JetPrivilege, the frequent flyer program for Jet Airways, has been undergoing a reengineering over the past couple of years. This has been possible with them now becoming a 51% owned subsidiary of Etihad which gave them a lot of leeway in becoming a market-leading program.
Firstly, Jet Privilege started offering a lot more miles for flying with Jet Airways making it an attractive program. Then, redemptions were also made more expensive, however fuel surcharges were taken away. Last year, the status earning and privileges of the program were restructured, where it became much easier to become an elite with Jet due to the more liberal rules now. Also, if you have a co-branded card, you get more validity for your JPMiles. Now, even kids can have a JetPrivilege account and family pooling is allowed. On a net basis, the program has moved in a positive direction with more award availability on Jet Airways, frequent promotions to earn more miles and so on.
With effect from today, they have also put into effect a new partner award chart. All award requests for partners have to be sent in at least 14 days in advance, and are non-refundable (no changes in the rules there). But there is one more change they have introduced with effect from today, which is the service charges towards award changes and cancellations.
- Changes/Reissuance to cost 750 JPMiles: If you changed your JetPrivilege award tickets on Jet Airways, earlier, the cost was 500 JPMiles per change. This could be a change in date, or class of travel (…you booked economy but business opened up…) or a cancellation and rebooking on another date, or a change of destination. In short, anything that would cause Jet to reissue your ticket would cost you 750 JPMiles instead of 500 miles cost till yesterday.
- Cancellations to cost 2000 JPMiles: Cancellations for JetPrivilege award tickets on Jet Airways earlier used to cost 500 JPMiles as well, as long as they were cancelled at least an hour before flight time. This cost has now been revised to 2000 JPMiles. Presumably, people would book speculatively and Jet is trying to curb this practice to keep more seats open for customers.
- Only Platinum members get waivers: JetPrivilege Gold and Platinum members used to get a waiver earlier on changes and cancellation charges. Gold members will now be required to pay a similar amount as other members for changes/reissuance and cancellations.
- Bag Tags to cost 250 JPMiles: All elite members get 2 bagtags on getting into a new tier or renewing their tiers. If you wanted more of those, you can have more at 250 JPMiles per bag tag.
Personally, I have these bagtags flowing all over my home and since these are not customised bag-tags, I don’t see the use of getting more and more of the same stuff.
Most of these changes do not harm anyone, if you book tickets only for genuine cases. However, in case you book awards speculatively, then there is some cost attached to this now.
Readers, what do you think is the impact of these changes on you?