Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2177
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:05 am

JetBlue Mint Inaugural Review
June 2014
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0152_zps8e712920.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0406_zps4dd65bff.jpg

JetBlue IMHO has always been a different breed of airlines, and has definitely created a loyal following, as it has always branded itself as a unique airline and it is very generous when it comes to legroom and amenities, and one of the few airlines that allow passengers to check in one free piece of baggage. It also does not overbook (but I am not sure if this is still the case). To me the best part is always its customer service and many frontline employees, who are always enthusiastic and proud of the airline. High morale is always a key to good service or at least staffs feel more incentive to wish the airline to be successful. Innovation is always the principle that JetBlue follows. Sure the airline has its downfalls, especially its meltdowns of winter operations in the past winter and their JFK staffs are not always the friendliest, but in terms of US domestic flights, JetBlue is just about as good as it gets these days, especially in economy. When JetBlue announces the introduction of a premium product on its premium transcontinental market between JFK and LAX/SFO, I am really curious on whether JetBlue can pull off a major task without devaluing its coach product. When Mint was announced and put on sale, I could not help to book a flight on the inaugural service. Ideally, I would love to fly from JFK to LAX, but it was sold out within a few hours, and I was lucky to be able to grab a seat on the inaugural LAX to JFK – not to mention one of the suites. The schedule was a bit rush, as I literally just did the American Airlines inaugural DFW to HKG service. However I just managed to rush back to LA on Saturday night and got a good 24 hours rest before the late afternoon inaugural from LAX. My first impression of Mint is positive, and the Mint-configured A321 is just amazing. Mint is surely a work-in-progress but it definitely shows plenty of potentials. Its new core cabin looks smart and the new inflight marketplace will definitely set JetBlue’s coach product apart from other airlines’ transcontinental coach products. However, if you are expecting flagship American Airlines service, Mint is definitely not it, but for $599 one way, the product is more than adequate. My comments are based on the fact that JetBlue is still somewhat structured as a low-cost airline, not the traditional airline! When you read it, please keep in mind that some of the items might not be okay if I am paying $1100 one way. If JetBlue is reading it, please keep that perspective – a low cost airline premium product that is selling at $599 one way, and the more you raises the price, my expectation will be different. For those who don’t want to read a long report, here is the link to the photo album. There are many pictures but you can zoom into the one you like!

Photo album link:
http://s1213.photobucket.com/user/Ca...eMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J

Flight information:
June 15, 2014
B6 324 LAX-JFK Lv1347 Arr2220

June 17, 2014
B6 223 JFK-LAX Lv0930 Arr1236
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0448_zps9953b452.jpg

JetBlue’s A321-200 Sharklet, N923JB “It’s Mint to Be” flew both flights. N934JB is the second mint-configured plane and has been parking outside the JetBlue hangar, but I believe N923JB is the only Mint A321 being used now. N923JB was delivered to JetBlue on February 21, 2014. Maybe someone at JetBlue can answer my question regarding a spare mint A321 for now, and when the second Mint A321 will be ready. With only one daily rotation between LAX and JFK, one plane is fine and N923JB should be able to handle the daily roundtrip till July.

Pictures of the plane:
N923JB at LAX – poor shot due to location of Gate 33B
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0167_zps6fc1597c.jpg

N923JB at JFK – better but sunlight was still not in my best advantage
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0424_zps9384e099.jpg
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Let start from the ground service! Let’s be honest that you can’t really expect JetBlue to offer a lounge especially the price that it is charging. I can use my priority pass to access Virgin America’s Loft anyway. However LAX’s Terminal Three has definitely seen its better days, and JetBlue is given some rather undesirable gates. JetBlue has done some touchups by adding electrical outlet stations, but Terminal Three is just not a pleasant terminal to travel to and from. JFK’s Terminal Five is of course on the other end of the spectrum, as it is a really nice terminal with high ceilings, lots of natural lights, and many eateries. It is a beauty.

I presume JetBlue will receive a few more gates soon in LAX, as its soon expanded Mint schedule will require a few more gates. For now, the sole A321 is using mostly gate 33B at LAX for now.

Given the tiny check-in space that JetBlue has, I am glad that they manage to squeeze out a Mint/Mosaic check-in lane with a greeter making sure passengers using the right lane. I felt that JetBlue provides a bit extra training for their priority agents or simply ask them to be nicer. Most of the agents tried to engage you in a bit of small talk and the message is definitely to be more personal, which is appreciated. If you check in bags, they will be tagged with a green colored priority tag. As a Mint passenger, you will also get “Even More Speed,” so Mint passes the basic ground tests – priority check-in, baggage handling, and security line.

LAX Mosaic/Mint lane:
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0156_zpse4e4f7b3.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0154_zps947e085b.jpg

JFK of course has ample of spaces and Mint passengers are now simply invited to join the Mosaic lane for check-in. The mint logo is added to the signage now. With only one daily flight, the lane was not too busy and two agents were assigned to handling the priority check-in and taking extra passengers from the full service line, when there is no one at the priority lane. When Christina, the check-in agent, spotted me at the priority lane, she immediately waved me over. I had a nice chat with her, who was on one of those test flights for Mint (station test flights). I had to kindly remind her about the priority tag but everyone was new to the service. Just like a typical JetBlue’s JFK experience, you have to roll your bag to the baggage belt and drop them off yourself. It will be nice if JetBlue can make one of the porters stationed close to the priority lane and it will make the check-in experience more premium.

JFK Mosaic/Mint lane:
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0386_zpsaa101c79.jpg
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http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0385_zps16962075.jpg

Birch Box Promotion at JFK T-5
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0390_zpsd543244a.jpg

Priority security aka “Even More Speed” was available for all mint passengers, but as a TSA Pre-check candidate, I have priority access anyway. However, LAX’s Terminal Three was somewhat crowded and they were doing flow control even for the priority lane. So you need to allow a bit more time, especially in the early morning and afternoon rush periods if you are traveling from LAX.

Lounge access:
None – but JetBlue has a PAID lounge called Airspace JFK located near gate 24/25. You can get free entry as an AMEX Platinum or Centurion member plus $10 dining credits. The only lounge at LAX T-3 is the Loft by Virgin America. You can receive free access if you have Priority Pass or Lounge Club membership.

