- JetBlue Airways is expanding its Mint business class product across its route network, including to London in 2021, and just announced major upgrades to the service.
- New food and beverage offerings crafted by the Delicious Hospitality Group will be featured with menu items inspired from NYC restaurants including Charlie Bird, Legacy Records, and Pasquale Jones.
- Passengers will also receive new noise-isolating headphones, “wellness kits,” and bedding when flying Mint.
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One of the best business class products in the US just got even better.
JetBlue Airways introduced its first business class in 2014, dubbed Mint, in a major departure from its egalitarian all-economy class roots started by David Neeleman at the turn of the century. Initially flying on popular transcontinental and Caribbean routes, the cabin was an instant hit and offered a unique take on business class at a lower price point than most competitors.
Now, the service is expanding beyond just the coasts with service to 18 cities across JetBlue’s network in markets such as Newark, New Jersey, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Liberia, Costa Rica, and more. And even though the product has been given high marks by the likes of The Points Guy and Trip Advisor, JetBlue is giving the cabin a refresh with new service offerings and brand partnerships.
The update comes as JetBlue plans to fly to London in 2021 after a delayed launch due to the coronavirus pandemic. Mint will be featured on the transatlantic routes from New York and Boston and while the final product has yet to be announced, this refresh gives some insight into what travellers can expect when JetBlue does eventually launch flights to the UK.
Here’s what JetBlue flyers can expect on their next Mint flight.
New food and beverage offerings from the Delicious Hospitality Group
Want to eat at some of New York City’s best restaurants? It’s as easy as booking a flight on Mint.
JetBlue chose the Delicious Hospitality Group to guide the new onboard food and beverage offering for the new era of its business class cabin. And patrons of the New York City restaurants Charlie Bird, Legacy Records, and Pasquale Jones will recognise the food, crafted by owner Chef Ryan Hardy and inspired by the three restaurants.
The service style will remain mostly the same with guests being given a selection of small plates from which to choose. The tapas-like offering allows flyers to enjoy different flavours all in one meal, instead of just being served one large portion.
Each plate will include fresh seasonal ingredients with dishes including Charlie Bird’s iconic farro salad. Though the menu is inspired by the iconic New York City restaurants, the offering will be “non-denominational” and include a variety of different tastes as JetBlue expands Mint beyond New York.
“It’s inspired by the Mediterranean but very much American executed,” Hardy said.
The acclaimed chef pushed to have what he calls the “emergency kit,” which is a combination of minerals, oils, spices, and seasonings, including in the meal service. “I think we can really fix just about anything. If we have great salts, great olive oil, some hot pepper, and some lemon,” Hardy said, “because those are critical to the cooking that we do in our restaurants.”
After all, flying impacts the eating experience as taste buds are less effective and chefs have to account for that when crafting meals for airlines.
JetBlue will also allow passengers to choose their desired mealtime and eat when they want. It’s not quite “dine on-demand” but does give more flexibility to business travellers who want to finish up work before eating or those who want to sleep first and eat later.
Sipping a cocktail while flying in the upper altitudes is one of the staples of flying in a premium cabin and Mint’s new wine director, award-winning sommelier Grant Reynolds, is looking to elevate the onboard drinking experience beyond the standards like jack and coke with more classically-made cocktails.
Reynolds chose and crafted two cocktails for the menu. One, named “mint condition,” is almost like a mojito or Moscow mule with cucumber and ginger, and described by Reynolds as “bright and refreshing.” The other is Reynolds’ take on the classic old fashioned.
The drinks are meant to be mixed by flight attendants in shakers with ice but pandemic-related restrictions are forcing the airline to put that on hold. Reynolds and Hardy want passengers to hear the unmistakable sound of cocktails being mixed in the shaker to give the feel of being in a bar or restaurant.
And it’s not just the food and drink that will be new as the flatware and glasses they will be served in will also be updated, complementing those found at Hardy’s restaurants.
More entertainment options
Each Mint suite comes with a large high-definition in-flight entertainment perfect for watching movies or binging television shows to help pass the time. And for a more immersive experience, JetBlue tasked Master & Dynamic with creating special headphones available only to Mint passengers.
The aviation-inspired headphones are noise-isolating instead of noise-cancelling, which Master & Dynamic CEO Jonathan Levine says keeps all the quality of the audio compared to active noise-cancelling headphones. They also allow passengers to still hear announcements during the flight.
Before the flight, passengers can even download a curated Spotify playlist to accompany their meal. Music plays a large role in Hardy’s restaurants and the playlists help create an ambiance that aids the dining experience.
A new focus on sleep and wellness
Another staple of the business class cabin on which JetBlue is improving is the amenity kit. The small pouches often include essentials such as a sleep mask, socks, creams, and toothpaste.
But JetBlue is trading in the standard amenity kits for what it calls “wellness kits” developed by Wanderfuel featuring a selection of snacks, supplements, and personal care items to help passengers feel their best when flying.
“We wanted to reinvent that one size fits all concept for amenity kits and bring something that was completely different,” Wanderfuel’s CEO Cory Angelo said.
Different kits will be district used depending on the time of the flight with specially curated items aimed to enhance the experience.
Morning flights will see products intended to energize passengers, afternoon flights will see intended to rest or power through the day, and overnight flights will have products intended to help passengers have an enjoyable sleep on the flight, according to Angelo.
Flight to the Caribbean will receive a special “renewal” kit with items like sunscreen, lip balm, and facial mist.
And for when it’s time to sleep, JetBlue turned to Tuft & Needle to create a Mint-specific pillow and blanket kit to match the cabin’s lie-flat seats.
The extra-long duvet-style blanket covers even the tallest flyer with unique amenities for an aeroplane blanket. It has a pocket called the “foot nook” to keep feet during the flight and sleeves so that the blanket doesn’t fall off of the user.
Accompanying the blanket is a memory foam-lined pillow and the kit also comes with a sleep kit including socks, a sleep mask, and earplugs.
Mint 2.0 debuted on November 18 with JetBlue expecting the new service to be standard across by the end of December.
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