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Whenever an airline makes it very easy to earn miles, they also come to a point where they devalue them, and call them adjustments. However, in the case of Jet Airways, they released the new redemption rules by mistake last week, and my determination was that the airline is slashing miles required on many a domestic routes but redemptions on international routes are going to be hit very hard.

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Today, they officially released the new redemption chart, and have given us a month to utilise the old redemption chart before they go through with the new rates for redemption. Take note, this announcement is only for Jet Airways and Jet Konnect flights on various routes. There is no mention on the requirements for partner flights.

Minimum miles for a redemption: JetPrivilege has raised the bar on redemptions. While earlier the minimum redemption requirement was a minimum of 4000 JPMiles, now the minimum miles required for a redemption are 5000 JPMiles.

Fuel Surcharges are eliminated: Jet Airways has adjusted the number of miles required on nearly all routes and knocked off fuel surcharges from the ticket prices. Henceforth, you only need to pay the statutory charges to redeem your ticket such as airport taxes.

Domestic Redemptions are getting much better: Like I mentioned in my post the last week, most redemptions for domestic flights are slightly being adjusted. While the 4000 JP Miles minimum flights are all moving to 5000 JP Miles minimum, there are a lot of routes going down in terms of redemption value as well. And that too with fuel surcharges going away. With this, Domestic redemptions become the sweet spot of Jet Airways JetPrivilege programme.

Out of the 244 routes published by Jet Airways in the domestic redemption table, 174 will now cost a lesser number of miles, and 70 will cost more number of miles. The upside is at best 25% more miles, while on the downside, there are routes which now require 50% miles less as well in some cases, such as Bhopal – Chandigarh.

International Redemptions are getting much much expensive: Like I mentioned earlier, travelling on Jet Airways’ own metal, abroad, is going to get very very bad. The fuel surcharges are going away, however, the number of miles required is going up significantly in most cases, including the premium classes.

  • Neighbouring Stations: No trends here. Kolkata-Dhaka, Colombo-Chennai, become 50% more expensive, while Delhi-Kathmandu, Abu Dhabi-Kuwait become 50% cheaper for redemptions.
  • Regional Routes: No adjustment when you fly from Delhi/Mumbai – Dhaka, Mumbai – Colombo/Muscat/Kathmandu/Dhaka/Abu Dhabi.
  • Flights between India – Middle East: Most flights between India and the Middle East are going up by 12-50% in terms of number of miles required.
  • Flights between India – South East Asia: All flights to South East Asia will now require 50% more miles across the board from September 1, 2014.
  • Transatlantic Flights: Flights between Europe and North American on Jet Airways’ network will cost almost double now using JPMiles. For instance, the business class which used to cost 40,000 miles will now be 75000 miles between Brussels and Newark.
  • India – Europe/North America Flights: India to Europe/North America will see an inflation of 57-60% in terms of number of miles required in all classes of service.

Why do I call this gutting the premium cabin charts: When I redeemed miles for an India/USA business class round trip on Jet Airways a few years back, fuel surcharges on a round trip were about INR 25,000. In today’s day and age, they are about INR 39,000.  So, a Jet Airways business class between Mumbai and New York today costs me 188000 miles + 39000 INR Fuel Surcharge + INR 6300 statutory charges. A revenue ticket costs me INR 230,000. Hence, the value of 188000 miles is worth INR 185000, so near about INR 1 in value per JPMile.

From September 1, 2014, Jet Airways wants to charge me 300000 JPMiles for the same round trip in Business Class. Which means, in mileage terms, for the same ticket of INR 230,000 they want to charge me 300000 JPMiles. Hence, the value of a mile reduces from INR 1 to INR 0.75.

Economy cabin redemptions might just work out better: Another example, for economy class this time. A BOM-HKG economy class round-trip ticket costs INR 30000. In the current redemption structure, which is anyways stupid for this kind of route, they wanted us to pay 40000 JP miles + INR 14000 Fuel Surcharge and INR 3076 as Airport taxes. Hence, the value of a JP Mile came down to a lowwwwwwwww INR 0.33.

Under the new structure, they want you to pay 60000 JP Miles + INR 3076. Which means for the same fare, you now get a value of INR 0.45.

For India – Europe, lets say a revenue ticket costs INR 53000 for a roundtrip. In the current redemption structure, with INR 25000 fuel surcharge, you end up paying 54000 JPMiles+25000 INR (YQ)+INR 5000 (airport taxes etc) to get there, bringing the value of a mile to INR 0.42.

Under the new structure, it is going to be 85000 JPMiles for a roundtrip to Europe in economy, so you at least get INR 0.56 of value.

The best part is, I have not even accounted/adjusted for the potential miles you earn on a revenue ticket to come at the valuation for international segments.

Bottomline: Jet Airways clearly wants you to redeem domestically and not on their international flights. If you like the older structure better, you could redeem miles now for your travels upto 331 days out. Else, wait for the new structure to kick in on September 1, 2014.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 3 Comments

Jet Airways has existing co-branded credit cards with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, American Express and a co-branded debit card with HDFC Bank. And now, they have launched the fifth product in the market, which is in collaboration with IndusInd Bank, called the Jet Airways IndusInd Odyssey Credit Card. There is also a lower product called the Jet Airways IndusInd Voyage Credit Card.

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The product is similar to ICICI Bank’s card in the sense that IndusInd is offering a Visa Signature version as well as an American Express version, and you can choose to have either or both for the same amount of annual fees. Lets go over the benefits then for these products:

Sign-up bonus: For the Odyssey cards, you get 15000 JPMiles as a joining benefit, along with a base fare waived ticket for domestic travel on Jet Airways. For the Voyage cards, you get 7,500 JPMiles as a joining benefit, along with a base fare waived ticket for domestic travel on Jet Airways.

Renewal benefits: 5000 JP Miles + 1 base fare waiver on Jet Airways for Odyssey card holders, and 2500 JP Miles + 1 base fare waiver ticket for domestic travel on Jet Airways.

Jet Airways benefits: Just like all the other co-branded Jet Airways cards, these ones also get you priority check-in, and 10 kgs extra baggage allowance on Jet Airways flights. Also, you get 5% off on all bookings made on Jet Airways and JetKonnect websites.

Regular mileage earnings: Interestingly, this card is aiming to give you spends basis weekday or weekend spending patterns.

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On weekdays, the Odyssey Amex cards earn you the normal miles, but on weekends, they earn you much much more. I’m sure there is some study that has gone into making this feature work. With the Odyssey Visa cards, weekend earnings are good but not great.

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For the Voyage card, the earning structures are similar, but lesser.

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The extra miles for spending on American Express are coming from the higher fees that Amex charges to merchants for transactions, which it is much despised for in the lower end of the market. Also, the mileage earning from regular spends is capped at 75000 JPMiles per annum for Odyssey Card holders, and 50,000 JPMiles per annum for Voyage Card holders.

Lounge Access: Amex Odyssey cards have unlimited access to the Altitude lounges in Mumbai and Delhi, which are also accessible by the ICICI Bank Jet Privilege Amex Cards. Voyage card holders get limited number of entries per annum. You can find my reviews of the Mumbai Altitude Lounge and the Delhi Altitude Lounge here.

You also get access to the Visa Lounge access program in case you do choose the Visa versions.

Early Bird Offer: If you achieve a spend of INR 125,000 on your Odyssey Amex within 100 days of card issuance, you get 20000 bonus JP Miles. This is valid for cards issued till December 31, 2014. Similarly, with the Voyage Amex, you get 10,000 bonus JPMiles for spending INR 75000 within the first 100 days. Also, you get 300 bonus JP Miles on every 5th transaction over INR 1000 on the credit card (Voyage or Odyssey both). Remember, this offer is only when you spend on your Amex versions, not the Visa ones.

Fees: The Odyssey card (Visa/Amex or combo) comes at a first year fees of INR 10000 plus taxes. Second Year onwards you only pay INR 4000 for the card. The Voyage card (Visa/Amex or combo) comes at a first year fees of INR 4000 plus taxes. You pay INR 2000 for the card the second year onwards. JP Platinum members get the card free till the time they hold Platinum Membership.

Bottomline: This is one more way of earning Jet Privilege miles, and I am sure hoping they hold on for the time being. I have a wallet full of JP co-branded cards, and I will get this one as well most probably. However, I am not sure how will I program my brain to use this card more on the weekends than the weekdays. But still, full marks to IndusInd for thinking up a new segmentation on how to award miles where I will be sitting with the calendar tallying up my statement every month.

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Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 11 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 […]

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

Jet Airways is upping the redemption game which they started a few years back, offering a 50% off on mileage redemption tickets across India for this quarter as of today. For the past two years, Jet Airways offered a 20% off on mileage redemptions, if booked online, something they discontinued in April 2014. Now, for […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 9 Comments

Last year, American Express went about readjusting the cost of transferring MR points into miles with various programs they partner with. While the usual transfer rate used to be 1.6 MR = 1 Mile, after last year’s readjustment everything except JPMiles and Air India Flying Returns Points, everything was 2 MR = 1 Mile. Now, […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

Like I wrote a couple of weeks back, Jet Airways is launching new routes from Bangalore & Hyderabad to Abu Dhabi. To celebrate this launch, they are offering double base miles for the first two months on these sectors, i.e., between March 1 and April 30 2014. This means you can net about 8300 JP […]

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Last week, I wrote about the new long-haul flight from Jet Airways, which will be Mumbai – Paris – Mumbai, a daytime departure from India to get into Paris, and an overnight flight from Paris to Mumbai. Jet Airways has announced special fares for this route for any dates, which will be available for purchase […]

Posted by Ajay Awtaney | 2 Comments

Back in November, American Express India launched a member-get-member promotion, where the referrer and referred new cardholder are both going to get bonus points/miles for signing on for a new American Express Credit Card via this program. Under the program, the referrer will get 3,000 extra JPMiles if they hold the Jet Amex, and 3,000 […]

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I wanted to put out this post so that I could remind all of you of certain changes that are supposed to kick in as of January 1, 2014 for Citibank PremierMiles and ICICI Bank Jet Airways credit cards. Citibank PremierMiles had waived off the cap of INR 5,00,000 per annum on Airline tickets spend to […]

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