Inaugural ceremony LAX
To my surprise, JetBlue had a little ceremony in gate 33B. The agents were guarding these cupcakes like high security items, but I felt that they passed them out too closed towards the boarding time. Anyway, it was still a nice gesture. Rachel McCarthy, the vice president of Inflight Experience, was present during the cutting ceremony and she was onboard on both inaugural flights, and thanked passengers towards the end of the flight.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0172_zps8af331ab.jpg
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http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0185_zpsf54fa4c8.jpg

Boarding:
Unlike other JetBlue flights, boarding began a bit earlier for these A321 flights, especially they have to use door one. They start 40 minutes prior to takeoff. JetBlue has slightly updated its boarding procedures:
1. Passengers required extra help in boarding
2. Mint and Mosaic and Even More Speed passengers
3. Families boarding
4. Boarding according to rows

However they still have not set up a separate boarding lane, which is definitely needed especially in crowded spaces at LAX. It is easy to set up and you basically just need some new Mint/Mosaic signs.

So much excitement boarding the flight
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0189_zps8d2ab984.jpg

Once I stepped on board the flight, the Mint F/As were there to greet passengers, and on the outbound flight, Michael and Jennel were there getting ready! Their smiles were good omen for the wonderful flight to come!

http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0190_zps661e41a8.jpg

http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0449_zpsc52276f1.jpg

Cabin shot:
Of course the plane still has that new car smell and the new interior looks impressive. The Mint cabin looks smart
Here are some shots of the Mint cabin:
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0192_zps553d8076.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0204_zpsc5e4e1bb.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0206_zpse7fb904d.jpg
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http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0218_zpseef7430e.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0230_zpsc766714f.jpg

I had also taken advantage of the slowness of boarding and took a few pictures of the CORE cabin, aka economy class. I immediately notice the adjustable headrest, and will review its core product when I fly it next Wednesday.

http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0193_zps45773751.jpg
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http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0200_zpsd746151c.jpg

My seat 4A from LAX to JFK
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0221_zps8ce3ff04.jpg
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http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0222_zps8e7766c3.jpg

My seat 2A from JFK to LAX
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0452_zpsf73ef814.jpg

At each seat, there is a welcome card signed by the F/As, as well as a pair of headset, a snooze kit (same as those passed out in coach on redeye flights), a pillow, and a duvet blanket.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0224_zps16c41616.jpg
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Zack & Sandra on the return
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0454_zps8213f11d.jpg

Detailed look into the new center/solo “suites”
Right side – there is a big cabinet that can hold a laptop and some small gadgets. There are two smaller storage pockets – one for headsets and one for cell phone. There is also a personal lamp, as well as a bottle water holder. Full sized bottled waters are provided in Mint.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0233_zps7d6f1ada.jpg
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http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0227_zps95a6140d.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0231_zps3f8d324b.jpg

On the side panel, there is a seat control panel, as well as a covered entertainment control headset. No touch screen yet!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0249_zps068dce35.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0250_zpsfa0e50c1.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0252_zps34da59e7.jpg

Magazine pocket – no inflight magazine and safety card and “FLYFI” instruction card
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0237_zps686f679d.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0247_zps2d1f69f1.jpg

The Suite has this unique sliding door, but if you expect a fully enclosed suite like Emirates or Singapore Airlines, it is not like that at all. It is more like a gimmick to be honest and I personally care less about the sliding doors. I am actually concerned on how these doors will be maintained down the road, when the planes were used heavily. You can possibly tell from the pictures that anyone can look into the suites from outside, but the only good thing is that you will not stare into anyone when you are in a full flat position sleeping. You feel you have a bit more privacy.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0274_zps2da118f2.jpg
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Tray Table – nicely stored on the side – and they are swiveling. It is a nice design and does not take up too much space!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0275_zps8026c490.jpg
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http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0277_zps653e007d.jpg

On the left side, there are the promised double power outlets!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0228_zps295a59ba.jpg

Another cool feature of the seats (every seat has this button!) – service button.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0288_zps1f6c27fc.jpg

If you want service, you can press the button and the F/A will wake you up for any meal/snack service. If you don’t want service, just keep it off and the F/A will not wake you up!

Personal TV was on front, and there was another literature pocket below the TV
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0458_zpsb64f12a0.jpg

Shoe storage on the left side of the TV
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0457_zps8c4cff36.jpg

Small space for feet – well the space is not as bad Delta’s Boeing 767-400ERs or SN Brussels Airlines’ Airbus A330-200s, but you possibly want to remove your shoes before doing the lie-flat positions.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0459_zpscb95a9fd.jpg
 
Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2177
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:07 am

Welcome Service!
JetBlue has a dedicated team of F/As that will serve Mint, and it is evidenced that personalized service will be their major emphasis. There are two F/As that will serve the Mint cabin, and for the initial period, there will be a third F/A helping out in the mint cabin. For core, there will be two F/As, and since I have yet to fly the new core product, I am not sure how having only two F/As serving Y will affect the service. I will report back next week! For the outbound flight, Michael was serving my section, and on the return, Zack was serving my section. The second F/A was Jennel, and on the return, Sandra was the second F/A with Jeffrey as the third helper. Jeffrey was the Mint F/A on the inaugural flight from JFK to LAX. The F/As will do two rounds of service prior to takeoff, which is a struggle with boarding going on. Each F/A is assigned to half of the cabin, and both Michael and Zeke did a personal welcome first, and I was addressed by my names. They immediately offered to hang jacket, helped with carryon, as there would be no under-seat storage on all mint seats, and asked if I wanted my mint lemonade cocktail with or without vodka. Menus were then offered together with the mint cocktail. The F/As made an effort to remind passengers that the menus are created by Saxon + Parole, a restaurant in East Village, NYC, and you can choose three out of five of the tapas dishes. The service was personal and warm. Of course they are new to the job and are obviously excited about this premium product. The mint lemonade cocktail was delicious and served in plastic, but at least looked fancy!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0259_zps9e22c7f3.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0261_zpsd71a45d6.jpg

Menu
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0256_zps75d3043d.jpg

Rachel McCarthy did a welcome message at LAX before door was closed!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0263_zpsb5b41566.jpg

Flight information:
Both flights took off on time and arrived early. From LAX to JFK, flying time was four hours and fifty-one minutes, and from JFK to LAX, flying time was five hours and twenty-three minutes. We were blessed with good wind conditions and both airports did not experience congestions and weather problems on both days. I almost felt that the flight was too short to enjoy all the amenities!

