How JetBlue’s new Mint business class stacks up against the original
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JetBlue’s Mint business class disrupted the transcon market when it was unveiled in 2014.
The carrier is launching a brand-new Mint cabin, in a unique, all-suite 1-1 configuration. These seats will be outfitted on the London-bound Airbus A321LR, and will be found on select transcon and regional flights operated by the carrier’s latest Airbus A321neos.
So, how do they stack up against version 1.0? Read on to find out.
Welcome to the suite life
The biggest change in the Mint cabin is the new 1-1 configuration. With one suite on each side, every flyer will enjoy direct aisle access — a massive improvement compared to the current arrangement, which has three rows of 2-2 seating.
Solo flyers will stand to benefit most from the new suites, since they’ll no longer need to climb over other passengers to use the lavatory or stretch their legs.
For passengers who lucked out with one of the four suites in Mint 1.0, the new configuration might be a bit disappointing. The latest Mint Suites, which are a customized version of the Thompson VantageSolo product, don’t offer as much personal space as the old ones.
The good news is that the footwell in the new suites is noticeably roomier than the one in the current Mint suites.
Privacy for all
This is big.
The new Mint features sliding doors for every passenger. Though the suites aren’t fully enclosed (like the new Emirates first-class product), the door is quite high.
Additionally, the suites are arranged in a herringbone layout, with each passenger facing the aisle. That’s not great for aviation enthusiasts who prefer a window view, but it’s a notable upgrade compared to the forward-facing Mint 1.0.
Plus, with the door and elevated privacy partitions around the seat itself, the new Mint offers considerably more privacy than the original product.
Another subtle yet welcome improvement is the seat padding.
JetBlue partnered with Tuft & Needle, a popular bed-in-a-box mattress brand, to create an adaptive foam layer built into the seat itself, which promises a far more comfortable sleeping experience.
I could immediately tell that frequent Mint flyers will instantly notice the difference.
The current Mint seat is supported by an air cushion with adjustable firmness. However, I prefer the new foam-based support, especially as my Mint seats have been partially deflated on recent flights.
From suites to studios
Mint’s current layout affords four lucky flyers a private “throne,” or suite that’s substantially nicer than the other pods.
In the new JetBlue business class, there are two Mint Studios located in the bulkhead row that each offer additional living space, a buddy seat, a larger seat-back screen and added storage.
Unlike the old suites, the studio will come at a (yet) undisclosed upcharge.
Every JetBlue plane features free inflight Wi-Fi, but the new A321neos connect to the far-speedier ViaSat-2 satellite, which boosts internet coverage, speed and reliability compared to the older JetBlue planes.
Additionally, every Mint Suite has two power outlets, one standard USB-A port and a second USB-C port.
Adding USB-C is a nice upgrade to the current product, though the older generation suites have three outlets, compared to two in the new cabin.
Another nifty feature is the built-in wireless charging mat for Qi-enabled devices.
An inflight entertainment boost
If there’s one element of the current Mint experience that could use a big improvement, it’s the inflight entertainment system.
Fortunately, that’s changing with the new jets.
JetBlue installed Thales AVANT Android-based software, which represents a massive upgrade compared to the clunky system currently installed on Mint-equipped planes.
Expect on-demand movies and TV shows, over 100 channels of live DirecTV, as well as a customizable 3D flight map.
The monitors also got a size (and resolution) boost. Mint Suites have a 17-inch screen, while the studios have 22-inch ones. All monitors tilt and swivel, too.
What’s not changing
Late last year, JetBlue unveiled a comprehensive “soft product” refresh, which includes new bedding, food and beverage offerings and onboard amenities, in preparation for London service later this year.
The new Mint cabin looks great decked out with the latest Tuft & Needle comforter and pillows, as well as the collection of Wanderfuel amenity kit and Master and Dynamic MH40 noise-reducing headphones.
The food’s great, too, but you’ll have to trust us on that one.
JetBlue’s latest business-class cabin is a massive improvement for (nearly) everyone. With direct aisle access, sliding doors, comfortable seat padding and more, there’s lots to love about Mint 2.0.
However, flyers who’ve scored one of the four suites in the original Mint might still prefer the original configuration.
Of course, the oversized Mint Studios offer even more space than today’s suites, but that’ll now come at a (yet undisclosed) cost.
Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy
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