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 applicable, you get much higher comfort.

However, it seems Jet Airways is either not doing this right yet, or they still intend to charge Fuel Surcharge for premium cabins. Have a look at this.

For instance, on BOM-LHR First Class, the number of miles required is now an astounding 127,500 for a one-way flight from the earlier 81,000 for the same segment. However, there is still INR 15,715 being applied as fuel surcharge.

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This is in contrast to the economy ticket, which is now 47,500 JPMiles as contrast to 27000 JPMiles earlier. And no Fuel Surcharges. Only applicable taxes.

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And this is similar for a lot of sectors, in premium cabins, for instance BOM-BRU next year

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And BOM-EWR

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And DEL-SIN

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And the list goes on and on… In each of these cases, there is no YQ in case of economy flights, but YQ is charged in case of Business Class and First Class flights.

What I can’t wrap my head around is the fact that it is a week into the new redemption structure, and these things should at best take a day if JP wanted to fix it. So, is this a mistake, or is this deliberately left in there??? After all, when they made this mistake the first time, they fixed it the same day.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 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 sectors, a move they initiated in 2012, and offers these on all fare classes except maybe one. Air India has still not followed suit, and they frequently offer 25-50% of flown miles on most fare classes except the highest ones.

Anyhow, after yesterday’s snafu, I got a mailer last night, which I’m sure a lot more members would have also received. This discussed the new accrual structure for JP miles on flying Jet Airways, Jet Konnect and partner airlines. Here are the key changes.

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Flying Jet Airways domestic or internationally, or Jet Airways codeshare flights operated by Etihad/other partners:

  • For all segments less than 500 miles of flying, you still get a 500 mile minimum accrual when you fly economy, 750 when you fly business and 375 miles when you fly deep discounted tickets such as fare class B and G. This is for flying Jet Airways metal.
  • For all segments longer than 500 miles of flying, nothing changes for economy flyers except when you fly deep discounted B fare tickets, which earlier earned 100% flown miles, now will earn 75% flown miles.
  • While the cabin bonuses used to be different for Platinums and everyone else earlier, these have now been commonsized. So, everyone who flies Business Class gets 50% bonus miles over economy, and everyone who flies First Class gets 100% bonus miles over economy. The only ones losing out here are premium cabin Platinum members who lose out some extra cabin bonuses they’d earn earlier.

Flying JetKonnect domestic:

  • JetKonnect operates either under S2 or under 9W IATA codes, but you earn the same amount of miles on both. Namely, if you fly deep discounted tickets, i.e., class B or G, you get a 250 miles minimum on less than 500 miles of flying, and 50% of flown miles when you fly over 500 miles.
  • For all the other fare classes in economy, you get 375 miles minimum when you fly less than 500 miles, or 75% of flown miles when you fly over 500 miles.
  • If you fly JetKonnect and are in the business cabin, just like Jet Airways you get 50% bonus of flown miles as cabin bonus.

You continue to earn tier bonuses for being an elite member, as there is no mention as yet that these are being withdrawn. Hence, Silver members get 10% bonus, Gold members get 20% bonus and Platinum members get 30% bonus on top of the base miles they earn for the flight.

Bottomline: I think some of these changes are rational, and some are targetted towards simplifying things. The floor minimum will enhance earnings for short haul flyers, such as those who do a lot of BOM-GOI, BLR-MAA or so on, and I know people who do a lot of flying on all these kind of sectors. Their earnings may go up 2-3 times, also tier miles they earn.

Some of the other changes such as flattening the cabin bonuses are simplifying things, while reducing miles earned on deep discount tickets, I won’t contest that. When you’re buying a ticket at 40% off, you shouldn’t be complaining getting a few miles less.

I hope I’ve managed to explain part 1 of the changes rolling out in the JetPrivilege program. I’m expecting to be back again with another update tomorrow, when Jet Airways will talk officially about the changes to the redemption structure.

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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?

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 5 Comments

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