Shortly after takeoff at LAX – just a beautiful day here in LA
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0271_zps78ece052.jpg

Service:
After we passed 10,000feet, the Mint F/As made another personal introduction and asking each passenger if they need them to retrieve their bags from the overhead bins, which were a nice gesture, and also to introduce the seats to each passenger, and telling them about the functions of the seats, as well as how to use the “service” button. They are very proud of JetBlue and “Mint,” and you can feel their enthusiasms. The real test will be in six months, if this enthusiasm can sustain. But for now, there is nothing you can critique on the service, which is friendly and genuine. After that introduction, there was a hot towel service, and then beverage orders were taken. Here is the full beverage list!

Red, whites & JetBlue
Wines on this menu are carefully selected by Josh Wesson, our award-winning sommelier. This season’s selection showcases a variety of West Coast favorites and will impress even the pickiest of palates. Whether you’re a fan of deeply flavored red or cool, crisp whites, we’re certain you’ll be grapeful for each delicious sip.

White Wine
Joel Gott Pinot Gris, 2013, Wilamette valley, OR
A perfectly balanced Pinto Grits that punches above its weight

Honig Sauvignon Blanc, 2013, Napa Valley, CA
A crisp, clean, relentlessly refreshing Sauvignon Blanc

Red Wine
Meomi Pinot Noir, 2012, North and Central Coasts, CA
A stylish, silky and deeply flavored Pinot Noir

Qupe Syrah, 2012, Central Coast, CA
A suave and subtly spiced Syrah

Sparkling Wine
Argyle Brut, Wilamette Valley, OR
A sophisticated and supremely elegant sparkling wine

Liquor
Bacardi Rum
Bombay Sapphire Gin
Dewar’s White Label Scotch Whisky
Finlandia Vodka
Jack Daniel’s Whisky

Beer
Blue Moon
Brooklyn Brewery Summer Ale
Bud Light
Corona Extra
Heineken
Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Coffees & Teas
Dunkin’ Donut Coffee Original & Decaf
Rishi Tea Flavors: Chamomile Medley, Early Grey, Jasmine Green, Peppermint Rooibos

For the outbound flight from JFK to LAX, I went with Coke Zero, and I was offered a lime garnish!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0304_zpsaae507fe.jpg

An amuse bouche was offered at the same time! The chilled carrot & ginger soup with marshmallow tasted excellent and the marshmallow added a nice texture to the thick cold soup.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0303_zps85b68547.jpg

More Mint Lemonade Vodka Cocktail – served in a proper glass and I could drink this all day long.
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From LAX to JFK, I asked for an OJ and a cup of peppermint rooibos tea. I love the extra container for used tea bags, and JetBlue definitely pays attention to these small details, considered most US airlines just throw you a plastic cup.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0463_zpsdf2726d3.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0464_zps3dd42d70.jpg

Food:
After the beverage service, entrée orders were then taken, and you can choose three out of the five items. As expected there was no linen service and a small piece of paper was placed on the tray. Honestly it looks cute, but serves zero function. The meal is served on a tray anyway and the tray is larger than the placemat. For the dessert tray, which is smaller, it makes the tray look cuter! But it really serves no purpose, so it might be better to go without! Linen is expensive so I can live without, especially if it will increase the costs significantly.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0310_zps2e8ee90a.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0309_zpsfca8a73b.jpg

Here is the lunch menu:
Eastbound LAX to JFK
June/July Menu from Saxon + Parole

Welcome Taste
Its app-y hour!
Chilled carrot & ginger soup
With cilantro & a spicy marshmallow
*Signature Saxon + Parole dish
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0305_zps513f767f.jpg

Delish Dishes
Step up to the plaste(s) & choose three. Please note: The first two dishes are served cold.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0311_zps129cdbc5.jpg

A cold olive baguette was served!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0320_zpsd28c4842.jpg

Portobello mushroom mousse
With truffles, whiskey jelly & crostini
*Signature Saxon + Parole dish
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0313_zpsaea0c01b.jpg

Corn custard & poached lobster
With corn salad & pickled chili peppers
*Signature Saxon + Parole dish
This is definitely my favorite dish out of the three tapas that I have selected.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0314_zps675bc261.jpg

Roasted Atlantic Cod
In a tomato-caper broth with white beans & fennel
*Signature Saxon + Parole dish

Ribeye & fingerling potatoes
With caramelized mushrooms & a balsamic-ginger reduction
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0315_zps842b1c80.jpg

Fontina-stuffed gnocchi
With creamed leeks & black truffle

Plastic salt & pepper shakers with butter
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0322_zps5d6da2a1.jpg

Sweet Bites
Don’t desert dessert!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0325_zps65a3223d.jpg

Seasonal Fruit Salad
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0327_zps7b9266d9.jpg
I love this fruit salad and some of the best fruit plate featured in 35,000feet.

