Ever since I had first flown with Jet Airways to Ladakh, I have developed a liking for it. Even though I did fly with Air India and Go Air on that sector, I always gravitated back towards Jet. And I also thought being loyal had its perks, especially while flying. Since all these airlines pitch us day in and day out (I get daily emails from Jet Airways) about their frequent flyer miles program and the benefit of sticking with them over their competitors.
Having said this, I don’t fly on a very regular basis and these frequent flyer miles expire as well. So I almost never accumulate enough points to fly free. So when towards the end of 2016, my credit card reward points were about to expire, I converted them to Jet Airways frequent flyer miles.
In hope of flying to Leh for free, at least one way.
Fast forward to early this week. I was trying to book a flight to Leh in August and I decided to use my frequent flyer miles (I had more than enough for a flight to Leh).
The only issue was, when I tried to book through Jet Airways’ Jet Privilege system, there was no seat available! Even though on their own site, they had plenty of seats available for retail customers.
Turns out, from May (that was the last point till I checked) to end of August, Jet Airways had zero availability for those trying to use their frequent flyer miles to travel to Leh!
Even though on all these days, seats in multiple tiers of the tariff was easily available for retail customers.
Even if there is a limited quota per flight for frequent flyer mile users, I find it hard to believe, it was filled up for 4 months, that make up the majority of Ladakh travel season.
Maybe Jet Airways treats its frequent flyers as second rate citizens and only allows them to redeem their points during off season or in case their lowest tarrif ticket is available. Whatever the case might be, it doesn’t really instills confidence in a program, that is pitched to me, every single day by Jet Airways.
This also means that the reward points I could have used to get something useful from my bank, are now useless and will likely expire with Jet Airways unless I am willing to travel as per their convenience.
On the whole, the entire experience left a bitter taste in my mouth and prompted me to book another airline’s ticket, relegating Jet Airways to the bottom of the choice list.