For the final segment of my Ukraine trip, I took a JetBlue “reverse redeye” (a late-night westbound transcontinental flight) from New York JFK to Los Angeles. This will be a short review, because I spent most of the flight fast asleep…mission accomplished.
JetBlue A321 Mint “Reverse Redeye” Review
After my delayed arrival into JFK and then the construction delay on the Air Train, I hit a massive security line in T5.
The line moved very slowly and I barely made it before the doors to my aircraft shut. Had my Ukrainian art been sent to secondary screening, I would have missed the flight.
But thankfully, I settled into my Mint Suite just after being paged for a second time that this was my last call…
New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Depart: 10:15 PM
Arrive: 01:40 AM+1
Duration: 06hr, 25min
Distance: 2,475 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Seat: 2A (“Mint” Business Class)
First, let me say how much I appreciate “reverse redeyes” from the East Coast to West Coast. These flights, which leave late in the evening, allow for a full day (or late arrival, in my case) into New York and still a chance of getting home to Southern California before morning. Sure, you arrive home after 2:00 am, but if you sleep on the flight you still wake up fairly well-rested in the morning.
The “classic” Mint product on most JetBlue A321 aircraft features 16 Thompson Aero Vantage seats arranged in an alternating 2-2, 1-1 pattern (three rows of 2-2, two rows of 1-1). The “suite” seats in rows two and four have doors that shut, three electrical outlets, and are both spacious and private. The bed is 80 inches when fully lie-flat.
Waiting on the seat was a menu and wine list, amenity kit, and bedding pack with pillow and duvet.
Before takeoff, a flight attendant stopped by each seat to introduce herself and encouraged me to use the call button if I needed anything at all during the flight. I love the JetBlue approach to the flight attendant call button.
Generally, at JFK there is a long gap between pushback time and wheels-up time due to the congestion at the airport, but at 10:15 pm we did not have to wait long to take off.
Shortly after takeoff, noise-canceling headphones were distributed and then dinner orders were taken. Meals are always a treat on JetBlue and looking over dinner, I saw five choices, all of which looked nice.
The meal began, however, with a bowl of Marcona almonds drizzled in olive oil, which were just perfect, and Mint Condition cocktail.
In Mint, you pick three of five “small plates” for your meal.
Having had fish for lunch in Warsaw and fish for dinner (now many hours ago) on LOT Polish, I chose the following three dishes for my late-night supper:
- 7 Green Salad
- marinated cucumber, goat cheese, Italian vinaigrette
- braised artichokes, mint, rosemary breadcrumbs
- Flat Iron Steak
- braised escarole, pistachios
The meal was served on a single tray with a warm bread roll and every bite was delicious. I ate it all.
I highly recommend everything I ordered, but the chicken was particularly savory.
During dinner, I started watching Ticket to Paradise with George Clooney and Julia Roberts. I have not finished it yet…
Then for dessert, I had a (decaf) cappuccino and a delectable bowl of vanilla gelato with passion fruit and coconut shortbread.
What a lovely meal!
And then I slept…for the next five hours.
I awoke as we were preparing for final descent into LAX. A packet of chocolate-covered cashews from Hu had been placed beside me, which I took with me, but I did consume a bottle of water before landing.
As it was past midnight, we did not take the usual approach into LAX but went around and landed over the Pacific Ocean.
It was now 4:45am in New York, 1:45am in LA, but I felt well-rested and energized.
And my art made it too…
I love “reverse redeyes” and am thankful that JetBlue runs two each evening, which allowed me to get back to my family without having to overnight in New York. I wish more carriers would offer similarly-timed flights and think this is a great concept for westbound transatlantic flights as well.
This was a lovely flight in every way and I cannot help but to rave about the consistency and quality of the JetBlue product.
Welcome home! Have been praying for you to get back to the U.S. safely.
Thanks Alvin! Nice to see all your posts on BA.
Seems like you hand carried the art. Did you not check a bag? If not, any pushback on having a third carry-on?
No pushback, but I was in business class on both legs.
I declared it when speaking to the agent at Global Entry. He didn’t seem to care and waved me through.
Yeah, I didn’t Immigration and Customs would care. But what about security in WAW and JFK? No pushback from the airlines?
No pushback. In WAW, the agents all had a chuckle over the Lenin bust. Some were old enough to remember when Mr. Lenin stood watch over Warsaw.
Looks like a rug not a bust!
Surprised they were all chuckling. Warsaw had the nazis and then a Russian occupancy back to back eek.
There was both! I brought back a painting (on canvas) and a Lenin bust.
You ate the chicken and the beef? Wow!!!
So, so delicious!
Goes without saying that Kirby and his catering team need to fly Mint ASAP to see how it’s done.
Please excuse my ignorance but can someone tell me what the +1 is on Arrive: 01:40 AM+1
I can’t tell when you’re trolling or not. It means +1 day (flight lands after midnight). On some TPAC flights you can even see +2
One day later, since technically it’s after midnight.
Thanks to you both! Duh–had forgotten. Not trolling.
JetBlue does Mint right…and it puts AA, DL and UA to shame. The issue with the “big three” is the accountants have taken charge. All three of them could provide the same quality meal service, but they’re too busy penny pinching. What blows my mind even more is they’re penny pinching on customers that may pay thousands of dollars for business class. Really?
AA & DL > UA as I don’t think they are using anything close to the UA’s awful plateware. Simple bowls work well as evidenced here
Only visible criticism is that I don’t love the clear tilde dividers.. Could have made them solid for more privacy so you don’t feel like someone is looking over your shoulder. https://liveandletsfly.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/JetBlue-A321-Mint-Reverse-Redeye-Review-4.jpeg
Did you miles to pay for the flight? With the emirates gone, what is the best way to redeem points for mint these days?
Got a good deal on r/t.
Check for last-minute I-space.
I see you rolled up the artwork. I presume you probably will use a local frame?
Correct. It came rolled up. As much as I’d love an ornate gold leaf frame with hammers and sickles carved on it, I’m going for a more contemporary look in my office and will probably do a simple frame.
There’s Cacio e Pepe on the menu! Very curious to see what JetBlue’s version of that looks and tastes like.
Next time I’ll try it. Normally I’d have beef or chicken with a pasta course, but I had just had a plate of pasta on LOT and am trying to limit carbs.
Why oh why can’t they offer to serve some of these courses separate as an option. Cabin is small, can default to all at once for most, but those who care and don’t want to be rushed can eat in peace.
I know that is a common criticism of JetBlue, but on a late-night flight this is exactly how I like it. Maybe not on a 6pm departure.
UA is the worst for meals in North America. No question.
Garlic bread is back
You had 9 minutes to board, not that close.
They close the doors early on the regular.
Mayor Pete should be fired for allowing the doors to close early
Or just be fired period.
The “reverse redeye” was also the flight in the movie AIRPORT 1975. The plane left Dulles before the sun came up (4am-ish?) and had the accident not occurred, would have landed in LA about 6-630am. That’s a great idea.
When I read the menu I guessed exactly what you’d eat, LOL!
Please post a photo which you get the art framed!
Yes, those taking the AirTrain need to allow additional time at JFK for ongoing construction, both within the airport and to/from stations serving hotels/rental cars (Federal Circle), parking lots and mass transit connections (bus, subway, Long Island Railroad) for the foreseeable future.