Organic mint chocolate chip ice cream
Blue Marble Ice Cream, Brooklyn, New York
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0334_zps650ce525.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0335_zpsb8d92c61.jpg

Cute dessert sized utensils
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0332_zps69eabdc3.jpg

Return flight from JFK to LAX
Same procedures – beverage & amuse bouche, and then entrée with bread, and then dessert with hot beverage

Welcome Taste
Its app-y hour!
Toasted brioche
With peppers, cucumbers, & goat cheese
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0465_zpseee01fbb.jpg

Delish Dishes
Step up to the plaste(s) & choose three. Please note: The first two dishes are served cold.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0467_zps89603dcc.jpg

Classic Muesli
Mixed with Greek yogurt, fruit & toasted coconut

Watermelon Salad
With feta, basil, & toasted pumpkin seeds
*Signature Saxon + Parole Dish

Creamy Scrambled Eggs
Served with slab bacon, ratatouille, & grilled sourdough
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0469_zps2e3d82e3.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0473_zps6c9d67cf.jpg

Cheese & chive biscuit sandwich
With pork sausage, scrambled eggs & pimento cheese
*Signature Saxon + Parole Dish
Zack highly recommended this dish, which was not disappointing.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0470_zps76c819e2.jpg

Buttery French Toast
With figs, toasted pecans & syrups
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0471_zps665aa09d.jpg

Unfortunately another cold croissant was served with the main entrée tray! JetBlue really needs to warm your breads!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0472_zpsfe36a7c2.jpg

Sweet Bites
Don’t desert dessert!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0482_zps58cb6d3a.jpg

Seasonal Fruit Salad
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0483_zpsc96e0dac.jpg

Lemon honey Sorbet
Blue Marble Ice Cream, Brooklyn, New York
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0484_zpsf91a77e5.jpg

The quality of the food was really good and Saxon+Parole did a pretty good job introducing some interesting dishes. I was not expecting a multiple course meal based on the price JetBlue is charging, and compared to other four airlines flying this route with a premium cabin, Delta is still my number one choice for catering, as Michael Chiarello is an excellent chef and is obviously aware of the challenging conditions serving food at 34,000feet. Delta also has the more extravagant breakfast service too. But JetBlue’s food is just as good as, if not better, than American Airlines’ and United Airlines’ boring selections, as well as Virgin America’s lack of choice and sometimes a bit too innovative food choices.

In paper, three out of five tapas is a good idea but in reality, some of the hot dishes get cold faster. Airlines do three courses because it is a bit easier to control the temperature, and I cannot accept cold bread rolls in premium cabin. The oven looks smaller than other airlines, so it might be difficult to serve warmed rolls too. However if they can’t warm the breads, I don’t see the point of serving them. Cold bread rolls are very chewy especially at 30,000feet, unless they use those special packaging used by ANA or JAL. For the lunch menu on the return, it will be nice to see two cold dishes that offer different texture. Both the mushroom terrine and lobster custard are mousse like, and are very heavy. It might be better to serve one mousse like cold dish, and maybe a more proper salad for the second cold dish choice. Anyway, the quantity might look rather small, but in reality, it is pretty filling. The dessert tray is impressive but hopefully they will introduce cake/pastry type of dessert during the winter months. But definitely keep that fruit salad – so delicious. There are still a few things that JetBlue can improve without breaking the bank. Warming breads will be a nice touch, and I hope they will introduce selections from bakery and restaurants from San Francisco and Los Angeles in the future too. I love the concept of using products from local restaurant and stores, and keep it up. For those who are curious, JetBlue is actually catering 16 dishes of each dish now, so no one should be disappointed that their selections are not available. However I cannot foresee that JetBlue will continue doing it for long, but the airline needs to find out what is popular and what is not popular, and what works and what does not work at 34,000feet. It will be nice to provide pre-order selection in the future, but as long as they are keeping the printed menus, I am happy.

Bircher Box amenity kit was passed out after the main meal service! The F/A once again took the time explaining what Bircher Box is, which is a company selling these beauty and cosmetic products. It is an online service. The samples are actually quite unique and definitely not some cheap stuff used in many other airlines’ amenity kits. Some people don’t like the box design, but it has a Mint string bag once you open the box. It is okay.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0355_zps79396adc.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0363_zps176c384d.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0364_zps07e197f0.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0365_zpsb2667ee2.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0361_zps4b27dbb5.jpg

Full-sized bottled water – Dasani is still JetBlue’s preferred brand.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0370_zpsa542bb45.jpg

Now let examine the seats in detail!
Seat in takeoff and landing position:
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0336_zpsf2990713.jpg

Seat in preset relax position:
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0490_zps76d1c6e5.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0493_zps6a2dbced.jpg

Seat in full flat position
The seats will go full flat with no sliding!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0295_zpsf973fe57.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0339_zpsb5149e53.jpg

Seat in full flat position with the new mint pillow and blanket
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0346_zpsdcbf21b6.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0341_zps93422c3a.jpg

The new updated in-flight entertainment system: there is no touch-screen function, although JetBlue is planning it in the near future. The control panel is a bit slow in response rate, but acceptable. I just hope that JetBlue can provide a guide telling people functions of the buttons. On the plus side, JetBlue has upgraded the entertainment system of the whole plane (both Mint and Core) with 200+ channels of Direct TV, Sirrius XM with an ATC channel to be activated in a future date, JetBlue Plus featureing short pre-recorded television programs, and JetBlue Features, which is basically the movie channels, as well as a Map Channel, which does not feature any major upgrades from the current version seen on the newer A320s and E190s. Anyway with FLY-FI, I can track my flight anyway using flightradar24, and I sort of wish that JetBlue will use the same Google maps used on Virgin America’s “RED”.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0281_zps1db1a140.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0282_zps923963ca.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0283_zps79f0fea1.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0286_zps6f4abb4b.jpg

However the biggest problem with the entertainment system is not the upgraded programs, but the quality of the headsets! This pair of headsets is truly the most uncomfortable pair you can find anywhere. You have to wear them by hanging them on the back of your head. My English is not good enough to explain it and hopefully some of you, who used them, can do a better job. They are tight and you cannot adjust it, and it gets really uncomfortable after 30 minutes. Plus it is not noise canceling! I know it is an expensive item to provide, but maybe JetBlue can find a cheaper version or work with some companies, who can promote their noise-canceling headsets on letting passengers trying them out on these long transcontinental markets.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0287_zpsb45f7140.jpg

FLY-FI is available, and in the beta stage, there are two different options: One is free and the speed is pretty good. I used what’s app with no issues, sending images, checking emails, tracking my flights, and I can use all the social media pages with no issues – reading, tweeting, and uploading pictures. The other option is a super fast FLY-FI Fast that costs $9 per hour, and you can watch youtube and it is pretty amazing. This is the best in-flight Internet to date.


Another brilliant invention of the Mint configured A321 is the “In-flight Marketplace,” which features a mini fridge filled with soft drinks and mini bottled waters, and yes they are chilled. There are snack cabinets on the side cabinets providing unlimited serving of all the current snacks offered at JetBlue. Coach service honestly cannot be any better than this marketplace.

