JetBlue actually does not reinvent the wheel when it comes to transatlantic travel, but it does just about everything right, including those important small touches. My JetBlue A321LR journey from New York to London in Mint business class was marked by great service, delicious food, and a comfortable and technologically-advanced suite.
JetBlue A321LR Mint Business Class Review
I traveled from New York (JFK) to London Gatwick (LGW) onboard JetBlue’s latest aircraft, finally having a chance to put JetBlue’s new transatlantic service to the test.
I booked my ticket using Emirates Skywards miles, which cost a total of 64,000 Skywards points plus $10.10 in taxes. With fuel surcharges now significantly higher on Emirates redemptions, this marks a great use of Skywards miles…if it sticks around.
I checked in using the JetBlue mobile app, which included uploading an image of my passport but no other formalities in order to obtain my boarding pass (the UK no longer requires an arrival form or proof of testing).
Although I was bit worried that my connection at JFK was only 45 minutes, my flight from Los Angeles (LAX) arrived nearly an hour early, giving me plenty of time to make the connection.
JetBlue does not provide a lounge or lounge access to its Mint business class passengers. I used the time to relax on the T5 rooftop terrace, which actually could be a cool year-around lounge if the weather was more cooperative.
A gate agent showed up to the gate an hour prior to scheduled departure and the crew boarded a few minutes later. At precisely 45 minutes prior to takeoff boarding began.
New York (JFK) – London (LGW)
Monday, May 30
Duration: 7hr, 25min
Aircraft: Airbus A321LR
Distance: 3,470 miles
Seat: 5F (Mint Business Class)
Onboard, I was greeted with a huge smile and friendly word from Ashely, who would set the tone for a flight marked by attentive and gracious service.
Even before we get to the seats, I wish to recognize the lovely crew serving Mint, which included Sandra, Ashely, and Dustin.
They were polite, professional, and yet fun. For example, Ashely saw me taking pictures and asked immediately if she could take my picture. I never admit I’m a blogger, but will usually express excitement about flying a product for the first time and you could see proud she was of the new cabin.
Meanwhile, Dustin did much of the work in serving food and drink during the flight and was so professional. He called me by surname, knew the menu and drink list well, and set a good pace for the service. My drink glass never got empty and my finished dishes did not sit for more than a few moments before being cleared away.
I’ve enjoyed great service on American, British Airways, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and Untied on London trips, but there was something so special about the great service onboard this flight.
And the cabin was less than half full…which I am sure helped. Ashely told me the cabin is usually much more full.
Seat (Mint Suite)
I had mixed feelings about the Mint Suite based upon the pictures, but found the actual product quite spacious and comfortable. JetBlue utilizes a herrigbone-style seat (Thompson Vantage Solo) on its A321LR jets in business class. The downside is that you have to turn your head to look out the window, but the suite felt much more spacious than the herringbone seats on Virgin Atlantic or Air New Zealand.
The 1-1 configuration is so sleek looking with mood lighting and a suite that has elements of woodgrain, soft gray leather, and a white exterior that reminded me of the Apartments onboard the Etihad A380 (indeed, Ashely said the cabin was modeled after Etihad, which made me think imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery). There are 12 rows in Mint, totaling 24 seats.
Door slide shut and the suite has a number of nooks and crannies for personal storage, including a deep storage cabinet below the window, a drawer below the monitor for a laptop or tablet (although my 15 inch MacBook Pro did not fit), and a shoe basket near the floor.
The footwell felt surprisingly open and I could really feel the quality of the soft leather covering over the seats.
Seat controls were on the side ottoman within easy reach.
Bedding, including a pillow and duvet from Tuft and Needle was placed on every seat prior to boarding and I thought the blanket was just perfect for the three hour nap I managed between meal services. Mint-branded slippers were also provisioned.
The cabin was hot, but there is a single air vent above each seat that helped to cool me down.
Each suite had two power ports, one to my left (with a USB-A rapid charger) and one to my right (with a USB-C rapid charger). I love that there is both. In theory I also loved the wireless mobile phone charger, though it did not work for me (and I tried it in several other seats too and it did not work at all).
In summary, the Mint Studio is not a revolutionary seat, but it does represent a very efficient use of the space and I give the seat high marks for comfort.
I could have upgraded to the JetBlue studio, located in row one and providing even more space, but at $399 I did not consider it worthwhile…and others didn’t either, since they stayed empty. I think $199 in advance and $99 at the airport is a more acceptable price point.
Food + Drink
You can prepare for a culinary feast on any JetBlue Mint flight, but the food was particularly well-done on this flight, and I don’t mean that the meat was overcooked.
Prior to takeoff, passengers were offered a welcome beverage of sparkling wine or a fizzy cranberry drink.
With a flight time of only seven hours, service began promptly after takeoff.
Service is from front-to-back. While this wasn’t a problem on my lightly-filled flight, do keep that in mind since you will be eating a lot later if you choose to sit in the back of the cabin versus the front on a full flight. That could make all the difference between sleeping well and not sleeping enough on an overnight flight to London.
