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In 2013, JetBlue introduced a business class product called Mint for their transcon routes that would shake up the transcon market. JetBlue uses Airbus A321 planes with 16 business class seats that could turn into a fully flat bed. Four of the seats were private suites with a sliding door, the first for a US carrier. Not only did pricing start at $599 one way but this made traditional carriers like Delta and United to step up their offerings and lower their pricing to compete.
Arrival at JFK was a bit chaotic due to the building of the TWA Hotel however JetBlue Mint and Mosaic customers get their own dedicated check-in door and area. I had no wait and my bag was tagged soon after. After security, I walked around the terminal and grabbed a coffee.
Note that JetBlue does not have a lounge or provide lounge access however the terminal provides free WiFi and space to sit and relax. After a while, it was time to board JetBlue flight 415 to San Francisco. Mint and Mosaic passengers were allowed to board first. I noticed that some Mosaic passengers received a free upgrade to Mint which doesn’t happen often with traditional carriers.
Upon entering the Airbus A321, I was welcomed by a friendly flight attendant. The cabin was quite dark since all the windows were closed but had a blue tint in the lighting. I was able to grab seat 4A, which has a suite door. The other non suite seats are 2×2 and do not have a door but still provide a fully flat bed. The Mint Suite is obviously fantastic for solo travellers and the 2×2 seats are great for couples or families travelling together. My seat had a pillow and blanket along with a Hopper amenity kit, which was full of local and curated lotions and creams.
There was also a welcome card signed by the flight attendants. I noticed that there were no headphones but the card mentioned that flight attendants had them upon request. I ended up using my own headphones. There was also a water bottle in a water bottle holder over my right shoulder. I noticed that the IFE was quite large – 15in and a touchscreen (there was a remote but did not use it). There was also seat controls on the side that included a massage feature. Something unique to the suite is that there are three power ports with three USB ports so passengers could charge up to six devices at once.
Upon sitting down, I was greeted again by another flight attendant. She explained the seat to me – something most airlines don’t do – and asked if I wanted to drink anything prior to departure for which I got an orange juice. JetBlue on afternoon and evening flights offer their signature “RefreshMint” however as this was a morning flight, they did not have it but they offered to make any drink passengers wanted. Once the flight attendant got my drink, she also provided a menu for me to look at and explained what was on offer and how I could choose three out of five items on the menu. We then departed the gate and were on our way to San Francisco.
Once in the air, flight attendants took meal orders. They also welcomed me by name (reading off paperwork). The way JetBlue does meals on Mint flights is a tapas style, which gives passengers a little bit of everything instead of a traditional meal. Out of the five options, I chose a acai yogurt parfait, grilled & chilled avocado with scrambled eggs, and potato roesti, which was a poached egg with ham, cheddar, and salsa.
The last dish was inspired by NYC’s Saxon + Parole restaurant. The other two choices were sliced fruit or a baked plum dish. I also ordered a side dish of chicken sausage. JetBlue does not use any linen in Mint rather a paper placemat was provided along with a tray for the meal. The meal started with a warm cranberry twist pastry and my beverage choice of a mimosa. Everything was fantastic and very filling. However my issue was that the service was slow. It was 30-40 minutes in between the pastry and meal service.
After meal service, flight attendants announced that the Marketplace was open for passengers. This small area between Mint and economy provided snacks and non-alcoholic drinks for all passengers to grab at their leisure. I watched a few movies and used the fast and free Fly-Fi (JetBlue’s broadband WiFi). I then closed by suite door and turned the seat into the bed and went to sleep.
I got a few hours of sleep and when I woke up, one of the flight attendants asked if I wanted something to drink or eat. I asked for a cappuccino and some chips. I got the chips however there was a delay with the cappuccino which the flight attendant apologized for (it took about 25 minutes to get to me after asking). However the cappuccino was fresh and came with a dark chocolate. I went back to watching TV.
Right before landing, flight attendants came around and thanked passengers by name and gave out Milk Bar cookie in a box. We arrived early in San Francisco and it was time to say goodbye to the flight attendants.
I’ve flown the traditional carriers on transcon routes but JetBlue is possibly one of the best options. With the friendly flight attendants who are eager to assist and actively use passengers names, fantastic food, free WiFi and great entertainment, and only transcon airline that has a suite door, it’s hard to beat.
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Have you flown JetBlue’s Mint business class product before? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.