JetBlue has added another interline partner to its portfolio, inking a deal with Singapore Airlines to provide through service at both JFK and Newark airports in the New York City area. The agreement allows for connections at Newark to JetBlue’s service to Boston, Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale. At JFK there are many more destinations available. Customers will be able to purchase a single ticket and have through check-in, including baggage for the trip.
Noticeably lacking in the agreement, like most of the partnerships JetBlue has signed, is the ability to ticket directly via JetBlue’s sales channels and frequent flyer reciprocity. Like some previous partnerships it is likely that the purchase issue will be addressed at some point. Frequent flyer reciprocity is not so clear, though JetBlue has indicated they are at least looking at such options on a broad scale.
It will also be interesting to see how they handle through ticketing for passengers connecting to the Singapore-Newark route in terms of passenger comfort. That route is the longest currently flown in the world and is operated in an all business class configuration. Passengers connecting to JetBlue will also get a single-cabin configuration, but it is all economy. Admittedly, it is the most comfortable economy product flying in the USA today, but there’s still a marked difference in the service levels. It would be interesting to see JetBlue and Singapore Airlines work out a deal to get those passengers a complimentary upgrade to ‘Even More Space" seats or some other benefit to extend the "premium" experience as much as possible. Alas, I don’t actually see that coming.