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JetBlue Adds Family Pooling to TrueBlue

SmarterTravel

Is JetBlue trying to be all things to all people?

The company has positioned itself as a low-cost carrier, price-competitive with Southwest, with a product that compares favorably with the full-service carriers’.

But catering both to price-shoppers and comfort-seekers requires a split corporate focus and mixed marketing messages. It’s a neat trick, if you can pull it off.

A quick glance at the company’s website suggests it’s all about cheap fares.

At the same time, the company is promoting its Mosaic elite program with a special fast-track offer targeting members of other major carriers’ programs.

Next summer, JetBlue will launch business-class seating, including private suites, on its transcon flights, challenging the major airlines’ premium services on one of the world’s most contested business-travel corridors.

And today, JetBlue added a feature to its TrueBlue program aimed squarely at one of the most value-sensitive segments of the travel market: families.

Into the Pool, Families

With the airline’s new Family Pooling option, families (or other small groups) can pool their TrueBlue points in a single family account.

JetBlue’s definition of “family” is broadly inclusive. According to the carrier’s news release:

A “family” is defined as a group of people united by a common affiliation. With TrueBlue Family Pooling, customers can determine their own “family” based on what is most beneficial to them. Everyone in the family counts. Whether it’s immediate family members, same sex partners or a couple of friends, Family Pooling is designed to improve the overall customer experience and allow groups to conveniently earn and redeem points.

Key features of JetBlue’s Family Pooling:

  • Family Pooling accounts may comprise up to two adults, aged 21 years or older, plus up to five children under the age of 21.
  • Only the designated head of household may redeem points accrued in a family account.
  • Pool members must contribute at least 10 percent of their points to the family account, and the percentage contribution can be changed only once per 12-month period.

Overall, TrueBlue is a weak loyalty program. The addition of a family-pooling feature makes it a bit more attractive, but only to a small segment of the traveling public.

But perhaps that’s JetBlue’s strategy: Divide and conquer.

Reader Reality Check

Is this a game-changer for you?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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