The Future of Business Class: JetBlue’s New Mint Experience
Published: October 2013
By Melanie Lieberman
The airline that gained popularity with egalitarianism and blue chips just announced its first premium cabins, debuting on transcontinental flights starting on June 15. But don’t call this Business Class. In JetBlue parlance, these seats are known as Mint.
Travelers will be able to experience Mint on JetBlue’s new Airbus 321s flying from New York’s JFK to LAX next summer, and later, to SFO. Each aircraft features 16 lie-flat seats, including a handful of private suites that have sliding doors for total seclusion.
“Think about it as elegance with a small e,” JetBlue CEO David Barger said as he revealed the new cabins, along with their signature His and Hers amenity kits curated by Birchbox, seasonal tapas menu from New York City’s hip restaurant Saxon + Parole, and unpremium pricing.
The Mint experience is a definite departure from JetBlue's touted commitment to class-free travel. But starting at only $1,198, a round-trip ticket from JFK-LAX is still nearly half of what passengers now pay to fly premium on a legacy line. American’s business-class tickets on the same route in June go for roughly $3,500.
Fortunately for those not interested in buying into the new JetBlue hierarchy, the sleek, back-of-the-plane seats will be outfitted with power outlets and large, personal screens featuring 100 free DirecTV and SiriusXM channels. (Yes, JetBlue is reducing “seat pitch” by one inch, but assures us that travelers won’t lose any leg room in the process.) And finally, there’s JetBlue’s much-hyped fast new Wi-Fi service, debuting later this year.
Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.