So I finally took my first Mint (JetBlue business class) flight last night. I won’t bore you to fucking death with all the minute details and three thousand pictures because there are plenty of other blogs that have reviewed Mint, and you have Google on your computer, rite? I’m just here to echo what they all say: Mint fucking rules. And I’ll also throw in my two cents about how to fly it for free, or at least max value.
A lot of people still seem surprised when I tell them that JetBlue has a business class, because they think JetBlue is Southwest with blue instead of puke brown. So, let me tell you: JetBlue has a business class on certain routes, it’s called Mint, and it’s fucking great.
Being JetBlue, there are oddball aspects to Mint. Even though it’s all one cabin, there are basically business class seats and first class seats mixed together up there, priced the same as one another. The odd rows are the usual two per side, like you’d expect from a business class, but the even rows (that’s rows 2 and 4, for those of you who didn’t finish grade school) are one per side. You get a whole fucking chamber, with a door, to yourself. You could pretty much watch porn and have at it in there, and no one would see you, except, of course, for anyone who walks by and looks over the top. But it feels private.
Speaking of walking by, the flight attendants will probably ask if there’s anything they can get for you at least 20 times during the flight. Your drink glass, alcoholic or otherwise, will never be empty. It’s, you know, attentive. They seemed like they wanted me to enjoy myself. I was a little disoriented by the experience of having FA’s who GAF.
The food was pretty tasty considering it’s airplane food. They give you Grado SR60 headphones if you ask, which is some quality shit, though they are non-sealing, non-noise cancelling, and open-backed, so they’d be my last choice for what you’d want on an airplane. But, still, classy, and New York sourced, like the rest of the experience. The seat, when flat, is super long, and pretty comfy. The pillow and blanket are also soft and comfy. Wi-Fi was free, and fast.
So, what else is there to say? It’s the most splendiferous domestic biz or first class I’ve flown, including American’s one-per-side first class.
The other oddball aspect to Mint is that you gotta just buy it, either with dollars or JetBlue points (or you can book using Chase or Amex or other bank-type points). There ain’t no upgrading happening, not for Mosaic elite members, not for anyone. You just buy it. How much it costs depends on timing and route. The cheapest I’ve seen it, one way, is $298 from JFK to Aruba, $399 from Palm Springs to JFK, and $448 from LAX to Ft Lauderdale — all pretty sweet deals, and sometimes not much more than economy. More typical is $759 (iffy) from LAX to JFK, and up from there to $1,639 (ouch).
Also, Mint doesn’t offer flexible changes or accelerated earning options, like their economy tickets do, nor does it offer accelerated earning towards Mosaic status (apart from the fact that you paid more, which is what Mosaic earning is based on). And you ain’t gonna get no comfy airline lounge (unless you consider JFK’s Terminal 5 Airspace Lounge comfy, but I’m gonna go with Windbag Miles‘ word choice: execrable).
Because JetBlue award tickets are based on the cash price, there’s never going to be some amazing deal to be had by paying with points when the cash price is high, like you might find on another airline. So if you’re not paying cash, you can pay with TrueBlue points (worth around 1.4 cents each). Alternatively, you can book with Chase points (worth 1.5 cents each if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve, 1.25 cents each with a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business card), or Amex points (worth 1.54 cents each after 35% rebate if you have a Business Platinum, or 1 cent each otherwise), or some other bank points. Alternatively, you can transfer Amex Membership Rewards or Citi
FuckYou ThankYou points to TrueBlue points, but usually at a shit-tastic rate of 1 to 0.8, which is usually not worth it — plus then you don’t earn more TrueBlue points for flying. So, you’re probably gonna end up blowing more points than you would compared to a Business saver award ticket on another airline, assuming you can find that particular unicorn.
Finally, if you book a Mint ticket that wasn’t crazy cheap, keep an eye on the price (i.e. set a price alert at Kayak or similar). If the price drops $75 or more, call JetBlue, and they’ll give you JetBlue travel credit for the difference in price, minus $75 (or, if you’re Mosaic, they’ll waive the $75!). This is fucking amazing. If you book with TrueBlue points, and those drop, they’ll charge you $75 to redeposit the difference in points. I got $900 in credit towards future flights by doing this for the two of us when the flight we just took fell by half two days before the flight. That doesn’t suck!
Anyway, fly Mint already, and try to sit in rows 2 and 4. You’ll thank me later.