Recently our family flew in Mint Class on Jet Blue from Los Angeles to New York. Mint Class is their version of Business Class with some unique features that you would expect from airline like Jet Blue.
We were attending a reunion at the United States Military Academy at West Point (check out our Instagram shots…so much fun) and had a tight itinerary. Our only way to make the trip work was to fly a red eye. Some people think overnight flights are great with kids…me, not so much! My girls need their sleep! We rationalized that if the girls could stretch out and be comfortable, they might have a fighting chance of surviving the following day of activity. So, we ponied up the extra cash.
If you shop Mint, you may notice that, with enough advance time, the price is pretty reasonable for the amount of space and service you receive. You can fly cross-country in Mint Class for well under $1000 roundtrip. If you compare to other airlines, it’s not too shabby.
So, now you want to know…was it worth it? Regarding out sleep, the answer is a “maybe.” The reality is that an overnight flight to New York is only 5 hours. But, with all the distractions, it is 3-4 hours of sleep at best. It was sufficient for my husband to survive, but the girls had to crash at the hotel that morning. And, that’s not Jet Blue’s fault; they can’t circle JFK for 3 hours while we get a little more REM time. Regarding our service and comfort in Mint, I would say that our reviews are mostly positive. Here are our Thumbs:
Comfort – Thumbs Up: The seats in Mint fully recline (180 degrees baby!) and they give you really cozy duvets and mini pillows to snuggle in. Along with an eye mask and ear plugs, it is possible to sleep. The seats have a variety of settings for stretching out as little or as much as you want; they include lumbar support and massaging adjustments which are a nice novelty, but not super effective for smaller people (like kids or height-challenged moms). My only critique, having flown Business Class before, I would have loved to have received a pair of slippers during my Mint experience. It’s a bummer to have to shove your slightly-swollen feet back into your shoes on to go to the restroom! (spoiled brat comment, I know)
Entertainment – Thumbs Up: We had DirectTV for the entire flight along with a slew of movies. However, I believe that people in Economy have the same. So while we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, I’m not sure we needed to be in Mint Class to get the benefit. You’ll have to investigate for yourself.
Storage – Thumbs Middle: Because the seats fully recline, it really limited the storage at your seat. There is a pocket in front of you to put a book or smaller item. But the flight attendant had to put my backpack (with my purse/wallet) in the storage above me for take off and landing because, even when the seat is upright, your bag cannot be on the floor under the seat in front of you during those times. I found this odd. I’ve flown in fully reclining seats before and there is usually a secure place for small carry ons. Call me paranoid, but I like to have my backpack/purse/computer bag with me. I don’t want to wait for the seatbelt sign to go off to retrieve it. But, that may just be me. On the positive side, the seat areas were large and my husband and I looked longingly at the single seats (check out the seating chart) where the traveler basically has a mini condo during the flight. Now that would be cool! Also, as you would expect in a premium class, we had no issue finding space above us for our (19 inch) carry-on rolling suitcases.
Food – Thumbs Middle: In all fairness, part of the issue with our food was our personal preference. On the positive side, the flight attendant approached us immediately and offered us drinks. The wine I drank was very good. And if you give me good wine, I’m going to be your friend! Also on the positive side, there was not shortage of food…we were told to have TWO desserts (well if you insist!) and were given limitless packaged snacks (not super upscale, but satisfied those flying munchies). However, and you knew this was coming, we were not a huge fan of the meals they served. Jet Blue has a New York restaurant partnership so the food they serve in Mint is fancy…not in a stuffy way, but in an avant-garde way. I wish I had saved a menu to give specific examples. My apologies. But if you google Jet Blue Mint, you can see images of the meals taken by people who didn’t have their cameras stored in the overhead (slam…sorry). So was the food good? Probably many people will say yes. However, the kids needed something a little more familiar. And I have to say, so did my husband and I. We’re not talking chicken fingers, but something a little less innovative. The flight attendant was sweet and recommended that next time we should call ahead and ask for food that is more plain, and they will happily accommodate our request. I suppose I could have considered that a bit condescending, but as she said it, she gave me another glass of wine. So, she was my friend.
Overall, we would recommend Mint Class from Jet Blue. We plan to fly it again. I’ll bring a smaller purse and request the plain food. We’ll let you know how it goes!