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Why JetBlue’s new Mint Studio biz product is this year’s best

Nov. 02, 2021
5 min read
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Despite the pandemic, it’s quite easy to crown a winner for the best new airline business-class product.

Sure, we’ve seen some recent innovations from the U.S. “Big 3” airlines. American recently launched a new cabin on its 787-8 Dreamliner. Delta continues to retrofit its existing long-haul fleet with Premium Select and refreshed biz seats, while United is charging ahead with its fleetwide Polaris rollout.

But while the incumbents are making iterative updates to their jets, JetBlue is busy disrupting the industry once again — this time on one of the world’s busiest routes.

And in doing so, it's taking home some hardware, as it's the winner of the 2021 TPG Award for the best new business-class cabin in the sky.

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(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

JetBlue launches long-haul flights

Earlier this year, the New York-based airline launched its first-ever transatlantic flights from New York-JFK to London-Heathrow (LHR), followed a few weeks later with complementary service to London-Gatwick (LGW).

While the new flights are historic for the carrier, they’re also poised to give the competition a run for its money — and that starts from the minute you step onboard.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Unlike the incumbents, JetBlue isn’t flying a wide-body jet to London. Rather, it’s going with the single-aisle Airbus A321LR, or long-range.

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With just 138 seats, this plane has a boutique feel, both in the Mint business-class cabin and “Core” economy cabins.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

But it’s not necessarily the size of the plane or the number of passengers that's disrupting the status quo; it’s about the actual seats themselves, especially those in the pointy end of the cabin.

The new gold standard: the Mint Studio

When JetBlue first unveiled its next-generation Mint cabin in February, the airline surprised observers by installing two separate business-class experiences: there’s the Mint Suite along with the Mint Studio.

On the Airbus A321LR, JetBlue’s 12-row Mint cabin has 22 Mint Suites, featuring direct aisle access, lie-flat seats, 17-inch TVs, two power outlets and sliding doors.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Though the Suite itself is quite comfortable, the JetBlue product team really deserves kudos for what they did with the bulkhead Row 1.

Of course, the team could’ve just installed another row of Mint Suites, but they found themselves with an issue — what would they do with all the extra space in the first row?

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Well, the solution — the JetBlue Mint Studio — is this year’s winner of the TPG Award for the best new airline business-class product.

The Studio is a mini-apartment in the sky. For one, the sleeping surface is the largest of any U.S. carrier. Additionally, thanks to a built-in mattress pad from Tuft & Needle (that's actually noticeable), it's quite comfortable, too.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Once you’re settled into the Studio and close the sliding door, it won’t be hard to catch some Zs.

There’s even a buddy seat for you to share with a friend or colleague. With a second tray table, you won’t even feel too cramped when eating or working side-by-side.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Other Studio enhancements include a folding closet with a coat hook and a shoe compartment, a larger 22-inch TV, additional storage compartments and an oversized footwell.

The innovation doesn't stop with the seat itself

In addition to a top-notch hard product, the airline recently revamped the Mint service, scoring high praise from TPG reviewers and industry analysts alike.

The airline’s new partnership with Delicious Hospitality Group brings restaurant-quality, tapas-style meals to the business-class cabin — along with a wine list and cocktails that are shaken at your seat, a uniquely first-class touch.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Once in flight, you’ll receive some additional amenities as a Studio passenger, including pajamas, slippers and an essentials kit with playing cards, a lint roller, chapstick and more.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Aside from the product itself, JetBlue is also innovating on pricing. For one, round-trip Mint fares start at $1,999. Compared to the $10,000 that some airlines charged on the New York to London route before the pandemic, the transatlantic Mint experience is doing what it first did in the transcontinental market — undercutting the competition on price yet doing so with a better product.

(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Once you’re booked in Mint, you can upgrade to a Studio seat for $299. Of course, that pricing might not be worth it on a short redeye to Europe, but it could definitely make sense on the long return journey.

Plus, the carrier’s Mosaic elite members can redeem 12,500 TrueBlue points for the seat upgrade, a lucrative 2.4 cent per point redemption value.

Bottom line

Between the industry-leading hard product, incredible meal service and attractive pricing, JetBlue hit a home run with its latest Mint cabin. Eight years since first unveiling the original Mint product, the airline continues to outdo itself — this time, in another continent.

For that, JetBlue deserves the award for the best new business-class hard product.

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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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
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.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023