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JetBlue considers adding airport lounges for Mint business class

June 09, 2022
4 min read
JetBlue considers adding airport lounges for Mint business class
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JetBlue does business class differently.

You won't find a traditional three-course meal, nor will you receive a standard amenity kit in JetBlue's well-regarded Mint product. Instead, you'll enjoy tapas-style fare from NYC's Delicious Hospitality Group, and you'll be gifted an amenity pack of trendy products from brands curated by Wanderfuel.

You also won't spot any mesh curtains separating the Mint cabin from the standard coach, or "core" seats, as the airline prefers to call the economy cabin.

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Mint is JetBlue's take on business class, and it's grown in popularity in recent years, especially after the launch of a revamped suites and studio product and the beginning of transatlantic service to London last year.

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While JetBlue's Mint may be the best business-class experience offered by a U.S.-based carrier, it's certainly missing one key element of the traditional biz experience: lounge access.

JetBlue Mint Studio (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

JetBlue doesn't operate any lounges, nor does it partner with any airlines to offer frequent flyers and business-class customers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the terminal.

But that might change in the coming years. The New York-based airline is currently hiring a senior analyst for lounge product and strategy development, according to a recent job posting that was first spotted by Ben Schlappig.

In the job description, JetBlue notes that this candidate will "partner with internal stakeholders to define the product vision, strategy framework and roadmap for the lounge experience."

Of course, hiring a new senior analyst doesn't at all mean that JetBlue will move forward with opening a lounge, but at indicated that the carrier is at least considering doing so.

JetBlue's legacy Mint product (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

For its part, JetBlue shared that "we continue to evaluate lounges but remain primarily focused on competing in the air with our transatlantic service. This is one step in that process."

That said, it'll be interesting to see whether JetBlue moves forward with building out a network of lounges. The airline has promised future transatlantic growth, and it's possible that JetBlue is feeling the competitive pressure to add a lounge offering to match the incumbents.

However, JetBlue's business-class fares have historically been much more reasonable than those of the legacy carriers, so not having access to a lounge is likely factored into the fare.

If JetBlue were to open a lounge — which would require finding appropriate real estate in its big focus cities in New York and Boston — the airline would be on the hook for build-out costs, rent and staffing expenses, at the very least. This would likely translate to higher fares.

Until last year, JetBlue has only operated Mint on premium transcon routes, as well as on select services to the Caribbean. These domestic and short-haul international travelers likely didn't miss lounge access, but that could definitely be something on the wish list for those traveling on transatlantic missions to Europe.

JetBlue's new Mint cabin (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Many business travelers prefer to eat dinner in the lounge and then head straight to sleep once the plane passes through 10,000 on the way to Europe.

Without a lounge, these flyers need to eat before arriving at the airport (or at an airport restaurant) or forgo precious sleep while waiting for service in the air.

JetBlue has a history of disrupting the premium-cabin market, so this will be interesting to follow. Perhaps the airline will come up with an innovative solution to airport lounges.

Maybe it could partner with a sit-down restaurant at JFK and Boston and offer flyers reserved seating and a complimentary three-course meal before flying to Europe, similar to how Priority Pass has teamed up with airport concessionaires.

Either way, the solution is likely years away — and with the proposed Spirit acquisition, JetBlue may never have the bandwidth or resources to dedicate to opening a network of lounges.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases