One of the best features of JetPrivilege has been their tie-ups with tonnes of airlines, about 30 of them, which allows you to redeem your JP miles on all of these airlines apart from Jet itself. For comparison sake, Star Alliance has about 30 partners at the moment, so this sort of tie-ups Jet has are across the board very impressive, since it means we can potentially redeem awards on so many carriers. There are 6 of the Etihad Alliance Partners (Etihad, Air Seychelles, Air Serbia, et al), and 22 of the other airlines, which are a splash of Star Alliance (United, Swiss, Austrian, Lufthansa et al), SkyTeam (KLM, Air France, Garuda Indonesia et al) and oneworld (American Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific et al)
Now, they have been changing parts of the award program over the years. They first went after giving us more miles, then charging us more miles for redemption on their own metal (in exchange for removing fuel surcharge), and then changing the way we earned status.
One of the not much talked about feature of the JetPrivilege program was their partner awards. And now, Jet Airways has notified that they are going to change those too, as of April 1, 2016.
The Old Partner Award Chart
The current existing partner award chart never existed in the public domain. However, most sectors followed a chart anyways, and here is a rough outline of how much one-way economy awards cost between various zones. This is a rough sketch, and most business class awards would be 2x, and First Class awards would be 3x this amount, and excluding fuel surcharges and taxes charged by the carrier.
For reference, here are the zone definitions. This chart is as per the new zone definitions only, to make them comparable.
You can check the exact requirements using this mileage calculator on the JP website. Like I mentioned, there was no award chart for partners, but it was done largely on a zone by zone basis anyways. These awards are not bookable online, so one needs to work with the JetPrivilege team offline to get these awards booked.
There were some sweet spots in these award charts, for instance, short flights inside the USA (read JFK-BOS, MIA-TPA, etc.) were all less than 2.5K one way in economy, which was a very good deal if your plans were firm. Also, you could get a flight on the kangaroo route for just 62,500 miles one way.
The New Award Chart
Just last evening, JetPrivilege notified changes to the award chart for partners are coming on April 1, 2016. They also notified the new award chart, where they have made into zones for everyone’s reference, and is the same chart valid across all their partner airlines. This is a huge amount of transparency and simplification being introduced, and kudos to them for that. Here is the new award chart:
The yellow is where no award chart is published, and the zones are the one in the chart above. There is no clarification as yet from JetPrivilege is they are going to continue to charge fuel surcharge or not, and I will update the post when I have more clarity.
The Changes, mostly more miles required
Jet has moved most redemption criteria upwards, which means, you need a lot more miles in some sectors than earlier. Here is a heatmap, where I compared the movements. The green signifies more miles required on the same sector, and red signifies less miles required on the same sector.
You will notice that I have not been able to fill up all cells, because sometimes there were places I did not locate any flights altogether. I’m sure the good folks at JetPrivilege have a much bigger database to be able to map flights into various zones. Having said that, like you see, the chart lights up in green, which means mostly more miles are required.
Most ultra-long hauls see sky high hikes
- 37500 Miles more o.w. between Australia/NZ and Europe in Economy.
- 30000 Miles more o.w. between Indian Subcontinent and South West America in Economy
- 29750 Miles more o.w. between Africa (South) and South America in Economy
- 26500 Miles more o.w. between Africa (South) and China region in Economy
- 23750 Miles more o.w. between Africa (South) and North East America in Economy
- 21250 Miles more o.w. between Africa (South) and South East Asia in Economy
- 18000 Miles more o.w. between China and Middle East Asia in Economy
- 17500 Miles more o.w. between Australia/NZ and China | South American and North East America in Economy
- 17000 Miles more o.w. between Indian Subcontinent and Africa (South) in Economy
- 16500 Miles more o.w. between Africa (North) and Africa (South) in Economy
- 15000 Miles more o.w. between Middle East Asia and Africa (South) | Africa (South) and Europe in Economy
and there are more…
Intra zone value spots gone
All hopper flights within North America used to be priced at 2.5K miles one way. At 200-300 miles, these flights did not need to be in premium cabins and these points showed much value here. Now, they all cost between 7500 to 12500 miles one-way, which is much in line with the changes that BA enforced in its own program for short haul flights on AA.
Similarly, intra Australia flights were all of 10K miles o.w. in Economy, and now, are going to be 20K as of April 2016. Intra Middle-East flights were all at 7.5K, and now quoting at 15K o.w. However, the biggest increase is in Africa (South) again, which is moving 14K miles o.w.
Some improvisations too!
From South East Asia to North West America, there is a drop of 13000 miles one-way. Similarly, SEA to North East America also goes down 10.5K miles. Some other small improvisations too, for instance between Australia and Southwest America.
Clearly, South African region played hardball!
I won’t land all the blame on 9Ws door, but a lot of these changes are in Africa (South). This either means that there has been a lot of hardball on the side of SAA to make their awards expensive to 9W members.
Connections still work
Connections in some regions have been eliminated, but not in all. If you are connecting within 24 hours, you can still get the pricing of the direct routing.
Overall, there have been a lot of changes, and you still have one week to make the old award charts work, since JetPrivilege requires 14 working days to issue your ticket. If you have any itinerary in mind, time to act, now!
Please remember, Jet Airways’ partner awards cannot be redeposit once ticketed, so move carefully! I know at least one friend of mine who made a great reservation and then could not use it due to Visa issues.
How do you think these changes affect you?