Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

NEW: Use Emirates miles for JetBlue Business Class and Lancashire cricket tickets

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

We have been getting a little excited – possibly too excited, given that it is not in a major airline alliance and the flight times are not great – about JetBlue’s new routes from London Heathrow and Gatwick to New York and Boston.

The Heathrow flights from Terminal 2 will launch first, operating daily from 12th August. The flights are initially as follows:

JetBlue tailfin
  • B620 (London – New York) departs Heathrow at 6:10pm
  • B67 (New York – London) departs New York at 10:05pm

Gatwick flights will commence from 29th September from the North Terminal, also daily:

  • B644 (London Gatwick– New York) departs Gatwick at 12pm midday
  • B643 (New York – London Gatwick) departs New York at 7:48pm

The Boston launch date is not yet confirmed.

JetBlue A321LR Mint Studio

In February, JetBlue unveiled its new business class ‘Mint’ seat that would operate the London flights. This looks like an impressive product given the restrictions of a single aisle aircraft. It features improved bulkhead seats with even more personal space and the option for buddy dining, which it is calling ‘Mint Studio’ (below).

JetBlue is not part of any airline alliance, unfortunately, so you can’t earn or redeem miles with either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic. It is a partner with Emirates but redemptions were only allowed for economy seats.

This has now changed.

JetBlue A321LR Mint Studio seat 2

You can now redeem Emirates Skywards miles for JetBlue business class seats

Here is the Emirates Skywards redemption page for JetBlue. ‘Mint’ (business class) seats are now listed.

It is a distance based chart.

JetBlue ‘Mint’ business class from London to New York or Boston will cost, based on a distance of around 3,200 to 3,400 miles, 64,000 Emirates Skywards miles each way.

Taxes and charges are also due – it isn’t clear how high these are.

Whilst you can book US domestic redemptions on JetBlue on the Emirates website by selecting ‘Book Classic Rewards Flight’ and ‘Search Partner Flights Only’ and unticking the ‘My dates are flexible’ box, you cannot book the new transatlantic flights yet. You need to call Emirates.

In terms of availability, it appears that any cash ticket being sold in I-class (the industry code for discounted business class) can be booked as a reward.

If you can use ITA Matrix or have ExpertFlyer, you can track down which flights have I-class for sale. If neither of these tools mean anything to you, it is easier to look at cash prices on the JetBlue website. The dates with the lowest cash fares should be bookable as rewards.

The question, of course, is whether redemptions via Emirates Skywards are good value. We have seen some good value introductory cash fares of around £1,000 return but these won’t last. You may also value the flexibility of a redemption ticket.

Remember that Emirates Skywards is a 1:1 transfer partner with American Express Membership Rewards. Even more impressively, points transfer instantly if your accounts are already linked.

We will do a follow up article on this topic when JetBlue’s cash pricing has settled down – it won’t be £1,000 return long term – and it is clearer what sort of value a redemption offers.

Use Emirates Skywards miles for Lancashire cricket tickets

At the other end of the Emirates Skywards redemption chart, we have cricket!

Whilst we wait for Arsenal VIP football packages to reappear on the Emirates Skywards website for the new season, a more modest sporting redemption is available.

Emirates Skywards is offering tickets for the following Royal London One Day Cup cricket matches:

  • Lancashire v Middlesex on 3rd August
  • Lancashire v Worcestershire on 8th August
  • Lancashire v Essex on 12th August

All matches are at Old Trafford. It will cost 1,500 Emirates Skywards miles per ticket, and you are getting standard General Admission tickets.

From what I can make out, tickets are currently only available to Lancashire Cricket members so this may be your only way of getting hold of them.

Full details of all Emirates Skywards sporting redemptions are here.

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards

How to earn Emirates Skywards miles from UK credit cards (June 2024)

Emirates Skywards does not have a UK credit card.  However, you can earn Emirates Skywards miles by converting Membership Rewards points earned from selected UK American Express cards.

Cards earning Membership Rewards points include:

Membership Rewards points convert at 1:1 into Emirates Skywards miles which is an attractive rate.  The cards above all earn 1 Membership Rewards point per £1 spent on your card, which converts to 1 Emirates Skywards mile. The Gold card earns double points (2 per £1) on all flights you charge to it.

