First-class seats aren’t exactly meant for the average leisure traveler. Their expensive perks (unlimited drinks, hot towels, lie-flat seats) aren’t must-haves for most people. But what happens when a low-cost U.S. airline adopts their own first-class experience? I tried flying JetBlue Mint to find out.
With more and more airlines moving toward bare fares that bar flyers from using overhead bins, JetBlue Mint goes in the other direction: an entire cabin of lie-flat seats. It’s still pricey, but it’s not your typical first-class pricey. JetBlue Mint seats probably cost less than you think.
JetBlue Mint Review
Mint seats include extra perks from the gate to baggage claim, and some flyers have found that value to be a lot better with JetBlue than other airlines. Cross-country Mint fares from New York to San Francisco start at $599 one-way, and one traveler on my Aruba to Boston flight told me he paid only marginally more than the price of an economy seat because he purchased his JetBlue Mint seat at the last minute. Here’s what’s included in a JetBlue Mint ticket, and what it could cost you.
Airport Extras with JetBlue Mint
Lie-flat seats and meal service aren’t the only reason that people are flying JetBlue Mint. The fare includes expedited check-in and security at the departure airport, early boarding, and faster access to your bag at your destination—your luggage will be the first to emerge on the carousel.
These privileges were especially helpful in my Mint trip from Aruba to Boston because I was flying during a blizzard that snarled air traffic schedules for days. While other travelers were frantic, I was able to cut the lines at both the check-in counter and security because of my JetBlue Mint ticket.
JetBlue Mint Seats
The best parts of JetBlue Mint is the seats, which offer tons of leg room and a huge array of adjustable features. JetBlue Mint’s lie-flat seats are the longest in the domestic U.S. air market at six feet, eight inches. They come equipped with massage functions, adjustable lumbar support, changeable seat softness, a 15-inch TV, and plenty of storage space for your shoes and personal items.
When booking JetBlue Mint tickets you can choose between double seats (two seats side-by-side) or a single seat (called a suite), both of which have their own closing aisle door. Bonus features like power outlets and “wake me for service” lights add even more convenience. You’ll feel like you’re jetsetting abroad on a high-end airline like Emirates or Qatar Airways, without the fuss and in a much more intimate cabin. Here’s a list of all the features on JetBlue Mint seats.
JetBlue Mint Service
The airline’s staff and the extra amenities available with JetBlue Mint add to the high-end feel. A flight attendant will walk you through your seat features and provide a menu of curated tapas and unlimited wines before taking your food order. Passengers choose three of the menu’s several tapas-style dishes, and one of a few desserts. This is on top of a boarding cocktail, an optional inflight appetizer, and a final departing treat at your destination. That’s three courses and a snack in five hours, not including drinks. JetBlue Mint cabins keep their two flight attendants busy.
You’ll also be gifted with flight accessories kits by Hayward & Hopper that include toiletries, ear plugs, face wipes, and moisturizer, among other things. Fluffy duvets and pillows turn JetBlue Mint lie-flat seats into a true bed. The experience paired with my roomy suite and closed aisle door spoiled me—I only wish I’d had more than five hours to enjoy it. (Yes, I actually wished for more time on a plane.)
Pros, Cons, and Price of JetBlue Mint
The pros here are obvious: You’ll fly in the lap of luxury. But I personally found the biggest con of JetBlue Mint to be something of a personal hang up: the guilt I felt flying in a premium cabin for the first time.
Do other first-class flyers feel strange about watching economy travelers slowly file to their cramped seats as the premium cabin enjoys boarding cocktails and entire menus of seat buttons? I certainly did. Still, the cabin seems somewhat less pretentious than other first-class cabins I’ve seen—more stylish and streamlined than the fine china and champagne glasses you’d see in other airlines’ first class.
Albeit cheaper than most first-class fares from other airlines, the JetBlue Mint price could also be a con considering these flights are somewhat short—the longest is under seven hours (Boston to San Francisco), and the shortest is four (New York to St. Maarten). Eight- or nine-hour flights to Europe seem like a more fitting amount of time for an experience like this, and the existence of Mint could be signaling that JetBlue has expansion plans for outside of North America and the Caribbean.
The airline tells me a one-way Mint ticket starts at $499 in some markets. This is, of course, on shorter routes, which means you’ll have less time to enjoy the premium experience and might not even want a lie-flat seat as you would on a red-eye or cross-country flight. But, it’s a lot more affordable than the first-class experience you’d shell out for an international first-class ticket.
For the average leisure traveler, paying anywhere from a few hundred dollars extra to double the price of a typical flight to enjoy JetBlue Mint seems more fitting for a special occasion like a honeymoon than a typical vacation. Then again, finding deals or using points to fly JetBlue Mint could be worth treating yourself. If “first-class flight” is on your bucket list, JetBlue Mint might be the most affordable way to do it.
JetBlue Mint has expanded rapidly to connect Fort Lauderdale, New York, and Boston to the West Coast and Caribbean. Some upcoming routes include more six-hour flights like Boston to Seattle and Fort Lauderdale to San Francisco.
Would you shell out for a more affordable lie-flat experience? Comment below.
More from SmarterTravel:
- Why JetBlue Mint Is More Than Just Lie-Flat Seats
- JetBlue Expands Mint Service to 4 Cities
- How Much Would You Pay for Unlimited First Class Upgrades?
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