JetBlue Mosaic is More Shopping Club than Airline Elite Status

New to JetBlue Mosaic via status match? We were there last year. Mosaic is different from typical airline elite statuses. Set expectations accordingly.

JetBlue Mosaic

Mosaic has bonus points and fee waiver discounts that I’ll call the shopping club benefits:

  • 15,000 points for qualification (straight up or by challenge, not by match)
  • Additional 3 points/dollar on tickets
  • Waived change and cancel fee for you and people on the same reservation
  • Free same-day change to any flight on the same route (including co-terminals like LGA/JFK/EWR)
  • Two free checked bags for you and people on the same reservation
  • Discounted upgrades to Even More seats available from booking onward at check-in (such as 500 points instead of $50)
  • Complimentary alcoholic drinks
  • Not limited to Mosaic: family pooling of points and regular award point rebate promotions

When we got Mosaic last year and were based in New York, the free same-day change was the biggest appeal because of the many flights out of the three NYC airports. Since Delta had imposed fare class restrictions on their same-day confirmed, we had rarely had success confirming in advance.

Mosaic’s travel benefits are more limited:

  • Priority security
  • Priority boarding
  • No official complimentary upgrades to Even More, let alone Mint
  • Gate agent discretion to upgrade to Even More seats, often may need to proactively request from gate agent
  • Dedicated customer service line (this is where they fell down for us)

JetBlue BOS Just Ask

One and Done: Our Mosaic Experience

Last year we were based in New York, had a pile of JetBlue points from the SPG->Virgin America deal, and decided to try JetBlue with the Mosaic match.

Our first and only trip was a New York-Boston weekend. We picked JetBlue because Delta was priced too high for the Sunday evening return and we did not have confidence in Delta’s same-day confirmed. JetBlue gave us a good shot at the same-day change while still buying their much cheaper morning flight.

Our Friday JFK-BOS was uneventful. Sitting at the back of the plane meant a cramped seat and slow deplaning arrival. Not a big deal, though with our Delta Diamond Medallion status we would have had Comfort+ automatically and likely been in first.

Sunday morning we got our same-day change to the evening and headed out with a friend in New Hampshire. T-Mobile service is poor in New England and I had no signal for several hours.

I emerged to check flight status and saw we had been canceled due to weather. The flight had canceled several hours prior and eventually, an email was sent with the notice. I looked for a rebooking that did not exist. We had no flight.

I called the Mosaic line and was on hold in the queue for over 30 minutes before getting to an agent. During the wait, I tried social media contacts without success.

(Sidebar: JetBlue switches to customer service tool built by startup it funded – a unified record for all contact channels. We’ll see if this improves their service.)

The agent educated me that Mosaic does not involve proactive rebooking. With Delta or United we would have been immediately rebooked with something, and then could check other options to our preference.

Everything Monday morning was already booked solid by people who got word of the cancellations earlier than us. We had to settle for an afternoon flight, wasting a day of work vacation each. Because it was weather, JetBlue did not offer any assistance (Citi Prestige trip delay did eventually come through, after some farcical issues with their benefits administrator).

Sunday night we saw Delta, United, and even American resume Boston-New York flights while JetBlue remained crippled for the day. JetBlue did not recover well on Monday, either, with several additional hours of delay added to our flight. The JetBlue customer service desk in the terminal in Boston, one of their hubs, was lightly staffed, had a line snaking through the terminal, and no Mosaic priority line.

I saw on FlyerTalk that JetBlue’s operations regularly suffer from these breakdowns. They do not have the backup and recovery in place to snap back as well as the majors.

Saving a few dollars on cheaper fares that we could same-day change for free was not enough to keep risking losing days of vacation on weekend trips.

Fixing things when they go wrong is what I value most in airline elite status. That is not Mosaic.

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  • Alpha

    I don’t know that I would use Delta as an example of good handling of IRROPS, or a good flying experience.