Still closed – but the lights work better for photos
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0290_zps604ccca6.jpg

The marketplace will open after first service is completed in coach/core. The F/A will make an announcement.
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0497_zps234753b8.jpg

Amazing fridge – not only a cabinet, but a real refrigerator keeping drinks chilled! What more can you ask for in domestic coach product these days!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0495_zpsad58c55b.jpg
 
lpdal
Posts: 1961
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:49 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:19 am

Hey Carfield and WOW! JetBlue has done phenomenally on this new Mint service! 

I was trying to book a mint seat but I think the engine must have had a technical glitch--flights with available Mint seats could not be booked, each Mint seat/suite was already "occupied" despite the square being green for available. I'm sure this minor hiccups have been corrected--and wow, JetBlue, you're really giving AA, UA, VS, and DL a run for their money here!!

If you don't mind me asking, what were the prices to reserve a mint suite or seat?

Thanks again!!  

-LPDAL
All of my views and posted content are mine alone, and should not be viewed as official communication from my employer, its subsidiaries thereof, or any other entities or airlines.
 
Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2177
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:00 am

Baggage delivery
Some of the agents might be forgetful but if you are flying Mint, please make sure that they attached this green tag to your luggage. My plane at JFK parked at gate 19 at 9:59pm, and my baggage was already in the baggage claim by 10:10pm. I was shocked on how this was even remotely possible.

http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0382_zps2ec42459.jpg

The situation in LA was less impressive, but LAX was not its hub and Terminal Three was just not the most efficient place in LAX. But all the priority tag baggage came out first, and the plane was parked at gate 33B at 12:20pm, and baggage started to come out at 12:34pm. It was really not bad at all. If JetBlue kept up this delivery speed, I would not hesitate to check in baggage in the future or make sure I fly JetBlue if I need to check in bags. Other than Virgin America, American, Delta, and United have been very inconsistent with baggage delivery, and American Airlines is particularly bad in JFK with waiting time up to 30 minutes. I really give JetBlue credits for that amazing baggage delivery speed in JFK, and let hope it will be able to maintain it in the future when you have a full schedule of ten to twelve daily Mint flights!

Mileage Accural
TrueBlue is honestly the weakest part of the overall JetBlue experience and I even rank it below Sky Pesos (Delta’s Sky Miles), and there is no bonus points given on Mint flights. JetBlue will give double TrueBlue points beginning July till September 30, but there is no long-term bonus. Given the lack of redemption partners and high price for many awards, I think JetBlue needs to give bonus points, and most importantly, some bonus elite-qualifying points. TrueBlue Mosaic program is not the world’s best elite program, so JetBlue needs to give some incentives for people to make an effort to get Mosaic. However I don’t want any upgrade programs because the product is not expensive now and I don’t want the product to get watered down, especially it is not a fancy product to begin with. If the sales are not going too strong, just do a few $499 promotions. If upgrades are inevitable, please then do a cash upgrade like Virgin America and make sure those cash will count towards TrueBlue points, which is one weak point on Virgin America’s current cash upgrade program. Give Mosaic an earlier upgrade window too, but let just try not to do upgrades now!

In conclusion, I am impressed with JetBlue’s Mint, especially the price that it is charging now. With $599 one way, JetBlue can really capture a particular market for the upper middle class sector. People can afford a fancy flight once a while without breaking the bank. The solo suites are nice but I am not sure if JetBlue can install a high surcharge on them, especially the small space for the feet. It might be better to keep it as first come, first serve basis. The width is the same on the suites, as the regular seats. To me the most urgent issue is the poor headset quality and the lack of TrueBlue bonus points by flying Mint. I almost want JetBlue to just give Mint passengers the headsets that they are selling at the gates now, and if you don’t want to pay for noise-canceling, that is fine with me, but at least give a pair of comfortable headsets that have been proven to work. From LAX to JFK, the F/As made a fuss on collecting headsets before landing, and I don’t think anyone in the right mind will take them home. For the big 3, I don’t think Mint will steal too many passengers from them, especially they still have some lucrative contracts with corporations and involve worldwide destinations, and JetBlue will never provide those Five Star Concierge service for some high profile VIP passengers, who need personal escorts and fancy lounges. However Virgin America should be concerned because I don’t think anyone in the right mind will spend $1000+ on a slightly tiring first class product with inconsistent service. The improvement that was installed in the spring is not sufficient for Virgin America. I can see a price war between JetBlue and Virgin America, once Mint is firmly flown on every JetBlue LAX/SFO to JFK flights. For frequent AA/DL/UA flyers, especially corporate flyers that need lounges & fancier meals, JetBlue’s “Mint” might not be enough for them and I don’t think JetBlue is aiming for them. But for cost conscious passengers, this product can be good and successful. I think the real test for Mint is in six months. These seats are fancy but maintenance will be tricky. Given how tiring JetBlue’s coach products quickly get on some of these A320s, it is a legitimate concern especially some of the components are a bit on the light weight side. JetBlue has its share of good and bad F/As and can F/As maintain that enthusiasm down the road? Some premium passengers are even more demanding than what JetBlue F/As might be used to. JetBlue should send more ‘undercover” staffs in monitoring the service, or else it will fall into the inconsistent wagon that Virgin America suffers now. I have originally purchased one more Mint flight on June 30, but since I want to fly the People Express inaugural that same day, I will move that flight to October and that will give me a real telling no how Mint can proceed. Anyway I just want to thank Michael, Jennel, Zeke, Sandra, Jeffrey, and Marc for a wonderful JetBlue experience!

PS. I will fly its core product next week and will just add a small section to this trip report next week.

My seat next Wednesday, 6A
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0203_zps1731fbf0.jpg
 
Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2177
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:01 am

Price:

I paid $499 for both ways, as I bought this ticket during the launch period.

I believe that the price is $599 one way for now, and $999 for fully refundable!

The suites does not cost anything extra for now! JetBlue may put a surcharge on the suites in the future, but it should remain free at least till the end of the year!

