Review: JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint Business Class – New York to San Francisco

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After being introduced almost 10 years ago, JetBlue’s domestic business class serviced dubbed “Mint” has slowly inched its way to more and more cities across its network. Mint is also offered on its international transatlantic flights with a newly redesigned cabin, but today we’ll be looking at the original design used on domestic routes a.k.a Mint Classic.

In 2014, JetBlue’s Mint product was set to revolutionize the premium transcon market, making traveling in front more comfortable and affordable. Let’s see if it’s still worth it almost a decade later.

JetBlue A321 Mint Flight Review Stats

  • Airline: JetBlue
  • Aircraft: Airbus A321-200
  • Date: April 10, 2024
  • Flight: B6615
  • Registration: N945JT
  • Route: JFK-SFO
  • Departing Airport: John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • Arriving Airport: San Francisco International Airport
  • Actual Flight Time: 5 hours 52 minutes
  • Actual Departing Time: 10:55 a.m. (local)
  • Seat: 4A (Mint Business Class – Throne Seat)

JetBlue A321 Mint Booking

Flying in transcontinental business or first class in general can be very expensive. Depending on the time of year, one-ware fares between New York and San Francisco can sometimes creep above $2,000, but luckily I was able to snag my seat for just $692. Looking back, that was a steal as prices have once again crossed $1,000.

The only other competing carrier offering lie-flat service was American Airlines on their transcon-configured A321s. They priced their tickets for about $1,100 at the time.

I’ll get to the cabin layout later on, but JetBlue’s Mint cabins have five rows of business seats, with rows one, three and five having a 2-2 layout, and rows two and four have a 1-1 config, a.k.a. the throne seats. I mention this because as this was my first time flying with them, I would have thought it would have come at a premium for the single seats, but you can swap between any seat in this cabin at no additional cost.

JetBlue A321 Mint Check In

As I had arrived on another flight via Terminal 4 at JFK and got lost 10,000 times before finding the Airtrain to the Terminal 5, I made my way straight to security as I had checked in online with no checked bags. The priority line saved a bunch of time (maybe standing behind a handful of people versus four rows of snaking lines for non-priority and non-PreCheck passengers).

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

I had a lot of time to kill as I had gotten in around 5 a.m., which unfortunately is rush hour at the JetBlue terminal. The atrium at T5 was bustling, with all seats being occupied. There are a host of restaurants, food outlets and other duty free shops spread along the various wings.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

JetBlue A321 Mint Ermm Lounge?

It’s no secret that JetBlue does not have lounges, so you’ll have to pay up if you want to grab something to eat or drink. Lounges come at a cost to airlines, so it’s a fair trade to get cheaper lie-flat business class tickets.

JetBlue does offer an outdoor terrace accessible near gate 28, but conditions weren’t favorable being that it was 10C. Sadly the views have disappeared with the construction of Terminal 6 taking place next door.

On a warmer day it might be a good vibe as there are a few seats and tables to sit back and get some fresh air. Keep it clean though as it’s a no smoking area.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

JetBlue A321 Mint Cabin and Seat

One thing I’ve realized when flying in the U.S. is that people simply don’t seem to like to open their window shades, even in the middle of the day. Hopefully I can get myself a new phone because capturing good photos was a challenge with the little bit of light from my windows versus the overall dark cabin in the background.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

JetBlue’s classic Mint aircraft uses a customized version of the Thompson Aero Vantage seat. With five rows in business, rows one, three and five have a 2-2 layout, while rows two and four have single seats in a 1-1 configuration. Operators such as SAS, FlyDubai and Singapore Airlines also have their own take on these Vantage seats installed on some of their narrowbodies.

This was seat 4A, one of the single “throne” seats. To the left is a large rest area with charging ports. Sadly there isn’t much storage area, and I assume there might have been a lot of IFE-related hardware stored underneath as the unit itself was rather hot to the touch. Small bags should also be stored in the bins above with larger suitcases.

The seats themselves have seen better days, with very visible wear on both the back and bottom cushioning. Even the storage netting under the IFE display looked tired, drooping to one side.

Each Mint seat comes with their own 10.1 inch IFE displays, and those familiar with JetBlue will know this is the older entertainment system (more on that later).

