Your JPMiles Are Safe, for now!

I woke up to a barrage of messages this morning, and I’ve just been on the phone, answering questions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and any other way to contact me about the future of JPMiles. Everyone has been worried about a newspaper article published in the Economic Times today talking about the Jet Airways Crisis. On expected lines, Jet Airways has denied that this situation is out of hand.

While I personally do not believe that the airline is anywhere close to being grounding, and this is a lot of posturing, as the article itself claims, for people to leave the airline or settle for less, it did stir up the hornets’ nest. I’ll write separately about the airline is in deep trouble or not, but for now, just so that you know, we are a part of the problem.

India isn’t new to airlines shutting shop overnight. Kingfisher got grounded, and eventually, people lost tonnes of miles. SpiceJet got grounded too for a while before getting back in the air.

Very recently, Air Berlin got grounded for good, went belly up, and the miles turned worthless overnight. As a last-ditch measure, you could use them on Etihad, but that was about it. So, it is justified for you to be worried.

I thought I’d put out a few pointers to remind you that while Jet Airways and JetPrivilege were formerly the same company, they are not anymore. Back in the day, Etihad bought out 50.1% of Jet Privilege Private Limited, the company which runs JetPrivilege and takes on the liability of JPMiles on their books.

One of the first things Jet Privilege did was to fill up the gap of a countrywide loyalty and rewards program. Responsible for their P&L, they moved into new categories and started to tie-up with newer categories to offer JPMiles as a reward currency. Shopping, Hotels and Dining are a few of those categories.

On the other hand, they added new ways to burn your miles. While I don’t endorse you burn your miles to buy a toaster, that option is now available. Also, do not forget, while Jet Airways is the primary airline of choice for people to burn their miles, there are many other airlines to burn your miles on as well, like 20 airlines:

Now, while Jet Privilege Private Limited is a privately owned company, so the financials are hard to find, they are indeed a profit-making entity. At least they were until the last financial year ending March 2017 for which information is available in the public domain.

Jet Airways Crisis

As you see, JetPrivilege has a positive net worth of INR 1730 Crores ($266 million) as of March 2017, and a profit of INR 96 Crores ($14 million). That is not a small number by any stretch of the imagination for a program that has over 5 million members. If I remember loyalty program accounting from back in the day, positive net worth would mean all the miles are accounted for. The next Annual Report would be adopted next week, so we should find out how this situation moved forward over the past 15 months then.

All I’d infer from this data at the moment would be, that even if something happened which was untoward, the value of your JPMiles is surviving in a separate company which runs its balance sheet now, and should be able to pay for those redemptions if you book on another carrier from their partner network.

While I have also reached out to JetPrivilege for an official comment, personally, I think, there is nothing to worry at the moment. And I say that as someone who has a large balance in the program at the moment.

What are your thoughts concerning how your JPMiles are worthy or not at the moment? Ask me questions in the comments, and I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my knowledge and ability. 

Comments

  1. Ajay

    Do you have any updated thoughts on what people should be doing with their mileage balances. Should we take comfort that it is in a different company or should we be burning for toasters etc.

  2. Ajay, Thanks for the detailed article. Would want to understand the Jet Privilege Pvt Ltd’s business model a bit more.
    Any sources that could be useful?

  3. I have over 1.5 lakh JP Miles, really worried that I might lose them all. As you mentioned, majority of my miles go towards last minute Delhi-Mumbai and vice versa flights since I work in Mumbai but home is Delhi. I was almost about to redeem 1L of the miles towards 25K worth of Croma vouchers to buy some nice gadget. But then, that is a really shitty conversion of 0.25x whereas I can make upto 0.5-0.7x on last minute tickets. Though the risk averse person I am, might redeem quite a bit over next week or so.

  4. Somehow the redemption engine online for 9W is constantly throwing an error since yesterday.
    Not able to book my award tickets!

  5. What I feel is JP Miles would be up for some massive devaluation soon. They seem to be throwing JP Miles for a song and a dance you go to a barber he will credit you JP Miles, the quantum of miles is not in question but the method is what worries me – they are crediting JP Miles for fuel from IOCL which means there is bound to be some scam or the other that would un earth very soon.

    • @Mohan while I can’t comment on a devaluation since that is not information I am privy to, I can tell you they are not throwing JPMiles for fuel, IOCL is paying them money to give you JPMiles for fuel, just like Amazon is giving them money to get you to buy stuff via Amazon.in and so on. So, if your barber chose to go to them and entered a transaction to give miles to all his customers, then yes, that is a possibility too.

  6. Both the Middle Eastern carriers are themselves doing bad, so even if Etihad has bought JP out, I am now getting worried about the continuity.
    Hope Aimia doesn’t come and take control of JP like they did for Aeroplan.

  7. What worries me more than miles is where are they cutting costs? Hope it’s not safety or maintenance or overworked pilots…

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