Comments (19)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 1ATL says:

    Given you can also earn EK miles when booking B2 flights, might this be the best place to credit any of those £1000 Mint fares to the US? Aerclub only seems to apply when you book EI transatlantic with a domestic connection on B2 as a codeshare and the TrueBlue scheme seems to be fairly patchy in terms of partners on which you can redeem. EK seems to give the most scope over actually benefiting from the mileage accrued given they have the ability to redeem on a lot more partners – including easyJet

    • Rob says:

      Assuming you can’t credit them to AA due to the transatlantic JV rules, then potentially yes. Easy top-ups via Amex, decent events redemptions and ability to redeem for easyJet or hotel rooms.

    • FatherOfFour says:

      Learnt something new here then. Didn’t realise EK could be redeemed for easyJet.

      Looking at this the other way around and assuming I had MR or Skywards to burn. If I wanted to fly business to New York off-peak, I could use 64000 Skywards, each way + x taxes, fees, charges etc. or 50000 Avios each way + c £1k? TFC with BA.

      What is x? on one of these flights? I have never heard of a 2-4-1 equivalent, so with a 2-4-1 and choice of flight timings, BA has to be the best deal, unless x is ridiculously low?

      • FatherOfFour says:

        Answer to my own question. TFCs on B6 = £542.43 per passenger (rtn) TFCs on BA = £676 per passenger (rtn). So, for a couple with a 241: JetBlue 256000 points + £1084 cash, BA 100000 avios + £1352(!)

        • Rob says:

          The tax split by direction would be interesting given how BA loads its ex US surcharges.

          • FatherOfFour says:

            £230 of the £542 definitely UK (APD etc). The carrier imposed surcharge is £300 total. Trying to split into singles changes the fare structure and adds up to more than the 542.

  • Dev says:

    Bet it rains in Manchester on the 3rd, 8th and 12th of August!

  • Andrew says:

    Now all we need is the US to actually let us in!!

    • Dave1985 says:

      AstraZeneca haven’t even applied for authorisation in America yet so if vaccine status is checked, then that could cause problems for the two thirds (?) of jabbed people in the U.K. who’ve had that jab. The FT reported that they might apply for full authorisation too, which would take months rather than weeks.

      (Vaccine passports might not end up being required but people previously said that and they’re already been proven wrong-amber list etc)

      • Mike says:

        The current vaccines authorised for use in the USA are under emergency use authorization (EUA). At some point there’s a sensible limit to authorising more vaccines in this way once you had enough effective stock, the US has practically ran out of people who want to be vaccinated. The ban on UK citizens (and others) is completely within the gift of the US president and doesn’t need to align to any authorised (in the US) vaccine.

        • Dave1985 says:

          “ doesn’t need to align to any authorised (in the US) vaccine”

          It doesn’t but it might be. Some (might have only been a few) concerts in America have required vaccine passports and only authorised jabs were recognised. This only impacted a few people who’d had the Oxford jab in Canada but could be a sign of things to come.

      • Andrew says:

        So it’s unlikely to be this year. I’ll shelve my excitement for Mint Business class via EK Miles then!

        • Dave1985 says:

          Who knows, we might be allowed in this years but not by 12th August!!!

          • Andrew says:

            And probably just in time for the autumn stay at home order to kick in.

  • Dave1985 says:

    “ tickets are currently only available to Lancashire Cricket members so this may be your only way of getting hold of them”

    It won’t be. They’ll be sold to non members at some point (if the competition actually goes ahead, it might be cancelled because so many players will be playing in the hundred nonsense and there aren’t any backup players in the event of covid isolation£

    • Rob Collins says:

      I believe a decision is going to be made today, so I would hold off buying any cricket tickets until we know more. As a county cricket fan I agree with the sentiments of the previous post.

      • The Savage Squirrel says:

        I’m going to agree too. Death to the hundred. Full county grounds and empty hundred grounds would be the best visual way of doing this so everyone make sure they attend!

  • Mirp says:

    Note that Jetblue has changed the outbound flight time from Heathrow. The LHR-JFK flight now departs LHR at 2:05 pm and arrives at JFK at 5:28 pm. I am scheduled to fly in August and received notice this week on the changed flight time. I’m excited to try Mint and so is my teenager.

    • Andrew says:

      Presumably they will be pushing back the launch date until more than a handful of people can fly – not really a great way to start?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.