Loyalty Limelight: JetBlue’s Mosaic Pieces Together Inventive Perks, Upgrades

The program: TrueBlue Mosaic

In a nutshell: Airline JetBlue in the fall will officially launch TrueBlue Mosaic, an upgrade to its existing loyalty program, TrueBlue. Mosaic is designed to recognize the carrier’s most frequent fliers, with perks that should add more value to the flying experience.

New Features: Members of JetBlue’s TrueBlue program qualify for TrueBlue Mosaic two ways – by flying 30 segments plus 12,000 base flight points within a calendar year, or by earning 15,000 base flight points within a calendar year. Flight activity in 2012 is credited toward these qualifications, and members will be notified by email when they qualify.

The features of TrueBlue Mosaic include complimentary access to expedited security lines  36 airports, two free checked bags, early boarding, the ability to use points to book larger seats (called Even More Space seats), and an around-the-clock, dedicated customer service line.

The Takeaways: The airlines are the longest-standing and arguably most sophisticated operators of loyalty plans today, so JetBlue’s upgraded Mosaic program can be viewed as much as an advancement as a necessity to keep ahead of the competition. The standard TrueBlue program, for instance, already does not have blackout or expiration dates.

That said, there are some distinguishing perks:

•JetBlue is giving members who earn the TrueBlue Mosaic “badge” in 2012 an introductory gift of six Even More Space seats. The seats are valid only for JetBlue flights flown before Dec. 3, 2013, and that to redeem, members must contact the Mosaic customer service line at least 24 hours prior to departure.

•An online Mosaic tracker enables members to gauge their flight segments and miles in an easy-to-read chart, so they can see how close they are to Mosaic status.

•Because of the earning structure, members can accumulate points faster and realize aspirational rewards more regularly. Members earn three points per dollar on top of standard TrueBlue points. Because TrueBlue rewards six points for every dollar booked on, members can earn nine points per dollar.

These features focus on providing the kind of recognition benefits that are becoming the norm in travel related programs today. But the tough task for JetBlue is managing the balance between the brand it portrays to the market with the kinds of high-end perks offered in many frequent flyer programs.

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