JetBlue is now charging for domestic Mint Studio ‘upgrades’

Apr 15, 2021

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Well that didn’t take long! When JetBlue began selling its first flights with the new Airbus A321neo Mint suites Thursday morning, 1A and 1F — the two larger “studios” — were available for anyone to select. Now they come along with a $199 one-way upgrade fee.

It’s a logical move — the airline’s bulkhead studios are shaping up to be the very best domestic business-class option when they start flying between New York-JFK and Los Angeles (LAX) on June 1, and adding a fee will help keep them open for travelers who really want the extra space, rather than simply rewarding flyers who lock in a flight far enough in advance.

Studios are located at the very front of the cabin, and offer a number of advantages, including a “buddy seat” and additional space. (Photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy)

Notably, JetBlue’s older suites in rows 2 and 4 on the Airbus A321 don’t come along with an up charge, so this is a premium-cabin first.

Just as with the airline’s economy Even More Space offering, you can either make your selection at booking or after you pay for your flight.

(Screenshot courtesy of JetBlue)

JetBlue Mosaic members may see an option to select a studio for just 8,300 points — well above TPG’s 1.3-cent valuation for TrueBlue points. We’d love to see the airline add more options for Mosaics, including confirmed upgrade vouchers or an option to stand by for a same-day upgrade for free.

(Screenshot courtesy of JetBlue)

Personally, I’d even pay the $199 to move up, especially if I’m flying with another passenger who can take advantage of the “buddy seat,” letting us enjoy a meal together at 30,000 feet. There are a number of other perks, too, as JetBlue outlines when you select a studio:

(Screenshot courtesy of JetBlue)

Are 1A and 1F already booked? Under normal circumstances, I’d recommend setting up an alert with TPG’s sister site ExpertFlyer, but because of the way JetBlue processes seat upgrades, studios will always show as “occupied” — you’ll need to keep checking JetBlue’s site to see if they open up.

(Screenshot courtesy of ExpertFlyer)

While we have yet to confirm this, it’s possible that post-purchase upgrades will be eligible for the annual airline fee credit available with The Platinum Card® from American Express (up to $200), the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (up to $250) and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (up to $200). Enrollment required for select benefits.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Amex card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

We’re also expecting JetBlue to add a fee to select a studio on flights between the East Coast and London when they launch later this year. While the airline has yet to confirm pricing, based on what we’re seeing for transcon upgrades, I’d expect studios to come along with a $299 up charge on flights across the pond.

Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy

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