For the longest time, JetPrivilege was the only frequent flyer program in India that was offering miles at 100% for all flights. This happened after they became the most generous program in their last overhaul a couple of years ago. This is going to change in a month’s time, in line with new changes at Jet Airways which will introduce Fare Choices, a-la-Etihad Airways. The changes go live as of August 17, 2016 when Etihad moves to the new Fare Choices. Clearly, the program is toeing the Etihad line, which was maybe not happy with the 100% miles being awarded, perhaps thinking it was extravagant. Like the email said,
As with all new initiatives that we undertake, our focus is on making the programme more sustainable without compromising the value it delivers to you.
Here is the page that JetPrivilege put out earlier this evening, and the whole earning and qualification structure is undergoing a change massively, in a way that it takes them back a few years. We’ll first summarize all the changes, and then analyze them in more detail in a separate post later as well.
JetPrivilege will go away from 100% miles on all fares with effect from August 17, 2016. Per JetPrivilege, the number of miles you earn will be a factor of your destination, your class of booking ticket, and the number of miles flown. Right now, the you earn a minimum of 500 JPMiles/actual number of miles flown. Here is the current earning table across the board.
Now, there will be a discounter/multiplier applied depending on the class of your fare. Of course, Plats get slightly more from 50% to 75% miles, and Golds will now get 50% of the new lower miles, and Silvers will get 25% instead of 15%. Here are the new multipliers, first for the SAARC region.
Like you see, for most economy tickets, you get much less miles now, unless you are buying the top-end tickets which perhaps come up last minute, and will get you 125% miles. Very quietly, deep discount tickets in B & group fares have been made ineligible for earning any JPMiles, from the current 75% miles.
For International flights, the deal is not as bad, since apart from the cheapest fares, you still get at least 75% miles. If you travel in premium cabins, you do get to have more cabin bonus miles as compared to the earlier system, with cabin bonuses going up all the way to 200%.
Tier points/Miles are overhauled as well-lowest fares ineligible for anything.
Just earlier last year, JetPrivilege made it real nice and easy to earn tier points so that they could get more elites in their fold. Also you would get at least 100% tier miles, in most fare classes. Not just that, they showered free tier points too last year like candy.
Now, boom! The cheapest fares in B are again gone from the eligibility to earn any Tier Points, and there are differences for regional (India and SAARC) flights, and International Flights. Domestic full fare flights will now be limited to 3 tier points, as compared to 4 TPs earlier.
Mileage Upgrades worsen!
First up, the very bad news! Again there is a change. The B fares have been kicked out of eligibility for upgrades, along with W and O fares. So if you can get any upgrades you already have plans for tickets booked before 17 August 2016, go for it and ask for them now! Else you can’t have it after 17 August 2016. The number of miles have also changed, and the slight discounts given to Platinum members have moved out, giving way to miles per class of booking, but a few fare classes are no longer qualifying.
Voucher upgrades more restrictive too!
The vouchers were so far available for various fare classes, but Platinums got it easy, with the ability to upgrade any fare class. Not any more peeps! This is changing for the worse. The lowest fare classes will go away for Platinums as well, and B fares can’t be upgraded by anyone anymore! Here is the new chart for voucher upgrade eligibility. And yes, Platinum vouchers will no longer be the trump card for other members to be able to get an upgrade, only Platinums will be able to use it.
Jet Airways will introduce Carrier Charges (a-la-surcharges) for redemption bookings!
JetPrivilege is not going to do away with the last update to their award charts, however, they are now going to add a surcharge depending on the distance of your flights, and the cabin you will fly on Jet Airways. This is taking away the freebies they doled out by knocking off all the convenience fees a while ago, by adding everything back on and some more. To be fair to them, the charges are indeed nominal, but I don’t see the need to have money involved. However, what do I know?
Say bye bye to free changes on cheap tickets, elites!
Clearly, when the ranks swell people do stuff, which I’m guessing was not good or to the liking of Jet Airways. Earlier, JetPrivilege Plats could get a waiver on cancellations/changes/non-refundable tickets. Not anymore. So, bye bye to cheap tickets getting any free cancellations or change of dates or flights.
Now, if you book a cheap fare, you may be Platinum, but you live with it. However, if you are a Gold and you get some expensive fares, you can now use a waiver on changes. Also, all flex tickets and First Class tickets will be fully changeable up to one time.
Fully Refundable tickets are again gone from cheap fares
Like you see above, any class of ticket was available for waiver to Platinums, but now this has been limited to Saver and above. So, if you bought a deal ticket, you are stuck with it, 17 August 2016 onwards. Interesting, this just got introduced a while ago.
Golds will be devoid of Seat Select, mostly!
One of the benefits JetPrivilege offered Gold & Platinums was free seat selection ahead of everyone else. For Gold, now this will go away from 17 August 2016, except for high end fares in Economy.
Baggage Allowance is being reduced a lot for elites
Essentially, you had the same baggage allowance so far across the board, and it only went up as an elite. Now, for the cheap W&O class tickets, even Platinums get no extra baggage allowance, and everyone gets reduced baggage allowance. Platinums go to 15 from 20, Golds go to 10 from 15kgs and Silvers go to 5 from 10 kgs in economy. I can live with that, but co-branded card holders used to get 10Kgs extra baggage, and now it goes down to 5 kgs out of nowhere too!
We go from here
Jet To withdraw lounge access on cheap fares
Jet Airways will withdraw lounge access for cheap fares in W and O category, and of course, for B class, when you are flying domestic. You could be a Gold or Platinum, but no longer matters. They already took away lounge access for +1 for Platinums after putting it in a while ago. To be fair to Jet, it costs a lot of money to provide benefits such as lounge via 3rd party vendors, and providing this basically made the ticket free of cost. However, Silver tier members now going through Abu Dhabi will get lounge access in Abu Dhabi.
Direct booking benefit goes down!
So far, Jet has implemented and withdrawn JPMiles for check-ins using non-manual modes. Now, they are reducing the perks for direct booking from 500 JPMiles to 250 JPMiles, for booking via their website, app or phone booking centre.
Platinums get hosed!
Till so far, Platinums on Jet were treated very well with a lot of policies skewed towards them. It is all gone mostly, and most of the vouchers turn paper. After all, who wants to travel on a family vacation with the family sitting in Economy but the member sitting up front.
Redemptions get hosed too!
The three fare classes missing here, are the B ones, which are deep discounted fares, D & X which are redemption and upgrade booking classes. What JetPrivilege is telling us here is that if you took the benefit of a redemption or an upgrade ticket, you won’t be eligible to the lounge in spite of being Platinum, and you won’t be able to get more bags in in spite of the fact that you got a redemption ticket.
Trust me not to be able to figure out all the changes while I studied these for the past 2-3 hours. My head hurts already knowing that this fare choices move even trumps the Platinums, who may inadvertently buy cheapest buckets sometime. Also, redemptions are no good now, because hey, you don’t get lounge or additional bags and so on with it. After all, it has come to the point, where my loyalty is being measured by the revenue I give to the airline, which is not bad as a concept, but is complicated going forward.
Also, I understand that the business moves and evolves, but when you keep tinkering and changing the loyalty program every few months and a version change every two years, the flying populace no longer loves you for that and they say chuck it and move to the no-frills airlines since it is all so simpler there.
Make up your mind, JetPrivilege, is this a stable thing now, or how long before you change this again???