JetBlue is remarkably consistent in offering a comfortable seat, delicious food and drink, and kind service. My quick JetBlue flight across the pond from London Gatwick to Boston onboard the A321neo in Mint business class was (almost) perfect.
JetBlue A321neo Mint Business Review: London – Boston
I checked in on my phone and therefore totally bypassed the check-in counter. JetBlue operates out of the North Terminal at London Gatwick, which is right outside the airport train station.
While JetBlue offers an excellent premium product onboard, it does not offer lounge access on the ground. Thankfully, I used my Priority Pass card to wait for my flight in the easyJet Gateway lounge.
My boarding pass indicated a 10:05 am departure and I arrived at the gate around 9:55 am and found it quiet, with several open seats.
Boarding did not commence until 10:15 am, but the flight was not full and the boarding process went quick.
London (LGW) – Boston (BOS)
Saturday, September 17
Depart: 10:50 AM
Arrive: 01:40 PM
Duration: 7hr, 50min
Distance: 3,283 miles
Aircraft: Airbus A321neo LR
Seat: 3F (“Mint” Business Class)
Onboard, I was welcomed by Will, who was preparing pre-departure beverages.
I reviewed this seat on this aircraft in great detail just a few months ago, but I will still note via aeroLOPA that The Mint Suites are “inward facing herringbone mini-suites designed by Acumen and based on the Thompson Aero Vantage Solo platform and offer direct aisle access with retractable privacy doors, retractable tray table, static cocktail table, and a retractable 17″ HD touchscreen display. Each suite converts to a 77″ long fully-flat bed.”
Beyond the stats, I find the seat to be comfortable and private. I still prefer reverse herringbone over herringbone so that I can look out the window more easily, but I slept like a baby during the flight…it is a well-padded seat. Seats are easy to adjust and two power ports are within reach.
JetBlue uses Tuft & Needle bedding, and the pillow and duvet are very soft. Perhaps what aided my sleep most, though, was an air nozzle above the seat, which cooled off my seating area while I slept.
One unfortunate trend I’ve now noticed on three JetBlue flights in a row with the new Mint Suite is that the wireless mobile phone charger simply does not work. Also, the laptop computer drawer is simply too small.
There was room for my loafers under my seat and they were safe while the seat was in lie-flat mode.
Amenity Kit + Slippers
JetBlue offers high-quality slippers in its transatlantic Mint business class which are comfortable and now travel in my carry-on bag.
It appears we received an economy class amenity kit on our flight, which was fine considering I have several of the Mint amenity kits at home, but limited to a pre-pasted toothbrush (didn’t open it), earplugs, and an eyeshade.
IFE + Wi-Fi
I did not have much work to do on the flight, but it was nice to be able to connect to wi-fi during boarding and enjoy virtually interrupted high-speed wi-fi during the flight (at least for the front and back ends of it that I was awake).
It’s easy to take the complimentary wi-fi for granted if you fly JetBlue often, but the irregular availability and sometimes exorbitant pricing on other carriers really make this an objectively great perk to flying JetBlue.
Movies, TV shows, music, and games are available on-demand and JetBlue utilizes excellent noise-canceling headphones from Master & Dynamic. A tad annoyingly, these are collected about 45 minutes before landing, presumably to cut down on theft. I thought airline headphones generally don’t work when removed from the aircraft, which makes me question why anyone would bother to take them.
Food + Drink
Prior to departure, a choice of water, sparkling wine, or a signature non-alcoholic spritz with hibiscus was offered.
Menus were distributed shortly after boarding.
Once in the air, Will promptly took drink and meal orders and lunch commenced.
Lunch began with a “tasting trio” of olives, cashews, and artichokes, all very good. As is tradition whenever I fly JetBlue, I ordered a Mint Condition cocktail (Tito’s, ginger, lime, cucumber, mint). It is always refreshing and much lighter than the black maple Old Fashioned cocktail (a dirty martini and al pastor Margarita were also available).
JetBlue’s quasi-a la carte menu allows you to choose three of five “dinner small plates” from the menu, which generally includes two types of salad and three main courses. When Mint first launched, these were truly tapas-sized portions. Not anymore, though.
I ordered a Panzanella salad (lettuce, cherry tomatoes, Parmigiano, basil vinaigrette), roasted chicken (with mushrooms), and a lamb curry pasty (with minced spiced lamb and tomato chutney). All food was served on a single tray with a warm bread roll, salted butter, olive oil, and chili oil.
Quality? Excellent. Quantity? Pretty massive.
I finished off the meal with a tempestuous vanilla gelato served with milk chocolate sauce and cacao nib granola (delicious, but unhealthy). I asked for some cheese as well, but there was none left after everyone had been served.
I also ordered my pre-arrival meal during the lunch order and was told I would be awakened 90 minutes prior to landing to eat if I wished. I indicated I wanted to be awakened and was gently awakened by Will. I must have fallen back asleep because 15 minutes I woke up and found the meal tray sitting next to me.
