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Last year, I flew JetBlue’s Mint business class for the first time and was extremely impressed — as well as jealous that I didn’t get one of the suites in row two or four, which offer unparalleled privacy for domestic travel. I promised to fly Mint again to see if the suite was truly was as good as it looked, and one year later, I can attest that it is. Consumers have generally responded well to the product, prompting JetBlue to add New York-JFK and San Francisco (SFO) in October 2014, New York-JFK to Aruba and Barbados later this month and Boston (BOS) to SFO and LAX in 2016.
After flying in seat 2A last week from JFK to Los Angeles and enjoying every minute, here are the five reasons why I feel JetBlue Mint is the best business-class product for domestic travel:
1. Closable Suites
If you’re going to fly Mint, I suggest trying to get one of the four suites in the front cabin. Set in rows two and four in a 1-1 configuration, these extremely spacious and comfortable suites (with seats that are 22 inches wide and have 60 inches of pitch) feature the option of getting some extra privacy by closing a door between you and the aisle. The private suites are currently the same price as other seats in Mint, so make sure you book early enough to reserve one. Although all the seats in JetBlue Mint are lie-flat and extend up to 80 inches — enough room even for my 6’7″ frame — the option to close a suite door for no additional cost is a bonus that sets Mint apart from other business-class products.
2. Free Wi-Fi
In the arena of in-flight Wi-Fi, JetBlue is a step ahead of other carriers. Earlier this year, the airline announced it would offer Fly-Fi, its complimentary Wi-Fi service, on all of its aircraft by 2016. Luckily for Mint fliers, though, all of the airline’s A321 aircraft are already equipped with Fly-Fi technology. I haven’t had much success streaming videos or downloading things with Fly-Fi, but it works just fine for getting caught up on some work and responding to emails while in the air. I’m hoping that with the implementation of Fly-Fi technology throughout the carrier’s entire fleet, it might improve internet speeds; if not, though, there’s always the option to upgrade to Fly-Fi+, which offers faster internet service at a rate of $9 per hour.
3. Good Food (No, Seriously)
My favorite part about flying Mint is the meal service. Instead of just a few meal options, the Mint food menu features a list of five tapas-style choices, and you get to pick three. Created by New York’s Saxon + Parole, the Mint menu changes every month, offering fliers a variety of seasonal produce and recipes; all options I’ve tried have been delicious — far tastier than most other domestic in-flight meals I’ve
been faced with eaten. Aside from Mint’s amazing in-flight food, though, my favorite touch is its delicious landing gift: a sweet treat from New York City-based bakery Mah-ze-Dahr. When you’re deplaning from the Mint experience, this (literally) leaves you with a good taste in your mouth about JetBlue’s product.
4. Great Price
Flying business class for domestic transcon travel can be pricey, but Mint’s low fares (not to mention everything else it has going for it) presently make it hard to justify flying on its competitors. In 2013, when JetBlue announced its Mint prices would start as low as $599 one-way, Delta, United and American took note and lowered their transcon business-class prices, as well. I thought JetBlue’s pricing would turn out to be a gimmick, but my flight actually cost $599 (and I booked about two weeks from departure). The competition? $2,000+ for the same flight times. Mint is sweet on the wallet, even if the frequent flyer miles earned aren’t as valuable.
5. Great Entertainment and Live TV
Mint’s 15-inch seatback entertainment screens already offer TV shows, movies, live DirecTV and SiriusXM radio, but earlier this year, JetBlue announced it would be partnering with Amazon Prime to offer subscribing customers access to thousands more TV episodes and movies. I love being able to spend my time in the sky with access to so many different entertainment options, especially when I’m in a closed suite that makes me feel like I’m in my own private theater.
After some skepticism on my end when JetBlue’s Mint class was first announced, I now consider myself a firm believer in the value of this premium product. With the option to book a suite with a closable door at the same price as regular Mint class, the amazing menu and everything in between, I think Mint is the best way to fly business class for domestic travel.