Here’s the menu for my flight:
Dinner began with appetizers and drinks. Dustin took the orders and also promptly delivered the food. I had an Old Fashioned cocktail (Jack Daniel’s whiskey, maple, bitters, orange peel) followed by tapas-style appetizers including red bell peppers with balsamic vinegar and basil, roasted mushrooms with pitted green olives, and salted almonds. All were good and it was a nice change of pace from the usual packet or ramekin of nuts served on other carriers.
For dinner, I ordered the following:
- Cucumber salad
- goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, Italian vinaigrette
- Kale & spinach lasagna
- Sicilian tomato sauce, parmigiano
- Flat iron steak
- summer squash caponata, pinenut herb crumble
First, I note this was a lot of food…more than enough for me (and regular readers know what a hearty appetite I have). Second, the food was delicious. I would have preferred the beef have been cooked rarer, but for an airline steak this was excellent and the roasted squash was superb. So was the salad and the lasagna and even the hot sourdough bread roll.
The bread was served with individual-sized packets of chili oil, sea salt, and olive oil…but no butter. I prefer olive oil anyway, but I suspect butter was available upon request because it did show up at breakfast.
I enjoyed a Mint Condition cocktail with dinner (Bombay Sapphire gin ginger, lime, cucumber, mint).
Next came a delicious cheese plate with English cheddar, stilton, and nuts.
I rounded out the meal with a bowl of vanilla gelato with roasted apricots and pistachio oat crumble on top.
All I can say is wow…how great it is to fly an airline that truly puts some thought and quality to their meals.
The sensible thing would have been to sleep through breakfast, but for purposes of this review I asked Dustin to please wake me up prior to landing for breakfast (and also placed my order before going to bed).
He told me he would wake me up two hours before landing, which I thought was rather early for breakfast service, but he ended up waking me up closer to 75 minutes prior to landing. That extra 45 minutes of sleep was greatly appreciated.
JetBlue once again does breakfast right. Espresso-based drinks are available and I enjoyed two cappuccinos and an espresso prior to landing. Good coffee warms my heart and soul and I love the coffee from the Brooklyn Roasting Company.
The meal began with a packaged towel, which is a fair compromise in the pandemic era. It was not simply a moist paper towel, but a scented towel.
Breakfast included a hot croissant, Greek yogurt with blackberries and almond granola, a poached egg with chickpea tomato sauce, parmigiano, basil, crostini, and finally a side of Side of maple glazed bacon. Once again, all was delicious.
The “fresh squeezed” orange juice is more like a Tropicana variety, but JetBlue offers a cold pressed green drink which is far better than OJ.
If you sleep through breakfast, ask for a “to-go” bag on your way out. It includes a can of oat milk latte from Rise, cold pressed green juice from Pressed, and some Early Bird granola.
Lastly, note water bottles were frequently offered so there was no concern with staying hydrated.
IFE + Wi-Fi
Complimentary, high speed wi-fi was available onboard, with an easy one-click connection. Offering reliable high speed internet for free is a big selling point of JetBlue, particularly in economy class.
In addition, a selection of live TV, movies, TV shows, games, and a moving flight map were available.
While a passenger service unit (remote control) was available, the IFE screen could also be controlled by your mobile phone over bluetooth.
The most revolutionary thing about the JetBlue product, it seems to me, is the free wi-fi. How nice it is to stay connected with speeds like at home.
Noise cancelling Master Dynamic headphones were also waiting on the seat, quite comfortable, and worked well, but were annoyingly collected about an hour before landing. Sure, disposable headsets were offered, but I find that to be wasteful and the sound quality, of course, pales in comparison.
Great IFE is always out the window as well. It was a lovely evening as we departed New York.
A pair of lavatories for business class passengers was located in the front of the cabin. These were spacious, clean, and much more modern than on JetBlue’s older A321s, but otherwise had no special amenities.
I’ve always found the amenity kits on JetBlue to be quirky and the latest iteration includes a number of fun but fairly unorthodox (at least in terms of what you usually find in an airline amenity kit) items. The pouch is made of paper, though intended to be reusable.
My “wanderdfuel” kit included:
- Conscious coconut face wipes
- Vital Proteins collagen packet (drinkable)
- Scentuals aromatherapy balm
- Lumion face mist
- B. Soothed elderberry lozenges
We landed a bit late in London (due to the long taxi out of JFK) and pulled up between Ryanair and EasyJet planes. This certainly wasn’t Heathrow!
The flight was nearly flawless and I greatly enjoyed virtually every aspect of my JetBlue Mint flight across the pond, including the seat, food, wi-fi, and service onboard.
I was hoping JetBlue would disrupt the market with cheap one-way fares and it does not seem to do that, particularly on flights departing the USA, but I nevertheless hope to fly JetBlue again between London and New York and strongly recommend it.