JetBlue Unveils “Mint,” New First Class Experience
When JetBlue took flight in 2000, the company aimed to “bring humanity back to air travel.” The team started by ordering a bunch of new Airbus A320 aircraft, filling them with comfy leather seats (and enough legroom), serving unlimited free snacks and, best of all, offering a TV at every seat with 20 channels of live satellite TV. Part of this exercise in “humanity” involved keeping ticket prices affordable for everyone. Fast-forward 14 years later, and the airline is bringing this approach to first class travel with the introduction of “Mint.”
Until now, first class and even business class weren’t accessible to everyone. Maybe you’ve been lucky to sit in a premium cabin because you’re a frequent flier with status on an airline like Delta. Even then, the upgrades aren’t always guaranteed. Or maybe you’re rich and have stacks of cash to buy first class tickets at full price. Good for you, then! But, even if you’ve flown first class elsewhere, JetBlue’s new Mint cabin is unique. That’s partly because it uses some innovative technology, but also because it’s actually affordable.
Introduced in June 2014, Mint is what JetBlue calls a premium service “minus all of the stuffiness often associated with the front-of-the-cabin experience.” In other words, this isn’t your parents’ first class. In fact, you won’t see anyone at the airline refer to it as a “class.” You’ll also only find the service on flights aboard the airline’s new Airbus A321 aircraft from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).
For even more entertainment, JetBlue also recently announced the launch of its “Fly-Fi Hub,” offering select TV shows on-demand (with movies to come next year), accessible from your own device. Today, movies for purchase on the screen operate on a rolling channel and aren’t on-demand.
If you prefer to stick to JetBlue’s main cabin, you’re still going to have a great trip. In newer Airbus A321 and A320 aircraft that the airline takes delivery of, travelers will find a refreshed main cabin. It features beautifully refreshed seats with movable headrests (something JetBlue didn’t offer before). The seats will also come with a 10-inch version of the screen, with the same content. Starting next year, the company will retrofit older aircraft with the new cabin design.
While this new service offering is really aimed at business travelers bouncing among Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, it’s accessible enough for a lot more people to give it a try.