JetBlue offers afternoon tea before landing, with a choice of an arugula salad, chilled pea soup, or a trio of traditional tea sandwiches. All are served with a hot scone and clotted cream with tea or coffee.
I ordered the soup and sandwiches but found the sandwiches to be dry and not very good at all, so I switched to the salad, which was light and refreshing. Tea was served with a Dairy Milk bar.
In terms of beverages, the highlight was a double-shot cappuccino. I held off on coffee after lunch so I could sleep, but was now ready for my coffee and JetBlue never fails to disappoint in that regard.
A hot towel in a package was offered prior to landing. These are quite refreshing and I realized how much I miss them on United Airlines.
Two lavatories in the front of the cabin offered room to wash your hands without feeling claustrophobic.
Will, as I already mentioned, and Caleb worked business class on my flight and were both superb in terms of attentiveness and kindness. I have yet to run into rude or surly service on JetBlue and this certainly was not the flight for that.
The views were beautiful coming into Boston:
After landing and a short taxi, I was soon on my way through passport control then back to the terminal for my connection to Los Angeles.
JetBlue remains a compelling way to travel to and from London in business class. I’m so impressed by business class that I think I will fly economy class next time…just to see if it is also as good. But I cannot help but to note that I’ve flown round-trip in business class to London and slept 75% of the way through it. That’s a great testimony for the seat, which is really the most important thing I look for in a longer flight in business class. Yet the wonderful food and drink plus warm service onboard make JetBlue all the better.
” a 10:05 am departure and I arrived at the gate around 9:55 am…”
Well that’s cutting it close
10:50. My bad.
I’m sorry Matthew, but I don’t take JetBlue seriously as an airline. Their network is a joke. The way they handled the Spirit merger also gives me a bad taste. I am very confused why you would fly Virgin and JetBlue when you could be getting really close to requqlifyimhg for 1K.
That looks like a very solid product. Did you pay with points or cash?
I’ve been meaning to fly them as a treat sometime but prices have been around $2,500 for a transcon or trans-atlantic flight. But it looks like these prices go down to $1400 if you buy them about three weeks before departure.
Fantastic. Unfortunately they offer nothing from the west coast, or even DEN/ORD to London. So as nice as it looks I’m not stopping in Boston.
Nice wine selection but the whole one tray service is a real drag. So easy to course it out so the main isn’t cold by the time you get to it. Not a competitive offering and would cost nothing to make this change.
Absolutely agree. I hate that. I usally ignore the salad and eat the main so it’s still warm. Damn annoying. How tough can it be to serve it correctly?
Nice review. I have been persuaded now to fly their business offering across the Atlantic & I am no where close to a Jetblue served airport. I live in the NW. I will commute. Thanks for the review Matthew.
“found the sandwiches to be dry and not very good at all, so I switched to the salad”
After you devoured all 3 of the sandwiches, no doubt lol
The food does look good overall, though. Not sure how much it compares quantity-wise compared to some airlines like Air France, but looks to be the same as what BA and UA serve.
Just flew AF DEL-CDG. True this is a redeye flight but the food was junk. Especially sad for a French airline
The South Terminal at Gatwick is by the railway station. To get to the North Terminal, you need to follows signs to a shuttle train, which takes 3-4 minutes, if memory serves me correctly.
This is correct, I was confused by that as well, and checked the map to be sure. The South Terminal is the one connected to the Gatwick train station, and yes it’s a very quick shuttle train ride to the North Terminal.
How did you book it?
I would also like to know, especially since you mentioned how Emirates reward bookings have updated recently.
I’ll chime in and also would like to know how this was booked. I feel like lately there hasn’t been transparency in how everything was booked (points, cash etc). Although OMAAT seems to pay cash for ridiculously expensive properties lately, at least he tells us up front what it all cost.
What exactly is a “tempestuous” gelato? One of us doesn’t understand that word correctly – it could be me, so willing to be educated here!
Conflicting emotions – bad for my diet, but so delicious.
OK – so really you were tempestuous when confronted by the gelato, rather than the gelato battling with itself… Now that I understand. And the delicious wins every time.
Sorry – nobody wants to hear about food guilt. Just say you enjoyed it.
Nice review, but it is impossible to take JetBlue seriously as a network airline, not to mention a serious and viable competitor on routes like JFK-LHR. Operationally, the airline is a complete mess, and largely always has been since it grew larger from the mid-2000s. Flights are chronically late, many cancelled, and the experience quite frankly is just meh. A lot of smoke and mirrors. I wish B6 would merge into a US3, rather than with NK, which is one of the most idiotic business decisions in the US industry in some time, particularly over the high price B6 is paying to acquire another terrible operator with a dubious business model. The better solution would be for JetBlue to disappear into American Airlines. It would solve AA’s Northeast network problem and remove an inefficient competitor that isn’t so much a disruptor and more of a bottleneck and nuisance.