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American Airlines, JetBlue team up on benefits for loyalty members

FILE - American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, near a...
FILE - American Airlines passenger jets prepare for departure, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, near a terminal at Boston Logan International Airport, in Boston. American Airlines Group Inc. (AAL) on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, reported a loss of $931 million in its fourth quarter.(AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 7:39 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- It’s another round of benefits for those who fly American Airlines and JetBlue. The two companies are offering complementing perks when a flyer has either American’s AAdvantage® status or JetBlue’s TrueBlue Mosaic status. It’s part of an ongoing effort the two companies call the “Northeast Alliance.”

On Wednesday, the two airlines announced that loyalty members can begin choosing complimentary “Main Cabin Extra” seats on American flights and “Even More Space” seats on JetBlue flights when they’re available for booking. Those seats include extra legroom, dedicated overhead bin space, and early boarding access. Members who have AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, or TrueBlue Mosaic can do same-day flight changes when flying with either carrier. Also, AA’s Admirals Club will open to members traveling on JetBlue flights starting in April.

But not everyone is happy with the increasing synergies between the two airlines. Last year, the U.S. Justice Department sued to block the alliance between American Airlines, the world’s largest airline, and JetBlue, which previously has marketed itself as an aggressive pricing competitor.

American also operates more flights out of Phoenix Sky Harbor than any other airline.

“In an industry where just four airlines control more than 80% of domestic air travel, American Airlines’ ‘alliance’ with JetBlue is, in fact, an unprecedented maneuver to further consolidate the industry,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. The DOJ says if this alliance continues, it will cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damages to travelers across the country because they will have fewer options and deal with high prices.