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Travel in Mint Condition

This week, low-cost airline JetBlue took a step toward upgrading itself and its business passengers, by announcing a new premium service called Mint. Promising an “unparalleled in-flight experience,” with “the longest lie-flat beds in domestic business class and four private suites,” the airline is hoping to shake up the domestic premium market.

“Just as we revolutionized the core travel experience more than a decade ago with an elevated product and customer-focused culture, we intend to reinvent the lucrative coast-to-coast market with Mint,” said JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger.

JetBlue carries 29 million customers per year in more than 700 daily flights to 79 cities in the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. Popular for its reasonable fares and well known for its personable customer service, JetBlue is also proud of its “fun factor.” (The airline also recently revealed that it was the official partner of the New York Comedy Festival.)

Reportedly, the airline will dedicate 11 new Airbus 321 aircraft to its minty transcontinental routes, beginning in 2014—between New York’s JFK and Los Angeles International (LAX) in the summer and between JFK and San Francisco International (SFO) in the autumn.

The new A321s will offer some updated perks: Customers in coach will gain increased audio and television programming, and all passengers will be provided with free Wi-Fi and in-seat power outlets.

The Mint service will feature additional amenities, including:

  • A pre-departure drink;
  • A cocktail and amuse-bouche, once airborne;
  • An onboard menu created by NYC-based restaurant Saxon + Parole, which travelers can customize by choosing among tapas-style servings, followed by dessert;
  • Fresh cappuccino and espresso (made from the first cappuccino machine purposely built for a U.S. airline) available throughout the flight; and
  • Custom men’s and women’s amenity kits from Birchbox.

“Mint is JetBlue’s refreshing take on a premium-class product. It is stylish service minus all of the stuffiness often associated with the traditional front-of-the-cabin experience, said Barger. “JetBlue is truly all about serving the under-served, the customer who wants to enjoy first-rate service at an exceptional and affordable fare.”

The airline’s summer 2014 schedule will be rolled out in November, starting at $599 one-way. Comparing that ticket price to the competition, it sounds like a sweet deal, indeed.

Shân Willis
Premier Traveler Magazine

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