Introduction: An Insane Week In The Sky
Review: China Eastern Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Shanghai
Review: Grand Hyatt Shanghai
Review: China Eastern Lounge Shanghai Airport
Review: China Eastern Business Class A330 Shanghai To Colombo
Review: Hilton Colombo
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A340 Colombo To Doha
Review: Oryx Lounge Doha Airport
Review: Royal Air Maroc Business Class 787 Doha To Casablanca
Review: Hyatt Regency Casablanca
Review: Royal Air Maroc Lounge Casablanca Airport
Review: Royal Air Maroc Business Class 787 Casablanca To Doha
Review: Qatar Airways Business Class A340 Doha To Colombo
Review: Saudia Business Class 777 Colombo To Jeddah
Review: Saudia Lounge Jeddah Airport
Review: Saudia Business Class 787 Jeddah To Manchester
Review: Pakistan Airlines Business Class 777 Manchester To New York
Review: Airspace Lounge New York JFK Airport Terminal 5
Review: JetBlue Mint A321 New York To Los Angeles
I’ve been wanting to try JetBlue’s Mint since it was introduced a couple of years ago, so I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity.
I could tell the Mint experience would be different even before we got on the plane. As the gate agent scanned our boarding passes he said “enjoy your Mint experience” to each passenger. While it sounds like a scripted line (and likely is), over the next six hours I experienced a level of hospitality that I forgot exists at US airlines.
New York (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Tuesday, August 3
Arrive: 12:44AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Seat: 2A (Mint)
I boarded through door L1, where I was greeted by Agda, one of the Mint flight attendants. Since I managed to be the first passenger aboard, I took the opportunity to snap some quick pictures of the cabin.
As you can see, JetBlue’s Mint cabin has a total of five rows. Three of those rows (one, three, and five) have four seats per row, while rows two and four have just two seats per row, which are known as the Mint suites.
The 12 “standard” Mint seats looked great overall, and I appreciated the amount of privacy there was between the seats.
There was plenty of legroom, and also it seemed like the “cubby” for your feet when fully reclined looked quite large.
The four Mint suites are available on a first come first serve basis (which is a blessing for those looking for a good value, since those booking first are typically also getting the lowest fares). I managed to snag seat 2A, the Mint suite in the second row on the left.
These seats are the same general staggered configuration you’ll find on quite a few airlines, where the number of seats per row alternates.
The seat controls were located to the right of the seat, and were easy to use.
Above that and also to the right of the seat was a reading light, water bottle holder, power outlet (which could accommodate both USB and 110v), as well as a storage compartment that could be closed.
The storage compartment was fairly large, and could easily fit headphones or just about anything else you’d want to take out for the flight.
Also on the right armrest were the entertainment controls, which I found a bit confusing to use.
The tray table also came out of the right armrest, and was easy enough to use. A lot of staggered seats in a similar configuration have complicated tray table setups, though that wasn’t the case here.
On the left side of the seat was a large console, where you could easily leave a bag during the flight if you wanted (though everything has to be stored for takeoff and landing).
Also on the left side of the seat were two more power outlets, which could accommodate both 110V and USB plugs. I loved the fact that the Mint seat had six power outlets — where else do you get that much power in one seat?!
The one major downside of the Mint suites is that when fully reclined, the “cubby” for your feet is really small. This isn’t an issue if you’re just lounging around, but if you’re fully reclined you’ll have a hard time moving your feet around. This is the same problem you’ll find on airlines like Austrian, Brussels, Delta, etc.
Above the foot cubby was a magazine pocket.
Waiting at my seat on boarding was a fantastic pillow and blanket set, as well as eyeshades and a note signed by the two Mint flight attendants, Agda, and Raphy.
The pillow and blanket were top notch — the pillow was large and plush, while the blanket was large and soft without being too warm.
Once I settled in Agda came by my seat to formally introduce herself. When she learned that it was my first time in Mint, she gave me a fantastic intro to the seat. I don’t remember the last time I’ve flown a US carrier and been asked if I knew all the seat features. Agda really went above and beyond, as she spent a couple of minutes explaining all the seat’s features to me.
She also showed me how my suite door closed. There’s a button on the right side of the seat that can be pushed to close the door.
This isn’t some gimmick, but rather there’s a legitimate door at the suite seats.
Below is a picture of what the suite looks like from the outside when closed.
Upon the completion of the seat explanation, she asked if I wanted JetBlue’s signature pre-departure cocktail, which is a honey infused limeade with fresh mint and vodka, along with a splash of club soda. It tasted every bit as delicious and refreshing as it sounds.
After that, Agda presented me with the menu for the flight, and explained their dining concept. They have several dishes you can choose from, and each Mint passenger can select up to three of them.
Can I just note how awesome it is that JetBlue has a full service on a flight around 10PM? That’s how it should be for all airlines, in my opinion, though American wouldn’t serve a full meal even in first class on a similarly timed flight.
Boarding was pretty efficient, and eventually every Mint seat was taken. Agda and Raphy took the same care in explaining the features of the seat and the menu concept to each passenger. I was just so impressed by how friendly, thorough, and enthusiastic they were.
At 9:55PM the cabin door was closed, a bit behind schedule due to an issue with servicing the lavatory, apparently.
Moments later we began our pushback, at which point Agda announced our flight time of 5hr5min, and followed that up with a manual safety demonstration.
Once we pushed back we stayed in our position for about 15 minutes, and then finally began our taxi at around 10:10PM.
As we waited for taxi clearance I had the airshow on.
We taxied out to our departure runway, 13R, which took about 20 minutes. At 10:35PM we were cleared for takeoff, behind a Qatar Airways 777 headed to Doha.
