Airline: JetBlue Aircraft: A321 Seat maps:JetBlue | SeatGuru Seat Info: 4F Class: Mint Class (First)
Seat(s): It’s tough to find a better seat confined to airspace within the lower 48…at least for now. JetBlue’s normal “Mint” seat, those paired in groups of 2 appear plenty comfortable with most of the same amenities look good enough for us, but our anti-social alter-ego absolutely LOVES this semi-private suite. Without even closing the suite’s half door, you’ve got good separation from the aisle thanks to one of two large consoles. Unless another passenger goes out of their way to be friendly, your only other human interaction will be with flight attendants to order food and several of their delicious, minty signature cocktails.
Width means a lot in general, but even more when it comes to lie-flat seating. This is another win for JetBlue in Mint with wider seats than transcon competitors in both the single person suites or the more typical aisle/window seat pairs. Even as the seat narrows near the top, there’s still plenty of room for moving around, great for those of us who tend to shift. According to the airline, this is also the longest flatbed seat in the transcon market, with top to bottom room for someone up to 6’8″ tall.
Tech/Connectivity/Entertainment: The pioneers of US domestic in-flight entertainment are at it again. While we were slightly disappointed to see looped movies and the same, rather static-looking moving-map of old, having 100 DirecTV and about the same number of SiriusXM channels to explore was fantastic. The TV/Audio interface was simple to figure out using the provided remote and I was surprised at how little it mattered that this wasn’t a touch-screen interface. Your screen comes in at 15″…That might be embarrassing in your living room, but works just fine here.
As much as we’d hope 100 channels of TV would be enough, there are times during the day when somehow nothing interesting is on. Having a power port is key for charging up your own personal entertainment and productivity devices like phones, tablets and computers. Having more than one is awesome. JetBlue’s website tells us that some suites might even feature 3 ports but ours came with two and featured USB ports in addition to standard power sockets.
Need to connect to the world below? We stuck with the for-now complimentary basic Fly-Fi internet connection. This slower-speeed service does just fine for general social networking, emails and surfing but won’t handle higher bandwidth activity like streaming audio or video. For that, You’ll have to pony up $9 per hour of service.
Food: Zach, one of our Mint flight attendants, confirmed upon ordering that I had made good food choices but until tasting, I had no idea how right he was. Given a choice of 3 of 5 smaller portioned entrees, I chose Corn Custard with Poached Lobster, Roasted Atlantic Cod and Fontina-stuffed Gnocchi. Of the 3 the Gnocchi was the best but all three had very good flavor. Certain menu items are signatures of NYC based Saxon and Parole whose focus on domestic meat, domestic seafood and seasonal produce bring a new twist to in-flight dining. The only thing missing might be a small salad?
For this trip, JetBlue stayed true to its NYC roots during the desert course too. Brooklyn’s BlueMarble mint chocolate chip ice cream (also sticking with the “Mint” theme) was served along with cubes of fresh fruit.
One thing we noticed about halfway through the meal were the absence of tray-table linens. If we had never flown a transcon or international business or first class flight in our lives we probably wouldn’t even notice but some might miss the sophistication of a table-bib.
Service: If you walk into any new or newly-remodeled building it’s almost certain those working inside it will have an extra pep in their step and smile on their face. That’s what we experienced on this, the 4th publicly sold A321 eastbound flight in Mint. What was obvious is that JetBlue put their crew through an intensive training to get the service just right. The combination of fresh training and that new-workspace smell had our flight attendants Zach and Sandra firing on all cylinders.
Rating: 5 hops (of 5).
Route Flown for this review: Los Angeles (LAX) – New York (JFK)
How we got em’: No miles, no hacking, just cash. For a very short period of time following the announcement of Mint seats becoming available for purchase, we were able to snag this suite for $399 one-way. At publication these seats were selling for $599 with no difference in price between the single suites and the alternate side-by-side seats in Mint. Still a steal.