Carfield
 
JBLUA320
Posts: 3081
Joined: Mon May 27, 2002 8:51 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:11 am

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
JetBlue’s A321-200 Sharklet, N923JB “It’s Mint to Be” flew both flights. N934JB is the second mint-configured plane and has been parking outside the JetBlue hangar, but I believe N923JB is the only Mint A321 being used now. N923JB was delivered to JetBlue on February 21, 2014. Maybe someone at JetBlue can answer my question regarding a spare mint A321 for now, and when the second Mint A321 will be ready.

Thanks for flying with us, Carfield! I'm glad you enjoyed your Mint experience and I will definitely relay your message and ideas to our team.

As for your question above, N929JB "One Giant Leap for Mint Kind" is the next aircraft in sequence and is in Orlando. That aircraft will be ready to fly in just a few days! The third aircraft, N934, is at JFK for pre-operation inspections and we only recently took delivery of that tail.
 
767747
Posts: 2211
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:35 am

Wow, great report, Carfield!

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
However, if you are expecting flagship American Airlines service, Mint is definitely not it, but for $599 one way, the product is more than adequate. My comments are based on the fact that JetBlue is still somewhat structured as a low-cost airline, not the traditional airline! When you read it, please keep in mind that some of the items might not be okay if I am paying $1100 one way. If JetBlue is reading it, please keep that perspective – a low cost airline premium product that is selling at $599 one way, and the more you raises the price, my expectation will be different. For those who don’t want to read a long report, here is the link to the photo album. There are many pictures but you can zoom into the one you like!

Mint looks awesome. I'm very impressed with the quality of service and I'd love to try them sometime.

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
Cabin shot:
Of course the plane still has that new car smell and the new interior looks impressive. The Mint cabin looks smart
Here are some shots of the Mint cabin:

Great looking cabin.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 1):
More Mint Lemonade Vodka Cocktail – served in a proper glass and I could drink this all day long.

Looks good!

Wow, food look awesome too, and similar in look to a Virgin America type presentation.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
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kann123air
Posts: 1604
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:35 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:41 am

Probably the most thorough TR I've ever read. Very nice!
Going for great
 
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Jetsgo
Posts: 2737
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:44 am

Wow what a report on an equally impressive hard product from B6! Hard to believe how far transcon premium cabins have come in the past couple years.
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
Womack17
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:49 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:21 am

I thoroughly enjoyed your detailed trip report. Can't wait to read the economy comparison TR
Oh how I miss Midway Airlines. A class act right to then end.
 
jetwet1
Posts: 2948
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:32 pm

Quoting Carfield (Reply 3):
However Virgin America should be concerned because I don’t think anyone in the right mind will spend $1000+ on a slightly tiring first class product with inconsistent service. The improvement that was installed in the spring is not sufficient for Virgin America. I can see a price war between JetBlue and Virgin America

That was my first thought as well, the products are to similar not to end up in some type of battle for the same customers.

I will say though, on B6 the food just doesn't cut it for me, while I understand the thought process behind the tapas, but on a trans con flight a real meal would work better, if I am remembering correctly, VX started their trans cons with a tapas menu in first and have since switched to a more traditional meal service.
 
zrs70
Posts: 3717
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:23 pm

Once again, Carfield, I was on this inaugural as well with you (as I was on the ORH flight! Will you be going to HYA next week?)

Agree about the headphones.

My issue with the meal is that both meat items are pork. That needs to change!
19 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2019
 
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xaapb
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2005 2:08 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 3:45 pm

Thanks for shareing Carfield!!

That Mint service looks fantastic, I really enjoyed reading your TR. Looking forward for to read for TR from you!

Greetings.
Jorge Meneses
 
EddieDude
Posts: 6997
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:19 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 4:09 pm

Great report and great product! I am interested in trying it hehe.

I love Saxon + Parole btw. One of the most delicious places to eat in lower Manhattan.
Upcoming flights:
May: AM MEX-CUN 73H (Y), AM CUN-MEX 73W (Y).
August: KL MEX-AMS 74M (J), KQ AMS-NBO 788 (J).
 
gabrielchew
Posts: 3809
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:35 pm

Super report on a very nice looking product. At $599 o/w it seems to be very competitvely priced as well. The food looks very appetising.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: AMS-RIX-BUD-VDA,ETH-TLV-FCO-LHR,STN-TXL-LCY,LTN-CPH-LTN,LGW-SZG,MUC-LHR
 
rockyracoon
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:58 pm

Really fantastic. Thanks for the post, I was eager to see what Mint had to offer.
Airports I've flown from: CVG PIT MWO PHL PHX ORD DCA IAD MIA TPA MCO FLL ATL DTW DFW SJC LAX DEN SLC LAS HNL LIH OGG YVR MUC ICN NRT PVG SHA SZX MNL PPS CRK BKK DMK KBV EOH MDE CLO CTG SMR BOG ACD MEX CUN MID AUA SAL RTB
 
Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2177
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:59 pm

Thanks for all your kind comments!

About catering, Virgin America started the tapas concept but they still went with the traditional three course meals. But they chose to serve the starter from these small plastic containers and presented them as tapas. The entree was still served in a traditional casserole dish, and the dessert was once again served in these small plastic containers, that honestly looked a bit cheap. They pretty much went back to the traditional concept within a year. For JetBlue, the meals are sufficient based on this $599 price tag. That is why I said, the more the price went up, the more I will expect from the catering. I did not even realize that there are so much pork involved but hopefully JetBlue could fix them. I saw people ordering Kosher meals though.

zrs70... yes I will be on the Hyannis inaugural flight and please say hi this time if you are flying this inaugural. I will be in 13A from JFK to HYS and in 12A on the return from HYS to JFK.

BTW I forgot to add this part to my trip! I actually think JetBlue should consider using Mint on their expanding South American flights, and I will actually consider using JetBlue to fly to Lima, considered LAN was really not great in the service department, despite those fancy seats and planes.

Anyway I am curious on how the new CORE product is on the Mint A321. I honestly will not expect much in addition to the current service, but I am curious on how the fresh buy on board food tastes, as well as the speed of service. Two F/As have to manage 143 passengers, instead of three F/As for 150 passengers.

Thanks again for all your kind words!

