elite customers
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The day has finally arrived. Today, JetBlue introduced its version of basic economy fares. Long rumored, these fares will help JetBlue better compete with the low-cost carriers.
It’s almost always bad news when an airline begins selling basic-economy fares, since you’ll now need to pay more for the same benefits that were previously included. The same story is (mostly) true for the carrier’s elite Mosaic customers.
Nonrefundable and nonchangeable fares
The new Blue Basic fares are nonrefundable and nonchangeable. Typically, Mosaic elites are entitled to fee-free changes and cancellations on any JetBlue ticket. However, if a Mosaic member purchases a Blue Basic ticket, the customer is not eligible for any changes or cancellations.
As a Mosaic myself, I love booking with JetBlue for the added flexibility of being able to cancel or change my reservation without charge. Now, I’ll need to purchase up to a Blue fare to be eligible for free changes and cancellations.
RELATED: Sign up for TPG’s email newsletter for daily travel insights in your inbox
The same is true for same-day changes and revenue standby. Since Blue Basic tickets don’t allow you to do either, Mosaics purchasing the cheapest fare type will need to be locked into their schedule, even if they’ve booked months in advance.
Seat assignments come at a fee
Another restriction of the Blue Basic fares is the inability to assign seats in advance unless you pay a seat fee. Other JetBlue fares include free standard seats, and you can always buy-up to an extra-legroom Even More Space seat. With Blue Basic fares, you’ll need to pay for the standard seats too.
With Blue Basic, Mosaics aren’t entitled to free seat assignments. Even worse, you won’t be able to redeem TrueBlue points for seat fees. The best use of TrueBlue points is almost always for an Even More Space seat, a feature reserved exclusively for Mosaic members. However, when purchasing a Blue Basic fare, a Mosaic member will need to purchase seats at the same cost as any other passenger.
Earning Mosaic status will be harder
The TrueBlue earning rates have also been adjusted for Blue Basic fares. With Blue Basic, you’ll earn 1 Base Point for every eligible dollar you spend. Compared to the other JetBlue fares where you earn 3 Base Points for every eligible dollar you spend, this is an unwelcome change for Mosaic members.
Earning Mosaic status requires either 15,000 base points or 12,000 base points plus 30 flight segments in a calendar year. Now, a Mosaic purchasing Blue Basic fares will need to buy three times as much airfare to qualify for Mosaic status each year.
Amid all the other negative changes, one of the best shortcuts to earning Mosaic status hasn’t been killed. If you spend $50,000 a year on the JetBlue Plus Card, you’ll still earn Mosaic status without needing to step foot on a plane.
Checked and carry-on bags are still included
Amid all the bad news for Mosaics, there is one piece of good news. Mosaics and their travel companions on the same reservation are still eligible for two free checked bags per person on all fares, including Blue Basic.
Even if you don’t check bags, you’ll still be eligible to preboard in the Mosaic boarding queue when purchasing a Blue Basic fare. Preboarding will help ensure that there’s room for your carry-on in the overhead compartment. Other Blue Basic passengers will need to board last, which almost certainly means that they’ll need to gate check their carry-on bags.
JetBlue’s introduction of basic economy is mostly bad news for Mosaics. The fares are nonrefundable and nonchangeable, and you’ll need to purchase seat assignments even for the most basic seats. You’ll earn many fewer TrueBlue points on a Blue Basic fare, making it even harder to earn Mosaic status. As consolation, checked and carry-on bags are still included for Mosaics purchasing Blue Basic fares.
Starting today, Mosaics will need to pay more for their flights to be eligible for the entire suite of elite benefits. There are no two ways about it — these changes are a big devaluation to the carrier’s Mosaic members.
All photos by the author.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.