The Guide to JetBlue First Class

Alisha McDarrisApril 3, 2020
On a similar note...
On a similar note...

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If you were wondering if JetBlue offers a first class flying experience, you may be surprised to learn that the answer is yes. And it’s not too shabby an option, either. However, if you’re looking for seats specifically labeled “first class,” you may have a hard time finding them; the airline has dubbed their premium seats “Mint” for a more branded presentation.

But what is it like to fly in JetBlue’s first class? And is it worth it? We break it all down for you in this guide to JetBlue first class.

What to know

For starters, when you fly Mint, you’ll get a few extra perks besides more legroom and lie-flat seats. One of those perks is luggage. Of course, you’ll still be allowed one carry-on and one personal item (as are all JetBlue passengers), but you can also check two bags free.

And if you prefer to save your cash, you can opt to book Mint seats with points from TrueBlue, JetBlue’s loyalty program.

But don’t expect Mint fares to be available on every JetBlue flight; Mint is an option only on select cross-country domestic flights and travel to the Caribbean, and only from a handful of coastal destinations, including:

  • Boston.

  • New York City.

  • Seattle.

  • San Francisco.

  • Los Angeles.

  • San Diego.

  • Las Vegas.

  • Fort Lauderdale.

  • Liberia.

  • Aruba.

  • Grenada.

  • St. Lucia.

  • Barbados.

  • St. Maarten.

How to book

If you’re planning on booking a Mint seat, you’ll have to do so for everyone on your reservation. You can’t book a Mint seat for you and an economy (or "core") seat for a traveling companion. You can, however, book two separate reservations if you have multiple fares to buy and don't want all of them Mint.

If you book a core seat and decide to upgrade to Mint later, you can. But know that if you paid with points you’ll have to use points to upgrade. Likewise, if you paid with cash or a card, you can only upgrade using that same payment method.

As for same-day flight change options, if there is another Mint flight on the same day you’re traveling that happens to have Mint seat availability, it will cost a $75 same-day change fee. You can ask to switch after midnight local time on the day of your scheduled flight. But if you choose a standby flight without Mint availability, you’ll have to forfeit your Mint experience and won’t receive a refund of the difference.

Likewise, if you want to change from a core seat to a Mint seat on your original flight on the day of travel, it will cost you; same-day changes are only allowed from Mint to Mint reservations or from Mint to core seats. If Mint is available, you must exchange the core ticket and pay any difference in the fares. There is also a $200 change fee on all nonrefundable fares if you decide to totally change your travel plans.

What to expect

As for what first class on JetBlue is like, mint seats come in two options: lie-flat and suite. The lie-flat seats take comfort seriously: they are the longest fully lie-flat seats available on any premium domestic flight. But the seats don’t just lie flat; they also have a massage function, adjustable firmness settings, and come with a blanket and pillow. Want more privacy? You can even choose a suite-style seat with a door, which offers the most living space of any other domestic carrier in the U.S., according to JetBlue.

As for food and drinks, expect a selection of seasonal small plates, espresso and treats like ice cream. Included is an alcoholic welcome refreshment, then your choice of liquor, craft beer and wine.

There’s also free high-speed Wi-Fi (but that’s available to every passenger on JetBlue flights), power ports and free entertainment on The Hub, JetBlue’s 15-inch seatback entertainment system, plus the use of high-quality over-ear headphones to enjoy it.

You’ll even be sent off with a complimentary Hayward and Hopper amenity kit so you can freshen up after the long flight.

As for the airport experience, Mint customers get to take advantage of a designated check-in and security lane, priority boarding and preferred bag claim, which means you’ll be one of the first to pick up your luggage from the carousel.

Is JetBlue first class a good deal?

The Mint experience doesn’t come cheap, however. In fact, in a recent search for flights from San Francisco to Boston, Mint seats were as much as 13x the cost of Blue Basic fares and 6x Blue Extra fares ($1,299 vs. $99 and $214, respectively). The lower-priced options were closer to 5x the Blue Basic fare. Similarly, when paying with points, Mint fares were as high as 119,500 compared to Blue at 9,800 and Blue Extra at 15,400 points.

Comparatively, first class flights on American Airlines on the same dates and route were typically a couple hundred dollars less (between $941-$1,215), but there was less of a price gap between those fares and Basic Economy or Main Cabin fares (as low as $233 and as high as $577, respectively). Delta flights are priced similarly, from $216 for basic to $1,444 for non-refundable first class tickets, meaning JetBlue’s first class experience is more or less on par with other major domestic carriers.

The bottom line

That said, JetBlue’s Mint experience rivals that of most other major airlines. Between roomy lie-flat seats, semi-private suites, free meals and entertainment and a speedy check-in and boarding process, if you’re willing to pay the price, the Mint experience is likely worth it if your mission is to arrive refreshed and relaxed after a long cross-country flight.

Photos courtesy of JetBlue.

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