Can JetBlue capture my loyalty?


Thanks to JetBlue’s generous status match for Delta elites, I now have near-top-tier Mosaic 3 elite status with JetBlue, and my wife has top-tier Mosaic 4 status.  Additionally, since we each were approved for JetBlue Business cards, the status match terms state that we’ll keep our high level status through the end of 2024.  Cool!  When I last dug into JetBlue’s elite benefits, I was disappointed that the “Move to Mint” certificates couldn’t be used to confirm upgrades in advance.  Fortunately, JetBlue has since announced that upgrades will be confirmable at the time of booking starting in 2024!

a plane with a man in the window

I used to earn top-tier Delta Diamond status each year through manufactured spending tricks, but I stopped chasing that top-tier when Delta devalued their Global Upgrade Certificates.  I figured that I’d keep getting near-top-tier Platinum status each year, pretty much forever.  Then, Delta announced huge changes to their elite program starting in 2024 and I gave up on the idea of chasing Delta elite status at all.  Going forward, I’ll still fly Delta when it’s the best option, but if flying up-front is important to me, I’ll simply pay more (in cash or miles) for my ticket rather than hoping for an upgrade.

Update: In the short time between my writing this post and publishing it, Delta announced major updates to their plans.  This will mean that I’ll likely keep high level Delta elite status for quite a while with no effort whatsoever.  Still, the question of whether to add JetBlue to the mix remains.

Now the question is whether or not its worth considering shifting my loyalty to JetBlue?  Should I fly JetBlue instead of Delta?  The answer seems completely obvious: no.  I fly out of Detroit’s airport (DTW) and JetBlue only serves two routes from there (Boston and JFK).  There’s no way that can come close to meeting my needs.

Additionally, when I do fly JetBlue, I now have the JetBlue Business credit card which offers Group A boarding, free first checked bag, and more.  That alone is like having Mosaic-lite status.

Long term, the JetBlue status question isn’t as black and white as it seems now.  JetBlue is trying to purchase Spirit Airlines.  Yes, the Justice Department is suing to block it, but JetBlue is actively trying to save the sale.

If JetBlue’s acquisition goes through, their route network will suddenly be impressive.  Flying from Detroit, we’ll have the option of a large number of direct routes instead of just two.  Here’s what the route network looks like from Detroit for the combination of JetBlue and Spirit:

a map of the united states
JetBlue plus Spirit’s combined route network from Detroit (courtesy of FlightConnections)

While the above non-stop route network doesn’t match Delta’s from Detroit, it’s still impressive.  And, if you add 1-stop routes, it’s suddenly possible to get almost anywhere in the continental United States.  And for longer distance travel, JetBlue has a number of partners including Hawaiian Airlines, Qatar, and Singapore Airlines, to name a few.

two men sitting in a plane eating snacks
Greg and Nick in Spirit’s Big Front Seat

JetBlue’s current fleet includes planes with just economy seating and others with both economy and lie-flat Mint business class seats.  There’s nothing in-between like domestic first class.  If they keep Spirit’s planes as-is, though, they’ll instantly have a fleet with first-class seating (Spirit’s Big Front Seat) similar to those offered by AA, Delta, and United, but without the ability to recline.  If JetBlue offers free upgrades to this new First Class for Mosaic members, that will be a great new elite benefit.

OK, so… IF JetBlue completes their acquisition of Spirit and IF they offer free upgrades to first class for Mosaic members, I would certainly benefit from having status with JetBlue.  Even better would be if JetBlue would introduce Mint class to some of Spirit’s longer routes out of Detroit.  If so, I’d want Mosaic 3 status which offers Mint upgrade certificates.  But… just because I’d benefit from status doesn’t mean that it’s worth chasing it.  Here are the requirements for each status tier:

  • Mosaic 1: 50 Tiles
  • Mosaic 2: 100 Tiles
  • Mosaic 3: 150 Tiles
  • Mosaic 4: 250 Tiles
a screenshot of a flight information
Mosaic Signature Perks

You earn 1 “tile” for every $100 spent on JetBlue flights, JetBlue Vacations, or Paisly by JetBlue (a site for booking cars and hotels). You also earn 1 tile for every $1,000 spent on a JetBlue credit card. You can mix and match and earn tiles from both. For instance, if you spent $1,000 on a JetBlue Vacations booking and put the charge on your JetBlue credit card, you would earn 10 tiles from the Vacations package (10 x $100 spent) and 1 tile from $1,000 spend on a JetBlue credit card for a total of 11 tiles.

The following table shows the spend required within a calendar year for each level of status if you were to only choose one method of earning tiles (e.g. earn entirely through travel or entirely through credit card spend):

Elite Level Tiles Required Travel Spend Credit Card Spend
Mosaic 1 50 $5,000 $50,000
Mosaic 2 100 $10,000 $100,000
Mosaic 3 150 $15,000 $150,000
Mosaic 4 250 $25,000 $250,000

I could imagine my earning Mosaic 1 status each year pretty easily through a combination of travel spend and credit card spend.  I don’t think I’d bother even with that, though, unless free upgrades to first class (Big Front Seat) were included with Mosaic 1.  Then… maybe.

The only scenario I can see where I’d be interested in chasing higher level Mosaic status is if JetBlue brought Mint class to Detroit.  Even then, while it would be tempting to claw my way back up to Mosaic 3 status after I lose it at the end of 2024, I doubt I’d go for it.  As I’ve decided with Delta, when flying up-front is important to me I’ll simply pay for it (with cash or miles).

Bottom line

If JetBlue’s acquisition of Spirit actually happens, JetBlue will instantly gain the second best nonstop route network from Detroit after Delta.  Then it will become reasonable for Detroit based flyers to chase JetBlue status.  Personally, I could see going for bottom-tier Mosaic 1 status, but only because it should be easy to attain and I’ll only do that if I see valuable benefits in it for me (like free upgrades to Big Front Seats).  I very much doubt that I’ll try to achieve higher level status in the future, but the ball is in JetBlue’s court.  They already made Mosaic 3 more valuable by announcing Mint upgrades at the time of booking.  Will they do more in the future to sweeten the pot?  I think it’s likely.  Stay tuned.

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I am chasing JetBlue mosaic status even when there was partnership with AA because of the pet fee waiver and the fact that your pet gets to fly in cabin with you! I base in New York and the only downside being there is no lounge in terminal 5 of JFK. That having said, this perk is invaluable to me.

Jimmy Gottfredson

Hahaha – love the photoshopped pic.


This is what airlines need. People to earn status through free matches and manufactured spending then give away the house. Delta is smart to claw back. No idea why airlines over value loyalty. Worthless