In 2010 American and JetBlue announced a pretty unusual reciprocal frequent flyer agreement. Through this partnership, AAdvantage miles could only be earned for travel on select JetBlue flights out of Boston and New York, while there was no option to redeem miles for travel on JetBlue.
As odd as it was, the partnership made sense in a way — American has a ton of international flights into and out of New York, but doesn’t have that much domestic service out of New York JFK. Meanwhile JetBlue flies a ton of routes out of New York JFK that American doesn’t, so they could complement each other nicely — American could fly the longhaul flights, while JetBlue could pick up the slack for the domestic routes American doesn’t operate.
However, American and JetBlue announced today that they’ll be terminating their relationship as of April 1, 2014, both in terms of interlining and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits. So it will no longer be possible to earn AAdvantage miles for travel on any JetBlue routes, and vice versa.
Per USA Today, American issued the following statement:
“Through the merger with US Airways, American’s network along the East Coast provides greater connectivity and customer benefits and as a result, there is no longer a need to supplement our combined network coverage with the JetBlue agreement.”
And that’s probably true. Before the merger American was pretty weak on the east coast aside from Miami and New York JFK. While those are major international gateways, they’re not very practical for domestic connections. Now they’re merging with US Airways, which has a really strong network on the east coast out of Charlotte and Philadelphia.
Admittedly they don’t fly the same routes that JetBlue does nonstop out of New York, though they do offer one stop service to most of the previous “gaps” in American’s network, and I guess American is counting on passengers potentially being willing to take an extra connection.