Carfield
 
nelsony
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:48 am

Hi Carfeld,
that was a wonderful trip report!

Its fantastic to see more and more US airlines upgrading their business class. Our friends who fly Euro Business would be green with envy.

The new Mint product looks very competitive and I think lots of solo travelers would be scrambling for that "suite" with a door seat.

$599 one way is pretty competitive too! thats cheaper than Virgin America First Class.

And the catering looks quirky, allowing you to chose 3 tapas style meals. and Kudos for Jetblue for including an all American wine list, supporting the local wine makers!
 
roberts87
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:39 pm

Hello Carfeld,

What a great trip report! Very nice to read about JetBlue's new Mint service, I was very curious about this. It looks they have a great product for sure! Thanks for sharing!
 
ardian
Posts: 506
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2000 3:15 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:45 pm

Terrific trip report Carfield. Thank you very much for sharing it with us! This new product from jetBlue looks very promising. I like the attention to detail you incorporate with your trip reports, and your objective and well thought remarks. From a marketing and branding point of view; I really think jetBlue is absolutely doing the right things.
 
laca773
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:10 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:46 pm

Quoting Carfield (Reply 16):
TW I forgot to add this part to my trip! I actually think JetBlue should consider using Mint on their expanding South American flights, and I will actually consider using JetBlue to fly to Lima, considered LAN was really not great in the service department, despite those fancy seats and planes.

Anyway I am curious on how the new CORE product is on the Mint A321. I honestly will not expect much in addition to the current service, but I am curious on how the fresh buy on board food tastes, as well as the speed of service. Two F/As have to manage 143 passengers, instead of three F/As for 150 passengers.

I think this service would sell well on B6s service to BOG, LIM. There are many who fly to both cities that would pay for this service.

Quoting Carfield (Reply 1):
Bircher Box amenity kit was passed out after the main meal service! The F/A once again took the time explaining what Bircher Box is, which is a company selling these beauty and cosmetic products. It is an online service. The samples are actually quite unique and definitely not some cheap stuff used in many other airlines’ amenity kits. Some people don’t like the box design, but it has a Mint string bag once you open the box. It is okay.

I think this is a really neat concept that they are using with the Bircher Box. I have joined Bircher Box, and have been impressed with the products they sent out each month. I got a leather "J-Fold" business card holder, along with several nice deluxe samples for $20. The leather card case alone retails for $39!
It's nice B6 is offering this as a treat to the premium customer. Bircher Box will get new customers from this service. Perhaps B6 might consider selling them in the main cabin. Remember the days B6 handed out sleepy eye kits fro skin care company "Bliss"?They were nice.

Thank you for another incredible TR, Carfield. I appreciate you in depth, insight as to what is happening. I hope those in charge @ B6 see your report, or perhaps email it to them. They will definitely appreciate this I'm sure. I will say the food looks better than anything UA serves on their "p.s." service anymore. It will be hard for anyone to eat DL's catering in this market. They are doing a fantastic job with it, and generally the DL crews are the best when comparing to the rest, on a consistent basis.
 
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dirktraveller
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:48 am

Hi Carfield,

Awesome trip report on Jetblue Mint. Having heard about them recently and it was a great overview on their in-flight offerings. Nice to see a small celebration on the inaugural Mint service.

The suites looks good for a price of $499 (or $599 on regular period) on trans-con flight. The meal offerings, seat comfort, and even the amenity kits sure looks attractive enough to lure people from legacy carriers competing on the route.

I was wondering how much was Economy? Did the service in Mint coach classes same as regular Jetblue?

Many thanks for the TR, surely been an interesting insight into Jetblue Mint  .

Best Regards,
Dirktraveller
 
AR385
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Tue Jun 24, 2014 6:28 pm

Thank you for the report. Very detailed and thorough. Also very neat format, chapterlike.

Seems Mint is a fantastic product. Jetblue should consider making it available to its South America flights. They could get incredibly high yields with such a product on those routes, and with that cabin, consider going to deep South America. Even mid haul flights, like JFK to MEX if they ever launch it, would set them way above the competition.
 
Carfield
Topic Author
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Thu Jun 26, 2014 6:19 am

The new “Core” is great, but a bad “Even More Speed” seat…
As promised, here is a brief report on the new coach experiences on the Mint-configured A321, which is known as the “Core” experiences! In general, nothing really changed in the transcontinental service in the back, and compared to other competitors, JetBlue is really the best out of all four airlines flying between LAX and JFK. One can argue Delta is offering free sandwich wraps and ice cream bars in economy comfort, but for the regular economy cabin, there are really nothing much in offer, other than the possibility of buying a warmed meal. However the new Core service was not perfect and the seat map of the Mint configured A321s are really misleading, and despite row 18 is an exit row, it is not the same as the typical over-wing A320 windows that really don’t affect your space. I was not even going to say much but the pictures would possibly tell you the whole story on why I was very upset about the flight.

June 25, 2014
B6 324 LAX-JFK Lv1325 Arr2158 Airbus A321-200Sharklet N923JB “It’s Mint to Be” Prism Livery

Let see how things run after the Mint service has started for a week, and today was definitely a test, as east coast faced some weather disruption. Boston was more affected, as its 11:15pm had a two hours ground delay. New York JFK was relatively less affected, but our flying time of five hours and thirty-six minutes was longer than normal, as we need to divert around weather.

Boarding went smooth and the inbound flight arrived early, which allowed us to board at 12:50pm. There were three gate agents so things ran smoothly. The order was the same: Wheelchair → Mint/Mosaic → Even More Speed/Space → Pre-board (families) → Regular boarding by rows. Door was closed at 1:20pm. However we were placed on a ground hold for thirty minutes. We finally took off at 2:06pm from R/W24L.

There were three F/As in the Core cabin – Jason and Lisa were the main F/As, and Chad was third F/A helping in both Mint and Core for the initial period. The service was definitely slower than other A320 flights, so I am sort of worried when the Core cabin only had two F/As. But then it is a transcontinental flight and there are plenty of times. The service procedure began with selling pillows/blankets/headsets at 2:28pm. But unlike other flights, buy on board food was not offered till Lisa and Jason took beverage order at 2:47pm. Buy on board food orders were taken at the same time and I got my turkey croissant. Then Lisa and Jason passed out the ordered meals and took payments, and the actual beverage service was delivered on 3:24pm. Chad then came around with snack basket at 3:30pm.

