The new gold standard: JetBlue's spiffy Mint Studio, with the largest bed in biz
Until now, it's been hard for me to pin down which domestic business-class product I like best.
Yet, if Wednesday's cabin tour is any indication, I just found a winner: JetBlue's new Mint Studio.
The New York-based carrier recently took delivery of its first Airbus A321neo equipped with a new Mint business-class product. The jet features 14 suites, each angled towards the center, with sliding doors and direct aisle access — plus two Mint Studios in the bulkhead row.
While JetBlue's new Mint Suites are definitely an improvement over the tried-and-true Mint 1.0, the real show-stopper is Mint Studio. Here's why.
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Located at the bulkhead of each cabin, every new Mint-equipped A321neo features two studios. Due to the positioning of the bulkhead, these pods have a significantly larger footprint than the other Mint Suites.
They'll be available at a (so far) undisclosed buy-up from the traditional Mint experience.
The sheer amount of space in the Mint Studio is simply unrivaled by other domestic airlines. In fact, it looks and feels more like something you'd find in first class than in biz.
The "bones" of the pod, including the seat, footwell and side table, are the same as the other suites. It's the added space against the plane's walls that really makes a noticeable difference.
The studio has an integrated buddy seat, as well as an enclosed drawer for personal items, such as a pair of glasses or a wallet.
There's an additional lamp as well, perfect for working or reading during a red-eye flight.
Finally, the studio has two full windows, providing great views for aviation enthusiasts like myself.
Largest bed in biz
The sleeping surface in the Mint Studio is the largest of any U.S. carrier.
While I haven't (yet) had a chance to put it to the test, the bed's footprint is significantly larger than the other suites, and felt even more comfortable than the business-class pods on any of the Big 3 U.S. airlines.
In addition to a larger footwell, the buddy seat doubles as an added sleeping surface, ideal those who like to spread out overnight.
Another nifty addition is that all Mint Suites and Studios are layered with a Tuft & Needle mattress pad, making them significantly more plush than the previous version.
There are only a handful of premium cabins that offer a buddy seat, and you can now add the Mint Studio to that list. In fact, JetBlue is the only U.S. airline with this first-class amenity in a business-class cabin.
When at cruising altitude, the Mint Studio can hold two passengers. You can invite a companion to dine or relax with you.
There's a dedicated seatbelt for your companion, as well as a swiveling side table for their food or laptop.
It'll definitely feel a bit cramped with two adults in the studio — as you see above with me and my buddy Zach Honig — but the thrill of dining with a companion at 35,000 feet might make up for it.
Of course, this arrangement could also be ideal for a parent traveling with smaller children. Just note that the second passenger must also be flying in the Mint cabin.
Larger inflight entertainment monitor
JetBlue offers every passenger, even those in coach, a seat-back entertainment screen loaded with movies, TV shows and live DirecTV.
The Mint Studio sports JetBlue's most advanced monitor yet. At 22 inches, it's five inches larger than the ones in other suites. Additionally, it tilts and swivels for easy viewing angles while reclined in bed mode.
If you're looking to maximize productivity on board, you can't beat the amount of space that the studio offers.
With two side tables, the studio makes it easy to multitask. Perhaps you want to use both a laptop and iPad simultaneously. Well, there's space for that.
You can also use the built-in wireless charging mat to power your Qi-enabled devices, like the latest iPhone 12 Pro. There are also two power outlets and USB ports to keep all your gadgets at 100%.
Plus, with the buddy seat, a colleague could theoretically join you in the studio for an impromptu meeting.
In addition to added space, the Mint Studio also has additional storage compartments.
For one, there's a large closet at the front of the studio, outfitted with a storage pocket and mirror.
There's also an enclosed storage compartment just to the side of the seat itself, next to the Qi wireless charger. It was large enough to hold a wallet, glasses and perhaps even a small tablet.
Like the other suites, there's a storage drawer that pulls out from underneath the monitor that comfortably fits a laptop and other small items.
JetBlue's new Mint Studio is poised to become a top-notch business-class product, possibly even the best in the domestic skies. With its oversized footprint, buddy seat, larger entertainment screen and added storage, it'll instantly become JetBlue's most luxurious offering.
Of course, we'll need to wait to see how much it costs, but if the buy-up isn't too steep, this is definitely where you'll find me seated on my future transcon and international JetBlue flights.
All photos by Zach Griff/The Points Guy