No, we really did not need the miles, and this is not my idea of a Saturday evening if I could really help it. But, Shipra was a bit behind on her tier points for the coming yea, and I had just completed requalification for my tier points, so we thought why not. The new JetPrivilege is upon us in a week’s time, however, we still went for it and got 5 tier-points in return each (one of the sectors was booked in a class that earned 2 TPs). Not bad, and two flights got upgraded as well.
Why Jet Airways/JetPrivilege still works for me?
As far as status goes, I have status on all the 3 Indian full-service carriers: Jet Airways (Platinum), Air India (Gold) and Vistara (Gold). The Jet Airways status is earned year on year, and last year when I was a bit short on tier points, I went forward with the tier-point run just by myself to make Platinum again. I just thought I’d enumerate my thoughts about why I think it makes sense for me to preserve status still.
- I love full-service carriers: Let’s circle back to Jet Airways’ Get More campaign. My personal belief is, if I can get a loyalty program, meals and lounge access on a ticket which is slightly more expensive than a no-frills carrier (Indigo/GoAir/SpiceJet usually price similar to Jet/AI/Vistara but skip the goodies), then why not take the package rather than saving 300 INR and then spending those for buying a sandwich on board.
- I love a better airport: Mumbai and Delhi, two of my frequented airports, have better terminals for Full-service carriers in Terminal 3 at Delhi and Terminal 2 at Mumbai, as compared to the terminals where the No-frills carriers are operating from. So, why not be at Terminal 2 in Mumbai than be at Terminal 1 in Mumbai.
- Jet Airways’ route network works for me usually: Jet goes almost all the places domestically and internationally where I need to go on an ongoing basis. Delhi, Asia, Middle-East & Europe. All places where Jet operates flights. Vistara is still far away from building a network out of Mumbai so they are helpful except when taking me to Delhi.
- The loyalty program is still much better for me: Air India benefits come handy in the Star Alliance network, but Air India earning sucks on its own network no less. Vistara is currently value based accrual. So, none of these carriers allow me the opportunity to be an elite when I don’t spend a very pretty penny. On the other hand, even with the new JetPrivilege, I will get Tier Points, on deep discounted tickets as well. I qualify on the basis of tier-points usually since a lot of my flights are short sectors. I will still have the privileges on Etihad Airways Partners carriers as well, for instance, access to the Etihad First lounge in Abu Dhabi.
- Op-ups stand a chance: When the flight is full, I still have a shot at being upgraded on an economy ticket
- I am Lounge Neutral: Come next week, I’ll lose access to the GVK Lounge on deep discounted tickets. I’m not so worried. The same company operates the TFS Lounge at Mumbai Airport Terminal 2 as well, so similar food. I’ll miss the views yes, but I won’t be out of pocket for the lounge.
I don’t usually use upgrade vouchers on my short trips (the Mumbai – Delhi kinds), and my last minute upgrade success is more middle of the road, but even then, it is better to keep business for me with Jet because I still have a shot at an upgrade, earn a few tier-points and more miles and so on. Also, I have a huge stash of JP Miles already, which come handy for last minute trips, like when I may plan to get out of town for a quick weekend and tickets are expensive.
What are your thoughts about your preferred carrier and loyalty program? How are you dealing with the new JetPrivilege move?