The right side has more rest area for things like light snacks and drinks, as well as a decent sized cubby-hole to store small items such as your headphones, phone and other accessories.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

Due to the staggered layout, there is sizable foot well space, allowing for the seat to go into a full lie-flat position. However I can’t say that these are the most comfortable seats when they are extensively reclined or in full lie-flat. The foot well starts to feel a bit tight when fully extended, and I found myself using the pillow to prop my head when in the reclined position.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

The “throne” seats come with their own sliding door partitions which can be closed during flight to offer more privacy.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

The left side has two AC and USB-A charging outlets, while the right side has a single outlet.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

On the right resting area are your seat controls and the cabled IFE remote controller. I didn’t realize until later that this seat might have been an older version as the newer classic Mint seats offer lumbar support control, a massage option and a much better floor lighting system.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

A large tray table is stowed to the right, and is accessible via a pull tab. It can be swiveled across more than 90 degrees depending on what you need it for.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

JetBlue A321 Mint Amenities

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

In each Mint class seat, guests are greeted with a bottle of spring water, a Tuft & Needle pillow and blanket, a pair of noise-canceling headphones, and the dining menu. I’ve seen amenity kits being distributed on some of these flights, but that was not the case on mine.

The headphones appeared to be meaty, and worked well to reduce outside noise, but they weren’t those fancy Master & Dynamic models I’ve seen offered on other Mint flights.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

JetBlue A321 Mint Food and Drinks

JetBlue allows customers to choose three of five meals from their menu, but items vary depending on the direction of flight and time of day. On this westbound lunch/dinner menu, I opted for the salad, chicken and lasagna.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

There is also a cocktail and wine menu, but I’ve always avoided in flight drinks because they make me very sleepy in the air.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

Prior to boarding, the purser came around taking after-departure drinks and our main course orders. As always, I either go with a coffee or lime-flavored soda. Random fact, it was at that moment I realized that Sierra Mist changed its branding to Starry (what a weird name).

The starter drink was also accompanied by a bowl of some pretty amazing cashews. I’d love to find out where I could order some for myself at home.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

With the main course served shortly after, it was time to eat. Like many other reviews, the food was amazing. The lasagna was soft and cheesy, while the chicken was properly seasoned. The only thing I wished for was for a bigger piece of chicken.

Salads are salads, and there was also a bread roll that came along with the meal. Catering on this flight was definitely on point, and much better than the bland food served on more traditional U.S. carriers.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

For dessert, we were served vanilla gelato with cake crumble. Also very tasty.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

There is a snack bar at the front and back, but honestly I completely forgot about it as our FAs passed around regularly offering snacks and drinks, and checking to make sure we were satisfied throughout the flight.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

After knocking back a few more sodas and a coffee, it was time to rock back and watch a movie.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

JetBlue A321 Mint In Flight Entertainment and Wi-Fi

JetBlue appears to have two versions of it in flight entertainment system, with the one of this aircraft being the older version. I must say that while having IFE is definitely a great way to pass time, their system feels really dated, slow and somewhat unresponsive at times.

I was told that the newer IFE system is much more responsive and easier to use.

They have an decent selection of TV shows and movies, but I would have thought there would have been more choices like on American or Delta. There is also DirecTV and SiriusXM if you’re into live TV or radio.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

After watching a movie and a few TV shows, I just left it on map mode for the balance of the flight.

What’s most impressive was their free Wi-Fi internet, which had good speeds ranging from 5-20 Mbps. While it wasn’t perfect, it worked well throughout the flight, and who can say no to free gate to gate Wi-Fi?

I’ve read that on some flights, you may need a TrueBlue account to log on, but on this flight, it simply was a case of connecting to the network and choosing to log onto the internet without a username/password.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

Obligatory Lav Pics

The lavatory was pretty much a basic, run of the mill lav. Nothing outstanding, but at least it was clean.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

JetBlue A321 Mint On Board Service

The cabin crew members were very attentive from start to finish, passing frequently enough to check in on food and drink orders, but not to the point of being excessively annoying. It’s not often you see that on American carriers, so it was definitely appreciated.

JetBlue A321 Mint Conclusion

For a bargain price, JetBlue’s Mint product definitely ups the standard on domestic premium travel in the United States. With lie flat seats, an excellent lunch menu, and other amenities including free, unlimited internet and IFE, it’s hard not to say no to a service like this especially on flights inching close to six hours in the air.

At the time of this review, JetBlue hasn’t had the best on time record, and this flight was no exception. We left half hour after our scheduled push back time, but I can’t fault them in this case. Sometimes airspace limits may force airlines to delay their push back which is outside of the airline’s control.

Here are two pictures from my departure out of JFK, and arrival into San Francisco. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great, with high level cloud coverage for most parts of the flight. The views only cleared up once we got into the Nevada area.

Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked
Credit: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

Featured image: Bradley Wint/Gate Checked

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