This afternoon, I wrote about the changes to the Jet Airways frequent flyer program JetPrivilege, which was recently bought over by Etihad as a part of their investment in Jet Airways. Subsequent to the post, this evening, I heard from Manish Dureja, who now heads the JetPrivilege company, and explained to me the changes and the perspective to the changes.
First and foremost, he clarified that the changes are not going to be all negative, but mostly positive for the customer. He explained that while they’ve been intending to do a lot over the years, he has been working with his team over the past 3 years to overhaul the program, which now looks possible given they are a loyalty company and not an airline unit anymore.
- A lot of changes are on their way over the next 3 months: I have been now reliably informed that JP will work towards introducing a new change/s every 2-3 weeks, culminating in an overhaul of the entire program over the coming 3 months. The program is being revamped in a stagewise manner due to the complexity and technology challenges involved in the process.
- First, accruals will change for the better: While he did not give me in on the entire plan, he did tell me that with effect from August 1, 2014 there is a minimum number of miles concept being introduced. So, at least 500 JP Miles on short haul segments for customers when booked on 9W and 375 JPMiles on flying JetKonnect. Mails will be rolled out to customers today, or at best, tomorrow.
- Redemptions will be actually better with YQ going away: He explained to me that the changes for the redemption table were inadvertently exposed on the website today, and they have since been rolled back. Further, he explained that the new redemption amounts will go into force with effect from September 1, 2014 and customers will have a full month of notice to be able to redeem their miles at the old award chart if they wanted to do so. Under the new redemption table, fuel surcharge will go away, and only airport and statutory taxes will have to be paid. The values however remain true, and you can read some samples here.
- Domestic redemptions adjustments: With domestic accruals going up, sort of, domestic redemptions will go down in most cases, and go up in some cases. Why? He sort of told me about the 11:1 ratio they wanted to maintain on domestic redemptions for economy seating, which means for every 11 flights you accrue, you get one flight redemption. Now, if there is science involved in this adjustment, I’d take it either ways.
- More Availability? While I am not sure if I heard this correctly, or maybe this was in passing mention, but they are working to make availability better as well, maybe?
So, those were some of the key messages that JP wanted to put out. I am not in the know of the details, and I’m guessing if this was the case, then the redemption chart put out this afternoon was an honest mistake, and I’d wait over the days forward to see how many changes are positive and how many are not. So, I’m not writing them off yet, as one of my biggest mileage banks.
Just so that you guys haven’t finished a few bottles of tequila so far, be assured, the old charts are back online and changes will be made with notice. So, have a good day / good night, whichever part of the world you’re in. It was a false alarm.
Your views, folks?
- Jet Airways redemption award chart gutting without any notice!
- Etihad’s 50.1% stake buy in JetPrivilege cleared