We had a smooth climb out, and during that time I browsed the entertainment selection. JetBlue’s inflight entertainment is a bit controversial, as some people love it, while others hate it. They offer DirecTV programming, meaning you have access to over 100 channels of live TV. However, beyond that, their actual on demand programming is very limited.
I ended up first watching the Shahs of Sunset reunion on Bravo (that’s too much drama even for me), and then watched Family Feud. Not exactly the highest quality programming in the world, but…
Something else that makes JetBlue unique is their wifi offering, or as they call it, Fly-Fi. They offer free basic wifi to all passengers, which is fast enough for texting, basic social media, etc. If you want true high speed wifi, you can pay $9 per hour.
I love that they offer this. Their free wifi is almost as fast as what I’m used to on Gogo, while their $9 per hour wifi was legitimately fast. If I wanted to work, the premium wifi for $9 per hour would be a no brainer (on this flight I only used it briefly, since I was sleeping for much of the flight).
It’s worth noting that while the on demand entertainment selection as such is limited, you can stream content quite easily through your portable device.
As we passed through 10,000 feet, Raphy proactively came around to each passenger and asked if there was anything he could get out of the overhead bin for us. That’s really exceptional service.
Around the same time, Agda distributed headphones, which were quite nice. I still used my Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones since they’re nicer, but these were decent quality as far as airplane headphones go.
After that, Agda distributed Birchbox kits. They had separate kits for men and women.
This is a creative partnership, since Birchbox is a popular concept, though I’m not sure I totally get the logic of offering it on planes.
For example, my kit had lip balm, shampoo, sunscreen, a body bar, and shoe wipes. It’s a quirky way for them to cross promote, that’s for sure. For what it’s worth, the flight attendants can also provide more traditional airplane amenities, like a toothbrush and toothpaste, on demand.
About 45 minutes after takeoff hot towels were distributed.
At that point the meal service began.
The beverage list read as follows:
The menu read as follows:
Service began with drinks, along with the “welcome taste.” I ordered a gin & tonic, and the “welcome taste” consisted of a deviled egg.
I didn’t think I’d like deviled eggs (I don’t ever remember voluntarily ordering one), but this was actually really good.
After that a tray liner was placed on the tray table.
As you can see based on the above menu, you can choose three options from the “delish dishes.” I had a glass of rose to accompany the meal, and was proactively offered a piece of bread with a packet of olive oil.
For the dishes I ordered the ricotta gnudi, chicken & dumplings, and grilled avocado salad.
Meanwhile Ford had the Asian pear salad and bison meatloaf.
Once those trays were cleared, I was offered dessert. Dessert consisted of fresh fruit, chocolate ice cream, and the choice of an espresso beverage.
The ice cream was fantastic quality, though if I had one critique it would be that I wish they had a choice of flavors.
The fruit salad was great as well.
The cappuccino was phenomenal, easily one of the best I’ve ever had on a plane.
I can’t say enough good things about JetBlue’s Mint meal service. Their concept is so well executed. They’re not going for the most drawn out meal service, but rather are serving the meal in an unpretentious way with brilliant execution.
Agda and Raphy were great throughout the meal service. They were friendly and so attentive. I will say that the service felt a bit slow to me, as it was about two hours after takeoff before the meal was done. That’s not a huge deal, but it seems like it could have been carried out a bit more quickly.
After the meal I checked out the lavatory, located in front of the Mint cabin. It was pretty basic, not that I was expecting more from a narrowbody aircraft.
At this point I was so tired, and managed to sleep for about two hours, waking up a bit over an hour before our arrival in Los Angeles. While the foot cubby was a bit tight (as is standard in staggered seats), the privacy of having a door on a domestic flight more than made up for it. Then again, with how tired I was at this point, I could have probably slept in economy as well.
Agda came through the cabin with the typical JetBlue snack basket, also available in economy. Who doesn’t love JetBlue’s blue chips?!
She also offered drinks, so in order to wake up I ordered another cappuccino, which was as delicious as the last one.
About 30 minutes before landing, Agda thanked us for flying Mint and gave us the “edible parting gift,” as they call it.
It consisted of cookies and a white brownie of sorts from Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery. I may have tried them the next day (just for research, of course), and they may have been very delicious.
Around the same time the cookies were distributed we began our descent, and about 15 minutes later the seatbelt sign was turned on. The views on approach to LA were gorgeous as usual.
At LAX you almost always takeoff and land into the west, though overnight they seem to take off and land into the east. So in our case we flew past the airport over the Pacific, and then turned east to land on runway 6L at 12:40AM. The landing was so smooth that I barely realized we had arrived. From there it was just a short five minute taxi to the gate.
We bid farewell to Agda and Raphy, and I was so happy that this long journey was finally over (as much as I enjoyed it).
JetBlue Mint bottom line
If this flight is representative of what the Mint experience is usually like, then I’m blown away.
The service was the best I ever recall having on a domestic flight. I almost forgot what it was like to fly a US airline and have flight attendants who actually cared and made you feel like they wanted to be there. Agda and Raphy were fantastic. I don’t know how JetBlue does it, but they’re in a league of their own when it comes to the service in Mint.
The food was excellent as well. The meal service is relatively simple, with excellent execution. From the food to the cappuccinos, I enjoyed everything I consumed on this flight.
As far as the seats go, JetBlue does amazingly well there too. The Mint suites are innovative for a domestic service, and even the non-suites are at least as good as what you’ll get on the other carriers in the market.
Congrats, JetBlue. I had high expectations of Mint coming into this flight, but they were exceeded in just about every way. Talk about a fantastic ending to a crazy trip.