***This is part 6 of my “Plane-cation” trip report detailing a recent trip from San Francisco to New York, via Hong Kong***
2. Singapore Airlines First Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
3. Cathay Pacific First Class Lounges: The Pier and The Wing
4. Cathay Pacific First Class Hong Kong to New York
5. Eating NYC – Bouley, Donuts, and Pizza
6. JetBlue Mint Class New York to San Francisco
7. First Class Showdown: Singapore Airlines vs. Cathay Pacific
I had already burned enough miles on my flights from San Francisco to New York, so I wasn’t looking to do anything crazy for the return home. As I shopped around for tickets back to San Francisco, since I was booking just a week prior to departure, ticket prices across the board were really high. However, I noticed that JetBlue’s Mint Class was priced at $549, and with the relatively small difference between that and the price of an economy ticket, I decided to give Mint a shot.
JetBlue features a special configuration for its Airbus 321 cabin that services trans-continental routes, and that service has recently expanded to include flights between New York and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and even the Caribbean.
The Mint cabin had a total of 16 seats spread across 5 rows, and in case you’re doing the math and realize that 16 is not divisible by 5, you’re right to be scratching your head. That’s because the cabin layout is a bit odd in that there were four single “throne” style seats, with one on each side of the cabin in rows 2 and 4.
These seats essentially were a closed private suite, which no other domestic trans-continental product out there can match. They were first come first served and obviously the most desirable, and luckily I was fortunate to snag one.
Upon boarding it felt like I had stumbled into a club and found my seat amongst the blue mood-lighting. As I got settled in I checked out the row behind me, and even these standard seats looked very comfortable and spacious.
There were two flight attendants dedicated to the Mint cabin, and I could tell from the start that they were going to be fantastic. They came by to offer a pre-departure drink, and handed out amenity kits. These amenity kits were supplied by Birchbox, the monthly subscription service that provides beauty products, and there were different versions for men and women. I didn’t even touch the contents of mine, so in hindsight, I probably should have just gotten the female version for my wife.
The Mint dining concept was pretty unique and part of a collaboration with the restaurant Saxon + Parole in New York.
Each of the dishes on the menu was apparently something that was actually served in the restaurant, and the meal service was done tapas-style where each passenger could choose up to three of the five items.
Meal service kicked off with drinks and the deviled egg.
Which was followed by the main meal – my three choices included the ricotta gnudi, chicken and dumplings, and Asian pear salad. While this was still airplane food and there was no mistaking with what you’d get fresh from a restaurant in NYC, it was definitely higher quality than what you’d expect on a standard domestic flight. Overall, the dishes were quite good, with the exception of the insanely heavy cream-based sauce that was smothered on top of the gnudi and the dumplings.
Afterwards, dessert was served which included a fruit plate and a serving of Blue Marble ice cream.
After the meal, there were still over four hours of flight time remaining, so I decided to make use of the flat bed and settled in for a nap. The bed was really comfortable, and along with a pillow and blanket, eye shades were also provided which was useful for this day time flight where many people had the window shades up.
Right before landing, some treats from Mah Ze Dahr bakery were handed out.
And one final look before we landed at San Francisco International airport.
Overall I had a great first experience with JetBlue’s Mint product. I think they are doing something cool and unique with the brand partnerships that they have integrated into the product. And the closed suite that they offer on a domestic product really is tough to beat. As someone who isn’t really tied down to a specific airline, I’d gladly fly this again when the price is right.