JetPrivilege, the loyalty programme of Jet Airways, was arguably the best and largest loyalty and rewards programme in India by a long shot. Air India never could get closer to it, and Vistara’s programme was too small. However, with the demise of Jet Airways, the programme underwent a significant change, with many redemption partners leaving the fold, and only Etihad staying back. Now, JetPrivilege needed to be able to offer members other options towards earning and burning JPMiles.
So, JetPrivilege has pivoted to a new model, where they are offering JPMiles for booking tickets via their 6-month old flights.jetprivilege.com engine. Also, you can use the same engine to redeem JPMiles, albeit at a higher cost than the earlier rewards that used to be the case when Jet Airways was around.
Quite certainly, JetPrivilege members who don’t know about the separate nature of JetPrivilege as compared to Jet Airways are confused as to why JetPrivilege is sending out emailers and putting up advertisements while the airline is not around.
Hi Deepika, we are an independent entity, part of the Etihad Aviation Group. If you have any queries, please do reach out to us and we would be happy to help. 🙂
— JetPrivilege (@JetPrivilege) August 29, 2019
Somebody needs to explain to me why @JetPrivilege keeps taking these ridiculous ads. The fact is that those of us with Jet miles can only redeem on other airlines at a rate that’s 3 times what it was on Jet. So basically they are useless & this is a silly misleading ad pic.twitter.com/wNnLV3WCJR
— vir sanghvi (@virsanghvi) July 25, 2019
Clearly JetPrivilege would be associated with Jet Airways till the time they would continue to use the name, and with the future of Jet Airways being uncertain at the moment, JetPrivilege could not wait for years for the situation to evolve. So clearly, they needed to do something about it and cut away from the Jet Airways identity at some point in time.
I’m sure the thought has been on the table, and yesterday, Manish Dureja, the MD of JetPrivilege Private Limited, speaking at the Aviation Festival in London, confirmed that a change of names was on the cards for the first time, and we should hear of it by the end of the year.
— Seth Miller @ #AviationFest & #APEXEXPO (@WandrMe) September 5, 2019
This was also confirmed by the Loyalty magazine’s managing editor who was at the Aviation Festival too.
Just been talking to Manish Dureja Ceo of #loyaltyMaward winning #JetPrivilege loyalty programme which survived the demise of Jet airline. He is entering again next year but will be under a new name. Good luck! #AviationFest #loyalty
— Annich McIntosh (@AnnichMc) September 5, 2019
What comes next is equally interesting. Remember the time when some people were cashing out their JPMiles for Amazon vouchers. I remember telling people they could get better value by redeeming JPMiles for Etihad tickets. Having said that, it seems that while JPMiles redemptions went up, there was only about a 10% net redemption growth in the first half of 2019 in his own words. Per this tweet,
“When the Jet crisis started in February non-travel redemption spiked 8x, hotels 4x, fuel 15x. Some 8-9 billion points redeemed in H1. But net only 3 billion left the program (35 billion to 32 billion). So the earn side is still pretty strong and now stabilizing.
So, on an overall basis, seems JetPrivilege is still going very strong, and 32 billion JPMiles between 9 million plus members seems enough of a reason for the programme to continue to engage with the members in newer ways.
Rebrandings of programmes are not new, really. Many a times they are dictated by the situation. For instance, back in 2011, when Iberia and British Airways merged, the International Airlines Group decided to move the miles issuance to a common entity, which they branded Avios. Hence, The AirMiles brand of British Airways was extinguished and the new name Avios took shape.
The programme has a 25-year long association with the Jet Airways brand, so will it cut it under a new name? I think so, as long as the customer proposition is strong. After all, we have seen the same thing happen in other parts of the world and it works out well after an initial backlash.
What do you make of JetPrivilege’s intentions to rebrand? What do you think could be the new name?