    When things go wrong, JetBlue typically proactively offers compensation, whereas as a Delta gold I’ve had to wait 2+ hours on hold just to get hotel accommodations due to maintenance delays (which Delta has a ton of given their old planes.) Yes, they have proactively rebooked me, but I can’t think of a single time when it’s been anything close to a decent itinerary- and half of the time their app’s rebooking breaks down and I’m back in queue again trying to talk to a surly Delta agent.

    As for flying, a regular JetBlue coach seat is comparable to a Comfort+ seat on Delta. An EMS seat is practically free as a Mosaic (the amount in points is fairly nominal) , and the flexibility to change/cancel makes it a fairly useful program.

  • Wandering Aramean

    Cramped seat? Really? Was it an E90 or A320? The worst you could’ve had was 33″ pitch, not all that far from C+ and hardly a “cramped” layout.

    Also, the points paid discount to EMS is available at any time, not just at check-in. And, FWIW, I get proactive EMS at the gate more than not.

  • It was 2×2 which I will take it as an E90 and any of those on the various airlines feel cramped to me. I did not meant to imply it was more cramped than other airlines in economy. On our flight there was no proactive offer of EMS, I don’t know if they were available and at the time I did not know about the cheap upgrade options. On a short flight is wasn’t much of a difference so I would not likely have upgraded even for just a few points. As I said, that was all ‘not a big deal,’ to me, other than to highlight it is different from what one coming from other airline elite programs may expect. The lack of any kind of elite status customer service is what did it for me.

  • I have had all the Delta statuses in the family at different times, and certainly auto-rebooking and hold times are not as desirable as you go down the ladder, though that is more a feature than a bug. As a Diamond my auto-rebookings the past year or so that I remember have mostly been good, the changes I have made is where I have a personal preference such as auto-rebooked on the first flight out when I would rather sleep in and take a later, in those cases the system did what it should by getting me on the first available nonstop.

    I have not had rebooking issues recently with the app except when trying to pass on the auto-results and search to do something too far off the normal like change among co-terminals.

    For the hotels, if you are in airport it is easy to do at the gates, the Sky Clubs and those auto-machines at some of the airports. I agree over phone it is less easy to do quickly, which I understand why some choose to just book to a convenient hotel and deal with the airline later.

  • Dan

    This seems like an instance where you are conflating one experience with a general pattern. Granted, I’m a free agent with no status but I fly once or twice a month and have not found B6 any worse than the majors either in normal times or during IRROPS. Further, their product is far superior in coach.

  • Thanks for the corrections on the upgrades, I have updated the post.

  • I have not found any reports that with Mosaic they auto-rebook in IRROPS or even provide better IRROPS assistance to Mosaics, or that customer service desks like the one in Boston have now sprouted a Mosaic line.

    In my case, when I was after the fact researching how they handle things, I came across FT threads with the exact same IRROPS and issues the weekend after in BOS and on and on, yes, a pattern. The intent was to highlight similar to your point that Mosaic gets you no better than free agent status and so should not expect Mosaic to be similar to other airline statuses that do increase customer service treatment.

  • Boraxo

    Try Ethiopian, will make JetBlue look great. Not sure I would blacklist based on one weather irrops experience – though I’ve never personally flown B6

  • I’ve flown Ethiopian several dozens times and enjoy them.

    The purpose of a status match is to give customers a chance to test out one offer compared to what they are accustomed. For us, JetBlue had no advantage of routes, schedule, pricing, product or any factor except flexible same-day change, compared to our Delta Diamond (and my United 1k). If our test trip had been uneventful, as was our outbound, we wouldn’t have learned much. The return we saw their customer service in action, and the conclusions drawn were systemic, not one time: Mosaic gets little better customer service than non-Mosaic. BOS would not magically have a Mosaic line one day and not the next. For us, the customer service we receive with Delta and United is much better, so there was no compelling reason to switch our flying over to JetBlue. Now we are in Seattle, and when Mint comes in April we plan to use it since that will be a distinguishing offer of value to us as a product.