Not only was I able to cross off tons of destinations on my bucket list this summer, but I also flew on business class for the first time in my life. It’s safe to say that it was a transformative experience. I flew on JetBlue Mint, arguably known as the “best business class in America,” by tons of airline critics and fanatics across the country. While I’ve never flown on anything but economy, and Delta’s Comfort+ if I was ever lucky to be upgraded, I instantly became certain that JetBlue Mint is the sweetest of deals out there. I was so hooked that I ended up flying Mint six times this summer! In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the Mint experience from start to finish.
Before we jump right in, I wanted to give some context to the story behind Mint. Prior to 2014, JetBlue only offered its standard economy offerings, which speaks true to its humble roots of being a low-cost, high-amenities carrier. Although the airline had only been around for 15 years at this point, JetBlue shook up the industry by offering free, unlimited snacks and drinks, wifi, DIRECTV, and great legroom. By setting the bar so high, other carriers started to follow by offering some of the same amenities that JetBlue has always had. Then, CEO Dave Barger announced that he wanted to shake up the industry even more, by offering a premium flight experience on JetBlue’s longer flights, but at a fraction of the cost. For example, other major legacy carriers were charging thousands of dollars for its business class fares, but JetBlue was able to offer Mint for just $599 each way. Since then, Mint has been an extremely popular way to fly, especially from coast-to-coast.
Again, Mint is only offered on select routes, on its newer A321 aircraft. As an intern, it was difficult at first to land a coveted Mint seat. But after weeks of trying, I finally scored my first Mint seat, from New York (JFK) to San Diego (SAN). I was traveling with a couple of other intern friends, who all also landed Mint!
At the airport
On the ground, having a Mint boarding pass allows you to have access to a couple of great perks. There is a separate, dedicated Mint counter, with a crewmember there to assist you with any of your needs. Additionally, this ticket automatically allows you to move through JetBlue’s “Even More Speed” line. This is a great way to start your trip, as you’ll be able to move quickly through security in busy airports such as JFK. And once the gate attendant calls for boarding, Mint and Mosaic customers always board first. There are only 16 Mint seats, so it’s pretty cool to board the plane when no one else is on it.
On the plane
The Mint cabin is at the front of the plane, where a friendly crewmember greets you and shows you to your seat. There are five rows of Mint seats total; in a 2-1-2-1-2 configuration. This means that if you’re in rows 2 or 4, you’ll have your own “throne” seat where there’s even your own door for more privacy. Out of all six times I flew on Mint, I only got the throne seat once. It doesn’t cost any more to select these seats, so if you have the chance to fly Mint, I would highly recommend picking the throne.
On each seat, there’s a plush comforter, pillow, and a welcome kit full of thoughtful goodies. My favorites include the JetBlue socks and the lip balm. The socks are so soft, and I wear them around my house all the time. The lip balm is also high-quality and is something that I carry around with me in my backpack.
As soon as you’re seated, the crewmember greets you and asks whether or not this is your first Mint experience. If this is your first time, he or she will demonstrate how to use the remote controls for the lie-flat seat, which extends to 6’8″. This was definitely one of my favorite parts of Mint, as I loved having the freedom to lay completely flat and sleep comfortably throughout the whole ride. Afterwards, the crewmember offers you a refreshing Mint cocktail, which you can get with or without vodka. All of these personal touches make for a great first impression onboard.
Another fantastic perk of JetBlue Mint is the in-flight entertainment. The screen is touch-screen and significantly larger than the screen in coach. It was the perfect size to catch up on JetBlue’s great offerings of movies and TV shows, as well as switching to the route map every so often to see how much longer in the flight was left. But let’s be honest—I never wanted the Mint experience to end.
Once in the air, the crewmember presents you with a menu, which has different offerings depending on what type of meal service is offered at that time. There are three menus: breakfast, lunch/dinner, and shut-eye (for overnight flights). I’ve had all three options, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. The lunch/dinner option was definitely more filling, in my opinion. You also have the option to choose from lots of beverages. In fact, I was able to fly my Mom on Mint four times this summer, and she raved about all of the coffee offerings, but especially the cappuccino and espresso. I, too, enjoyed their coffee, but also delved into the wide assortment of wines they had. They were all fantastic.
Each meal, however, starts with an appetizer, which could range from a croissant to a bowl of fruit. You are allowed to pick three of the entrees off the menu. Each entree is small, but just the right-size to have a few different options. And in reality, I’m sure you could pick a couple more than just three if you were really hungry. The end of the meal comes with a dessert, which ranges from a Milk Bar cookie or ice cream from a local creamery in the area you’re flying out of.
I cannot skim over how amazing the food was. I mean, really. If plane food could be this awesome, always, I would never complain again about the dry, tasteless offerings other airlines usually have. The Mint menus change every month and are curated by local chefs, so you’re really getting the real deal. The rest of the summer, some of my intern friends and I always joked around about how we could use our standby benefits to fly Mint and back somewhere, just to have a free place to sleep and eat. In reality, one of my friends and I did exactly that at the end of the summer. We flew to Seattle after work and hopped on the flight right back to New York, just because we could.
Throughout the flight, the crewmembers are so friendly and helpful. I made some great personal connections with a few of them this summer. They are truly there to provide you the most elevated and luxurious service. And with so much going on, the flight feels much shorter than you want it to. You’ll wake up from your nap under your snuggly comforter never wanting to leave, thinking that maybe Mint IS the destination, after all.
Of course, I would never have been able to afford all of these flights without working for the airline and getting to experience Mint for free. However, if you’re in the mood to treat yourself and you have the option to fly Mint on your next vacation, there really is no better way to fly domestically.