If you aren't a business traveler who flies frequently on your company's dime, it can be really, really difficult to achieve airline status -- especially at a time when most companies have started to award points based on fare rather than mileage traveled. But there's good news for JetBlue fans this week: The airline has launched what it's calling a 90-Day Challenge that'll let you get Mosaic status a bit more easily.You have until September 7 to register for the challenge, and you have to sign up to be or already be a member of their free-to-join TrueBlue loyalty program. Once registered, you'll have 90 days to accrue 3,750 base points. Those who meet the minimum will enjoy status through the end of 2016. Tip: If you have a big trip coming up for Thanksgiving, you'll want to register on August 31 or after, so that you have until at least November 29 to rack up those points.
So just how achievable is the challenge? JetBlue awards travelers 3 base points per dollar spent on airfare, meaning that you'll essentially have to spend $1,250 to get status. (For comparison, you typically need to accrue 15,000 base points -- or spend $5,000 -- in a year to get status.) The good news is that if you've already pre-purchased flights that will depart during your 90-day window, those points will count toward the challenge.
If you don't have any trips planned, now might be the time. Let's take a quick look at Mosaic benefits -- and their value -- so that you can decide if buying that airfare would be worth it.
Two free checked bags: Worth $55-$60 per flight. JetBlue began charging for checked baggage earlier this year. The first checked bag is $20 if you pre-purchase, or $25 at check-in; the second bag is $35. Mosaic members can check two bags per flight at no extra charge (as can premium Mint class fliers and those who purchase the pricier Blue Flex economy fare).
Waived change and cancellation fees: Worth $60-$150. JetBlue's change and cancellation fees vary depending on the price of your original ticket, the fare class, as well as how far in advance you're making the changes. Either way, this is where the savings can really add up, particularly if you like some flexibility in your schedule or tend to travel with a partner. No matter the fare class, all change fees are waived for Mosaic members, in addition to anyone on the same itinerary. Of course, you'd still have to pay any differences in fare. (Blue Flex tickets are not subject to change or cancellation fees.)
Dedicated security line: Worth $10 or $15. JetBlue's dedicated Even More Speed line is most useful at the country's biggest city airports, particularly during the summer and other peak travel seasons. (Access is included in Blue Flex and Mint fares.)
Other benefits: Some additional perks that status members enjoy are more difficult to put a dollar value to. This includes the 15,000 bonus points you'll earn immediately upon achieving status, which can be redeemed for free flights and more. The value of airline points vary depending on how you redeem them, but JetBlue's is currently around 1.4 cents (or $0.014) per point when used toward airfare -- so roughly worth an additional $210 in flights.
Then there's early boarding, which is usually a benefit bundled with Even More Space extra legroom seats and included for Mint travelers. And in case of emergency, you'll have a dedicated customer service line, for faster and more attentive assistance.