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The big winner of JetBlue’s recent Points Match promotion was Virgin America. Well, aside from all of us of course.
If I was running TrueBlue I would have limited the promotion to people who already had Virgin America points as of the day the promotion started. But they didn’t and thousands of people transferred points to Virgin America in order to participate in the JetBlue promotion.
JetBlue will expose all of those people to Virgin’s excellent service and extremely valuable points. Of course JetBlue has great service as well and they’re the only airline allowing people to cancel their South Florida trips due to Zika. People reported that JetBlue even allowed them to cancel Orlando trips for free. My brother-in-law was set to fly to Fort Lauderdale on a Points Match mileage run, but was nervous about Zika. JetBlue allowed him to change from Fort Lauderdale to another more expensive destination to complete the mileage run without charging him a dime!
But Virgin America wasn’t about to let this all pass without firing a shot back. They just sent this email (with the subject “Nice move, Blue”) with a 25% code to people that transferred points:
There are some good deals with the code, such as JFK-LAX for $108 each way. But the code doesn’t work with point redemptions and let’s be honest, that’s what people are looking to use when they’re sitting on a pile of Virgin America points. It also only works for itineraries of 1 or 2 people.
It’s not a bad way for Virgin America to drive some incremental revenue from the Point Match participants, but once they were going through the effort I’d have hoped for something more creative than a 25% off coupon.