JetBlue’s been making headlines recently. First it was increasing checked bag fees, a move that was quickly followed by the other airlines (here’s how to avoid paying them). In more positive news, they’ve announced that members of True Blue, their frequent flyer program, will be able to combine points with anyone they wish.
JetBlue is not new to letting you pool points, as they’ve offered “Family Pooling,” which lets two adults and up to five children add points to the same pool, since 2013. There were restrictions to the program that made it difficult to use for anyone except a typical family unit traveling together:
- A family was limited to 2 adults and five children under 21
- When you joined a pool, you could contribute anywhere from 10% to 100% of your current and future points. You could only change this percentage once a year.
- All points in the pool stayed in the pool. If you left or were removed from the pool, your points stayed behind.
- Only the “Head of Household” could make reservations with points in the pool.
While there are instances where this program is beneficial, we never bothered to enroll. It just seemed to be a difficult process with too much red tape.
I was happy to get an email from JetBlue telling me about changes to the Family Pooling program:
- Family Pooling is becoming Points Pooling—a new and improved way for you and up to six of your most fly friends or family members to pool points together.
- In Points Pooling, your pool can be made up of 2 to 7 members of all ages—family or not. A squad that pools together, flies together.
- The Pool Leader, formerly called Head of Household, can designate other members to redeem from the pooled balance (even Greg, who would probably never redeem everyone’s points on the fly and take off to Las Vegas). Important note: the Pool Leader must be 21 years or older.
- Pool Leaders will be able to customize the name of their pool. So, go ahead, make it a pool party.
The ability to pool your points with anyone makes perfect sense. If you want to pool points with a group of friends so you have enough points for a free ticket, you’d be able to split the savings between you. Want to use the random points in Grandma and Grandpa’s accounts they earned for the trip they took? Just add them to your pool.
This is totally awesome because JetBlue True Blue points don’t expire. Nope! Their policy isn’t “points do not expire with activity every xxx months.” Instead they just never expire. I’m sure there are plenty of people with a small amount of points sitting in accounts that they are now able to pool together to book a ticket.
Another big change is you need to put all your points into the pool when you join but they’re still your points. If you choose to leave the pool, you take your points with you. I’m interested in seeing how they’ll remove points when booking from the pool; will you be able to select which points to use from each account or will they go by percentages?
With the Points Pooling program, the Pool Leader can now allow other members of the pool to book reservations (previously only the Head of Household could book flights). This is nice, as it lets more people have access to the account (albeit at the discretion of the Pool Leader).
Another interesting advantage of this new program was mentioned on Million Mile Secrets – since the JetBlue Plus card offers a 10% rebate on award tickets, if someone in your pool has the card, it makes sense to let them book the tickets. That way you’ll get the 10% back even if the cardholder isn’t traveling.
I’m looking forward to when this program goes live (UPDATE: it now IS!), as there’s no launch date on the email. I’m sure that Sharon and I will be having a pool party with our points.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary