We were the guest of JetBlue to try out their trans-continental premium inflight service, Mint. Mint, which operates between New York’s JFK Airport and San Francisco International and Los Angeles International airports, is the carrier’s twist on first or business class. As usual, it was a great flight, and below is a list of our eight favorite things about it.
A Premium Line
The Mint experience begins as soon as you arrive at the airport. Flying out of LAX, there’s a special line for Mint customers. Since we didn’t get our usual TSA PreCheck, it was nice that we didn’t have to stand in a long security line. There wasn’t a JetBlue lounge past security, but the gate we used was away from the teeming masses at LAX Terminal 3 and there was soothing music playing, which was greatly appreciated.
A Friendly Flight Crew
We have always been a fan of JetBlue flight crews, no matter where we're sitting. They always make you feel like they’re happy you’re there, and it was no different on the Mint flight. There was a welcome card signed by the flight attendants at each seat. One of the attendants personally welcomed each person in Mint class and explained the seat for those of us who were new to the product.
The Suite Seat
JetBlue created these seats to fit their vision of a first/business class experience. No other airline in the world has them. The long-range aircraft features 12 first class and four “suite” seats.
The suite is a single seat that has a door for additional privacy, and it’s a nice feature. All the Mint seats feature a massage unit, lumbar support, the ability to recline or go into a fully lie-flat bed. The pillow was comfortable, and the duvet was heavy enough to avoid a chill, but not so heavy that you felt overheated.
The only gripe — and it's a small one — is that the foot space can feel a bit confining when the seat is in the lie-flat mode. Just the same, it sure beats sitting in Coach! Finally, the seat features lots of storage that can hold your electronics.
Birchbox Amenity Kit
JetBlue offered its own twist on an amenity kit by partnering with Birchbox to offer curated kits for men and women. Inside the box was Fekkai Hair Mist, a wonderful Perlier Shea Lavender lotion, Dr. Jart + facial cream, Mirenesse Glossy Kiss - Cheeky Kiss lip crayon, Yes To Cucumber Facial Wipes and a Grab & Go Pony stretchy hair tie.
Upscale Food and Beverages
The flight started with the signature Mint Lemonade, with or without Vodka. JetBlue offers a nice selection of wines from Jon Bonne, it’s wine expert, including a Chardonnay, a Rose, a Counoise, a Zinfandel and Sparkling wine.
There’s also an assortment of beers, liquors, coffees and teas and non-alcoholic beverages. There’s also a space in the seat that holds bottled water. On the food side, the meal was created by New York-based Saxon + Parole.
For our red-eye flight, we started with artichoke and black truffle on a crostini as the appetizer. The plate also included three small dishes -- a chicken pot pie, a baby heirloom tomato confit with Serrano ham, Kalamata olives and frisee and an Asian pear salad with blue cheese and candied hazelnuts.
Dessert was a choice of fresh fruit or Organic mango sorbet from Blue Marble Ice Cream. And if you were still hungry, you could walk over to the snack pantry.
Before landing, we were given a biscuit sandwich with chicken sausage, eggs, and pimento cheese. As we left the flight, we were given a small box with two shortbread cookies and a blondie from Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery.
Power to the People
JetBlue offers three power outlets/USB ports in the seat, with which you can charge up an iPad, iPhone and/or MacBook Pro with ease.
The inflight entertainment system features a 15-inch television screen and 100 channels of TV shows, movies, and radio on DirecTV and SiriusXM. There’s also FlyFi, the carrier’s free -- and robust -- inflight Wi-Fi system, so you’ll never be bored.
For this complete Mint experience, fares start at a bargain $599 each way. Competition is fierce on the trans-con flights out of New York, and other airlines have their own premium products.
A JFK-LAX flight booked 30 days out on United Airlines’ P.S. service cost $5107, while Delta charged $2666, American charged $3067 (for first class) and Virgin America charged $2074.