Be careful with your money, Ajay! is not a phrase I have to hear often, but sometimes I wonder myself if I am doing the right thing or not, so I look to you guys for suggestions and experiences.

For an upcoming trip, I had held award tickets on Jet Airways and Air India both, thinking I would be able to take a call on which one to use as I came closer to the travel date. The whole travel plan happened on a whim, so I was not sure about how my schedule was going to evolve closer to the travel date.

One thing was for sure, I did not want to be on an early morning flight, but that was my best case scenario with Jet Airways. However, taking my own advise that I give everyone, that on award tickets you got to show a bit of flexibility, I sucked it up and booked it anyways.

Now, it seems I don’t want that ticket anymore. As a JetPrivilege Platinum Member, one of the advantages I have is the ability to cancel award tickets without any mileage deductions on my account. So, for this ticket, I will receive the entire mileage amount deducted, and the cash paid towards taxes back into my account within 3 working days.

However, I was reminded, that I can use this ticket over the next 1 year as an award ticket as well, subject to availability. How this works is that while the current travel will be cancelled, the ticket shell is retained, and at a later date, for the same passenger/s on the same routing, you can use the ticket for award travel by quoting the e-ticket number to the service centre and reserving new seats.

With me, I chose to just cancel the ticket in whole and have the miles return to my account, albeit this costed me INR 250 as the convenience fee which will not be returned to my account. Ultimately I can look the other way and claim that is what coffee costs for two people at Starbucks these days, but it would be interesting to hear how you guys would have acted in this situation.

Cancel the ticket and get your miles back (forfeit the fee!)

                                          or

Save the ticket shell and use it another day

I’m looking forward to hearing your views…

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 12 Comments

Yesterday, I wrote about my wish for a consistent meal service on Jet Airways. Today, I thought why not add another thing to this wishlist with my experiences with Jet Airways on Sunday.

I was supposed to be in Gurgaon for a couple of days over the weekend to meet up old friends from my alma mater. But when I booked my ticket, there was no firm plan in place, but I wanted to lock in tickets early to be able to get a good price with so many sales being in in play at that moment. Hence, I booked the outermost possible ticket to return to Mumbai (a 9 PM DEL-BOM flight).

Cue to November, the plan worked out just fine. Except for one bit, where a lot of people had booked earlier tickets, and hence we wrapped up Sunday afternoon in stead of Sunday evening. I had a few hours on hand, and nothing to do, so I decided to head to the airport as well, and get some work done.

I did enquire at the check-in counter if the airline could swap my ticket for an earlier flight. At a couple of earlier occasions, the airline has been able to do this, given my Platinum status and their ability to find a seat in the same fare bucket.

This time however, I was not accommodated. I was just told it can’t be done. No heartburn there, however, it made me think about how Jet Airways could have helped me better by getting me a seat on an earlier flight, which perhaps had similar flight loads as mine. My flight had an approximately 75% flight load, which means it went with a lot of empty seats.

I could have cancelled the ticket altogether and gotten on another flight by paying the current prices for that flight. As a Platinum member, Jet Airways gives me a zero cancellation fees for domestic flights, apart from no-show or non-refundable fares.

Here are all the flights I could have got on to if the airline would have acceded to my request. Ignore the day of flight, since I picked it up from today’s schedule of 9W.

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One of the greatest convenience I find when I am in the USA with a carrier where I have elite status is the ability to standby on an earlier flight. This means, if the flight has an empty seat in the class you are flying, you could get on an earlier flight as well. Some airlines charge a flat fee for this privilege, some don’t and some give it free to their elite members. For instance, as an AAdvantage Platinum or Executive Platinum member, I could get to standby on an earlier flight and if it clears, I can get on an AA plane earlier if required for me.

I’m sure India’s boarding pass stamping regulation makes it impossible to put you on a new flight after the boarding pass is stamped at the security check point, however, one could at least take an earlier flight if they arrive at the airport earlier and during check-in. The cost to the airline is marginal or nil, because they anyways have to fly those seats empty and a seat is a perishable commodity on a flight.

Anything else on your wishlist for Jet Airways, as I hope it seriously becomes a great airline again…

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 7 Comments

It has been a rocky relationship for the past two years after Citibank and Jet Airways broke up. First, Jet Airways disallowed Citibank to offer redemptions on PremierMiles, which were significantly cheaper than Jet Airways’ own JP program. Then, overnight, JetPrivilege and Citibank cut ties on the transfer partnership for PremierMiles –> JetPrivilege Miles.  Endgame was the removal of Jet Airways flights from the PremierMiles portal and a new way to redeem for Jet Airways flights. Ultimately, Citi and Jet Airways slammed the door on each other by discontinuing their Ultima relationship as well.

Things have been changing over the past few weeks though. May I say Time is the greatest healer. First, out of nowhere, I saw that Citi Prestige (the new look of Citi’s Ultima card from yore), added JetPrivilege as a transfer partner for miles. Then, just yesterday, I was alerted by a reader Aditya Srinath,  that he could see tickets available for booking on the PremierMiles website, which could be booked on Jet Airways, both for revenue and for miles. I could replicate the same results, without much effort, on international routes only.

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Now I am not sure what is the nature of agreement between Jet Airways and Citibank, but I guess the next steps on this should be to add JetPrivilege as a transfer partner to the PremierMiles collection again.

Do share how do you intend to use the new functionality for redeeming PremierMiles for Jet Airways tickets?

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

Jet Airways’ JetPrivilege program has been reinventing itself over the past few months. First, there was a rehash of the earn and burn rates for mileage. While earn rates went up to a minimum of 500 JP Miles, burn rates went upwards as well. JetPrivilege has now launched a family pooling feature of miles, called […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

Jet Airways and American Express have been together for roughly two years now, and American Express has decided it needs to freshen up the product. So, in this spirit, multiple efforts have happened in the past few months. The new changes come into effect from October 20, 2014. Firstly, American Express dropped the 1st year […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

Starwood’s loyalty program SPG has gone ahead and added a transfer partner which could be of benefit for those who like their Jet Airways miles. Just this morning, they’ve announced their partnership with Jet Airways, which means you can now transfer Starwood points 1:1 into Jet Airways JetPrivilege program. But 1:1 is not a very […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | One Comment

One of the cornerstones of Jet Airways’ JetPrivilege revamp was the abolition of Fuel Surcharges. This change was supposed to come into effect from September 1, 2014. Fuel Surcharges are usually similar for all classes in a flight, and hence I’ve always recommended premium cabin flights because for double miles and similar fuel surcharges where […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

Yesterday, I had a lot of highs and lows throughout the day, specially, when Jet Airways almost gutted the international redemption chart, and then withdrew their act later, commenting that it was a mistake and genuine enhancements are coming to the program. Jet Airways was the first domestic airline to offer 100% miles on domestic […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | No Comments

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 […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

Update: Jet Airways came back with a clarification. Check here. The ball has dropped. This is unofficial but a developing story. Okay, enough for the sensationalism. This morning, I was playing around with the Jet Airways website, trying to tuck in a redemption or few. I hadn’t gotten in on their up to 50% off […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 9 Comments

Early last week, Jet Airways had announced a sort of a sale, where you get domestic (India) award ticket redemptions at 50% off the usually required number of miles, if you redeem your miles via the website. This sale is valid for bookings made till September 30, 2014 and you need to book tickets by […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

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