Yes, The Airlines Are, In Fact, Watching You…

In case you were wondering whether the airlines know what’s going on when people attempt to game promotions…

Yes. Yes They Do.

But sometimes they have a little fun with it. About six weeks ago, I discussed a JetBlue promotion where the airline decided that if it couldn’t beat ’em, it would match ’em. After having failed to buy Virgin America, it offered to match the account balances of Virgin America travelers, in hopes of wooing them to change allegiance. At least they were smart enough to put an upper limit on how much they would match. People who had never flown VA or had accumulated points through other means simply had JetBlue match those points. But the fastest way to accumulate Virgin America points – and, therefore, JetBlue points – was to transfer them in, from either hotel points or proprietary credit card points. Again, you receive Virgin America points (which will become Alaska Airlines miles) and thus, JetBlue points after the match. Double dippers united and the the promotion went viral.

The E-Mail

Capture

And then came the email. Anyone who transferred points to their JetBlue account during the promotion received the following email::

Nice match, my friend. Someone was using their noggin. As a little thank you for transferring your points to Elevate, we’re offering 25% off fares fares when you book by August 29 and fly through October 15, 2016. Use this one time promo code just for you and take off with movies, food, and happy hour on-demand.

Yes, Virgin America began to question why so many people had started transferring in points, and it probably took them two minutes to become aware of the JetBlue promo. Instead of getting upset that it was being “used,” Virgin America had some fun with it, launching a fare sale.

Good for them. It’s nice to see an airline with a sense of humor.

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