The more I reflect on this flight, the more I realize how much I take mediocre service for granted on U.S. airlines. Put simply, this late-night flight in JetBlue Mint was one of the best domestic flights I have ever experienced.
We transited from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5, passing the iconic TWA Flight Center currently being transformed to the TWA Hotel. JetBlue’s refurbished T5 sacrificed subway tiles for minimalism, but is impressive.
After a long layover in the Airspace Lounge in T5, we approached the gate moments before boarding began. As my boarding pass was scanned, the gate agent made eye contact, smiled, and wished me a pleasant flight. The flight was already off to a good start.
New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Tuesday, August 3
Arrive: 12:44AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Seat: 4A (Mint)
Ford and I leisurely walked down the jet bridge, eventually slowing traffic behind us to give Ben a few extra seconds to capture undisturbed cabin shots. Stepping on to the aircraft, I was warmly greeted by Agda, who was part of the exceptional Mint team serving this evening’s flight.
JetBlue Mint Class Seating
JetBlue Mint Class is available on select JetBlue A321 aircraft and includes five rows of Mint (business) class. Rows 1, 3, and 5 offer 2-2 lie-flat seating while rows 2 and 4 offer 1-1 seating with closed-door suites, called Mint suites.
Oddly, JetBlue does not (yet) charge extra for reserving the more spacious and private 1-1 seats. Ironically then, the choice seats in the cabin tend to go to those who book further in advance and therefore pay less for their seats.
Even the standard 2-2 seats looked extremely comfortable and had more privacy then many business class seat pairs of similar dimensions.
The first thing I loved about the Mint suite was that there were three power outlets and three USB ports – yes, not just one, not just two, but six devices could be charged at once! It made keeping my devices charged very simple.
Every compartment seemed thoughtfully designed. My wallet and passport fit perfectly in two small mesh pouches to the right of my seat. Above it was a larger storage container as well as a reading light and (pre-stocked) water bottle holder.
The only annoyance was that sometimes when resting my elbow I would inadvertently start adjusting the seat. Note that the cushion firmness can be controlled as well.
On the left side was a large console that made a nice side table for my laptop during the meal service.
Finally, there is a small box marked “crew only” that houses manual reset buttons in case the electronic seat goes haywire. They were not necessary during my flight.
A small button released the sliding door, allowing the suite to be fully closed.
Here’s my vantage point with the suite door closed—
You can see that the foot cubby is a bit tight when fully reclined, but not so constrained that it impairs sleeping (noting that I slept for 4.5 hours).
I loved the bedding as well. Not so much the color scheme, but both the pillow and blanket were very plush and comfortable. My strategy is to open the air nozzle and make the cabin around my seat as cool as possible while curling up under the blanket.
JetBlue Mint Service
Oh how service shined on this flight. At my seat I found a note signed by Agda and Raphy welcoming me onboard. Both Mint flight attendants would provide flawlessly friendly, polished, and genuinely kind-hearted service during the flight. I’ve had “fluke” flights like this on United from time to time, but it was very clear: this is how they always are. And it was amazing.
For example, Agda made her way through the cabin introducing herself to each guest. When she came to me she was excited to learn it was my first time in Mint class and took some time to show me all the seat features.
Raphy was excellent as well, memorizing the names of those in the cabin and having the uncanny sense of being neither overly intrusive nor distant. When I woke up from my nap prior to landing he appeared moments later, suggesting I have another cappuccino.
After we hit 10,000 feet, he walked through the cabin asking each passenger if he could retrieve any items for them from the overhead bin. I’ve never seen anything like that…
JetBlue Mint Food and Drink
After introducing me to the suite, Agda offered me JetBlue’s signature pre-flight cocktail, honey infused limeade with fresh mint and vodka, along with a splash of club soda. It was so refreshing I asked for another after takeoff.
Agda also offered a menu. Despite the late hour, a full dinner service was offered during the flight. Attention American/Delta/United: learn from JetBlue! Some passengers appreciate a full dinner even at 10pm. Here’s the menu:
JetBlue has a wonderful tapas concept in which you can choose up to three small dishes off the menu. Menus are also posted online, so I already had an idea of what I wanted prior to the flight.
After we leveled off, meal service began with hot towels. Raphy then served my second cocktail along with a deviled egg appetizer and sparkling water.
Next, a paper placemat was set upon each tray table. JetBlue does not use any linens—the tablecloth, tray liner, and napkin are all paper. S&p shakers were added and I was offered warm bread with olive oil.
For my main courses (“Delish Dishes”) I chose the Asian pear salad, chicken & dumplings, and the bison meatloaf.
Ben ordered ricotta gnudi and grilled avocado salad which also looked extremely tasty.
One word: wow. The food was truly delicious. Perfectly favored and served at the perfect temperature, I practically inhaled the dinner.
But the meal was not over…
Next came a remarkably sweet and ripe fruit salad, organic Blue Marble chocolate ice cream, and an amazing cappuccino.
The meal on JetBlue was incredible. I could not have asked for anything more.
When I woke up from nap, Raphy offered me a cappuccino and choice of items from the snack basket. It would not be a JetBlue flight without Terra Blue Chips so I had a bag of those along with a green apple.
A box from Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery containing a small cookie and brownie were offered, which my wife polished off at home the next day before I could try a bite.
JetBlue Mint Amenities
Prior to takeoff, a Birchbox kit in a lime-green box was offered. Not really an amenity kit, it contained a body bar, lip balm, shampoo, sunscreen and shoe wipes. Actual flight amenities like a toothbrush or comb were available on demand.
JetBlue Mint IFE + Wi-Fi
I was too tried to work or even watch TV, but JetBlue offers over 100 channels of live television as well as a limited selection of movies on-demand. XM radio is also available as well as a detailed guide of the Mint suite.
Best of all, though, is complimentary wi-fi available to all passengers. It’s not fast, but no slower than internet onboard Alaska, American, Delta, or United. JetBlue also offers high speed internet at a rate of $9/hr. That’s steep, but I appreciated the option.
Noise cancelling headphones were distributed.
JetBlue Mint Lavatory
I just stepped into the lavatory once prior to landing and it was still clean. I did not see any additional amenities available.
What a fabulous flight. I’ve flown every domestic airline (even Sun Country now) in business or first class and JetBlue remains my favorite product. Service was flawless, the food was excellent, and the seat amazing. The way I see it, you cannot go wrong choosing JetBlue Mint for a superior in-flight experience.