Inflight marketplace was opened after service wrapped up in Core, and I observed that the F/As replenished the markeplace a few times. But nobody was raiding them, but bottled waters and Cokes were popular. Throughout the flights, the F/As came around frequently and many passengers were buying alcohols. The three F/As were friendly and the service was top notch.

Second service began at 6:12pmPST/9:12pmEST, and there was a “hot towel” (well more like wetnap) service after the beverage service was completed. Previously hot towels were only offered on the redeye flights. It is a unique Mint service.

Descent began at 10:12pm EST, and we landed on R/W22L at 10:42pm. Despite stopping closed to gate 24, we were not towed into the gate till 11:07pm.

In conclusion, the new Mint-configured A321 really put JetBlue on a higher standard service than other airlines. Its new entertainment system, and Fly-Fi are nice additions, and power outlets are nice. However, JetBlue should not label Row 18 as an Even More Space seat, as the exit door really intruded into the space of the window passengers. The passenger on 18F was very upset too, as the door really reduced our shoulder room. If you are flying regular economy seat, please avoid row 17, as the window seat will face the same issues. I hope you enjoy this JetBlue Mint series, and the next report will be on JetBlue’s inaugural flight to Hyannis/Cape Cod on June 26.

Here are the pictures:
More cabin pictures of the new “Core” seats

My original seat 6ABC
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0524_zps6e82f343.jpg

Even more space
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0525_zps2eaf4ddf.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0526_zps6859643a.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0527_zps89514890.jpg

Even more space – Row 19
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0534_zps78bbb651.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0535_zps520cf88c.jpg

Regular seat
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0528_zpsd8cfeb09.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0529_zpsda8bbbf3.jpg

Horrible Row 17
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0530_zps6b54371e.jpg

Horrible 18EF on Even More Space cabin
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0533_zpscb307ca3.jpg

The shock of my day – 18ABC
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0531_zps2856400d.jpg

Aft Core cabin
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0532_zpse38118c4.jpg

Cabin shot from back to front
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0536_zps8da26dc8.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0539_zps47d117df.jpg

Why Row 18 was bad!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0540_zps91bc01cd.jpg

Door blocking space
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0541_zps90800c66.jpg

Limited shoulder room
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0552_zps510337cf.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0555_zps5cc5a828.jpg

Limited under seat storage
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0545_zpsf835cf1e.jpg

Features of seats:
Adjustable headrest
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0553_zpsd346adda.jpg

Power outlet
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0547_zps45ce6e27.jpg

Redesigned seat pocket
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0546_zpsc017a754.jpg

Pocket for bottled water – nice design
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0580_zps0497fca6.jpg

View from the small porthole on the A321 over-wing door
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0550_zps7001ff46.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0576_zpse3958864.jpg

My choice of Buy On Board Food – Turkey croissant with fruit salad
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0560_zps7bb9919a.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0563_zpsd8829de7.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0565_zpsa2b545a1.jpg
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0564_zps535b1e45.jpg

Yes JetBlue offers Pineapple Juice
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0573_zpsd9b2608f.jpg

Snacks – Blue Chips and Popcorner Chips
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0567_zps087349c5.jpg

In-flight Marketplace
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0568_zpsfece15e7.jpg

Fridge made by BE Aerospace
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0570_zps587f1727.jpg


Thanks for reading trip report!
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc465/Carfield76/JetBlueMintInauguralB6324LAXJFK06152014J/IMG_0577_zpsc4925486.jpg

Carfield

PS. Economy is priced as normal and there are no surcharges on flying Mint A321s.
 
slcdeltarumd11
Posts: 4402
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RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:38 pm

Jetblue and AA products on this route look amazing! If i was Delta, United, or Virgin America i would be very worried about loosing customers and/or seeing my fares go down alot.
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4277
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Mon Jul 14, 2014 12:14 pm

Thanks for taking the time with the report. I loved Mint ... but will talk about my own experience in a bit ...

Quoting Carfield (Thread starter):
marketplace will definitely set JetBlue’s coach product apart from other airlines’ transcontinental coach products. However, if you are expecting flagship American Airlines service, Mint is definitely not it, but for $599 one way, the product is more than adequate. My comments are based on the fact that JetBlue is still somewhat structured as a low-cost airline, not the traditional airline! When you read it, please keep in mind that some of the items might not be okay if I am paying $1100 one way. If JetBlue is reading it, please keep that perspective – a low cost airline premium product that is selling at $599 one way, and the more you raises the price, my expectation will be different.

= This is such a great summary of what B6's product is about, and I really do hope people (and the airline) understand it.

So, my experience with Mint has been mixed. 2 of my flights were down-gauged as the tail had satellite issues. B6 only notifies you last minute and the process is very un-cool. They do "protect" you on VX ... but really in such an important market, I think B6 should have gone in with more aircraft than a closed cycle one. Hopefully it improves soon ... but there may be people who have been turned off by this already.

Many thanks again for sharing your wonderful experience. The B6 class shines through.

Saludos,
Alex
Live, and let live.
 
Carfield
Topic Author
Posts: 2177
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 5:49 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:19 am

Sorry to hear about your experience, Alex! I hope you still get to fly Mint!

For many flyers, last minute aircraft substitution is one of the main concerns with JetBlue Mint product, and JetBlue tends to run its schedule very tight with little to spare. I am not sure if it can eventually run this full Mint A321 schedule with no spare at least at JFK. The initial schedule is very conservative with two planes flying one rotation each, but even new planes can have issues.

However I am glad that JetBlue will at least offer to protect Mint passengers on Virgin America.

Can't wait to read your report!

Carfield
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8298
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: JetBlue "Mint" Inaugural - LAX-JFK-LAX June 2014

Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:02 pm

Nice read and pictures as usual Carfield, thanks for taking these flights and sharing your experience.

Gotta say B6 have done a pretty good job with the new Mint service, the price is right for the product, I think they will do well with this new 321 service.

Cheers

Mark
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