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TPG Creative Director Adam Daniel Weiss was given an exclusive sneak peek at JetBlue’s new Mint class, their “refreshing take on a premium experience.” Here is his review of the product.
This week at JFK Airport in New York City, I was treated to a preview of JetBlue’s Mint, and found the experience really is mint. Although these new premium cabins were announced this past September, the inaugural flight will be June 15th between JFK and LAX, and starting in October, the brand will launch JFK to SFO. Flights on the new A321s will start at $599 for a one-way trip, which TPG discussed at the preview event last September, stating that these seats are about 50% below current market price.
Some of the highlights of the product:
- 16 Fully lie-flat beds up to 6’8,” the longest in the US domestic business class market…even TPG could fit!
- Seats arranged in 2-2 configuration in rows 1, 3 and 5 and 1-1 private closed door suites in rows 2 and 4
- JetBlue will be the first and only airline in America to offer customers the option of a completely separate suite seat with closable door with no cost difference to the 2-2 rows
- Seats up to 22.3″ wide, the widest seats on average in the US domestic market with massage function
- Pre-departure specialty cocktails followed by a cocktail and amuse-bouche once airborne
- “Wake Me For Service” button to allow for customers to be woken for meal service
- Curated menu by NYC restaurant Saxon + Parole allowing for customizable meals served tapas-style
- First purposely-built cappuccino machine for a US airline
- Customized men’s and women’s amenities by Birchbox
- Desserts from Blue Marble and sweets from Mah-ze-Dahr, both New York-based establishments
After being taken down onto the tarmac to look at the outside of the new A321, we boarded to find a wide-smiling crew debuting new outfits designed by Michael Schwarz of design brand Stan Herman, famous for creating the uniforms for McDonald’s, Fedex, Avis and multiple hotels and casinos.
Upon sitting down, passengers found large pillow and blanket sets in grey and white with mint green trim and a hand-signed note from the Mint cabin crew as well as letting us know that we will be served a “RefreshMint”, a delicious cocktail (or mocktail, if you prefer non-alcoholic) featuring vodka, honey-infused limeade and fresh mint.
The seats themselves were very comfortable and allowed me to lie completely flat, and the added massage feature enhanced the moment. The seat came equipped with a 15″ flat-screen that had the standard JetBlue DirectTV Programming, but the TV was not an industry-standard touchscreen, so I was forced into using the remote built into the seat. I inquired as to whether this would change, and though I was told that the screens have the capability to be upgraded to touchscreens, I wasn’t given a date as to when this would happen. Instead of traditional headphones, Mint passengers are given iGrado wrap-around headphones by Grado Labs.
Probably the most unique and exciting part of the Mint experience is called “NOURISHMINT,” wherein the passenger is able to customize their own meal by choosing three items among the five tapas-style “comfort food with a twist” items curated by NYC’s Saxon + Parole. The July menu featured a Portobella mushroom mousse, Long Island duck & pistachio galantine (pâté), Black Angus burger, Shrimp and mascarpone grits and Burrata cheese ravioli. I opted for the mousse, the galantine and the burger, and each was delicately presented and incredibly tasty. The galantine was a bit dry, but aside from that the sizes were portioned out well, the presentation was flawless and the attention to detail was noted.
Following the meal, I had the option to have a fresh espresso from the purposefully-built cappuccino machine (the first for a US airline), as well as organic coffee ice cream from Blue Marble and a fresh fruit salad. Before deplaning at the end of the journey, all Mint passengers are given a sweet treat from NYC-based Mah-ze-Dahr a new bakery in partnership with Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio.
Spicing up the usual amenity kit, JetBlue has opted to go with boxes prepared by Birchbox, a subscription service known for delivering beauty and grooming samples to subscribers. Mint provides different boxes for men and women, filled with items including Jack Black men’s lip balm, shaving cream by Ernest Supplies, Benefit mascara, and more.
All-in-all, I was thoroughly impressed with the new Mint product. The seats are comfortable, the amenity kits are a nice surprise and the food service is unlike anything I have seen before. It was nice to not only have options, but to really create my own meal from several choices made it a truly unique experience. Add in the fact that the $599 price tag for a transcon upper-class premium service is a veritable steal, Mint is a great service, and that is quite refreshing.