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JetBlue Mint A321LR New York JFK to Los Angeles LAX

January 30, 2024
Osman Dadi
JetBlue has an excellent product in Mint (business class) on this aircraft. The seat is cool and unique in all the right ways! I loved the WiFi, IFE, & headphones. The food & drinks are uniquely presented and delicious. Some parts like "polished service" truly left much desired, and cleanliness is an issue.
From
New York JFK
To
Los Angeles LAX
Duration
5h10m
Via
JetBlue
Seat(s)
Mint 3F (Business Class)
Points Used
Mosaic 4 Upgrade
Cash Spent
$404 USD

It has been a long time, but I was back on JetBlue Mint from New York JFK to Los Angeles LAX for a wedding on a Thursday in October 2023. This time I was on the new A321LR in the newer Herringbone Business Class configuration.

I recently flew the A321 in the classic Mint Throne seat as well, a review I will soon post.

I specifically chose this booking to take advantage of my newly acquired JetBlue Mosaic Level 4 status, which I received during a recent offer for Delta Diamond Medallions. The journey Included my BLADE helicopter airport transfer ride from Manhattan’s West Side to New York JFK.

I was very impressed with JetBlue’s excellent hard product on this aircraft. Mint comes in a very comfortable suite seat with a closed-door configuration, with LOTS of storage, two power ports, a charging area, and a window that permits light naturally onto your working surface.

The IFE and map system was brilliant and close to the best I’ve seen, with Air Canada being the pack‘s leader. The Wi-Fi in the FlyFi system is incredible – fast, stable, and free.  

I was getting ringing calls on the flight and could have probably taken them, and I was able to stay very productive.

The food was also delicious, although it felt lower quality than my flights of four years ago. The flight attendants were hard-working, and service was prompt and efficient.

However, the service lacked both personality and a polished edge – it felt like the team was simply going through the motions.

On the downside, the cleanliness was relatively poor. In the lie-flat mode, I discovered all kinds of crumbs and markings in the seat frame. Worse was the bathroom mid-flight, which was getting heavy usage and zero cleaning. It was already poorly cleaned, to begin with.

Booking a JetBlue Mint Ticket

I was looking to use some of my newly acquired Mosaic upgrades to get this ticket. To that end, I booked two expensive last-minute tickets were booked just six days before travel. I chose these direct flights because the first-class cabins were relatively empty both ways – to have the best shot of automatic upgrades.

About 48 hours before my flight, I woke up to a Tuesday morning email that said I had cleared for upgrades to Mint. I was placed into a smaller Aisle Mint seat on the old A321 configuration. Honestly, while I am a fan of that cabin on JetBlue Mint, the narrow aisle seats are pretty poor for a Business Class product.

Checking online I saw a suite in 2F available on the 7:00am flight at 10am. I was foolish and waited – if I hadn’t, I would have nabbed a classic Mint “Throne Seat” suite on the 7:00am flight out of JFK.

I called JetBlue via the Mosaic line at 12:51pm prior to a meeting at 1pm on Tuesday – I got a Live Agent within one minute. I asked her to find me a Suite on any flight that morning – she checked each flight one by one and advised there was availability on the 12pm flight. Changes were all made within 4 minutes, no joke. By the way, this is much faster than my Delta experiences – even with Diamond, I’ve previously waited up to 30 minutes to reach an agent. Delta used to be ultra fast prior to 2020, and it been slow to connect since 2022.

Instead, the agent assigned me to “Suite 3F” which confused me at first, because I’m not familiar with Row 3 being a Suite. It turns out this was the new Mint herringbone Suite, usually used on TransAtlantic routes, in the newer JetBlue A321LR!

The Ground Experience at JFK T5

For this flight I used the glamorous BLADE transfer perk that comes with Mosaic 4 status.

The first stop was T4 to drop off a Delta passenger, and the second was T5 to drop me off.

I arrived curbside at JFK at 10:49 am.

Overall the transfer went much smoother than expected – all the traffic was at T4, and I arrived to relatively empty T5.

Check-In at JFK T5

JetBlue has two dedicated Check-In areas for Mint and Mosaic customers inside T5. All I needed to do was print a boarding pass.

Fortunately, I did not have to queue and got the second available of the two crewed kiosk stations.

During the check-in, the agent advised me that seat 4F was also open, but I elected to keep my seat in 3F.

After that, I headed over to the priority security. This has been relocated, so you must walk to the terminal’s south side to enter this zone.

Today’s security line at T5 was one of the shortest I’ve seen. I cleared security between 10:50 and 11:05, which was a bit slower than expected.

After that, I moseyed over to check the Departures screen only to find my flight had been moved to Gate 17. This gate is on the center wing, about five minutes from the security area.

With no lounge to visit, I headed straight to the gate.

I arrived with 5 minutes left before boarding, and no one was in line. This gave me the chance to quickly inspect our aircraft out the window.

I got to the gate at 7:55 am. I was lucky and would be near the first to board today!

Boarding

Our flight started boarding promptly on time at 8:00 am. It was so quick I didn’t have a chance to grab a coffee!

First in line, ready to board
First in line, ready to board

Once we were cleared at the gate, boarding was actually relatively slow, and it took some time to get on the aircraft itself. This picture below cost me my first boarding position.

Although I can’t complain, maybe it’s better if JetBlue waits to let people onto the jetbridge in such situations.

Despite all the delay I still ended up being second to board in Mint. I got great images of the empty business class cabin.

JetBlue A321LR Mint Cabin

The JetBlue A321LR Mint cabin features 24 seats spread across 12 rows. The economy cabin is the usual 3-3 configuration.

The seat is a reverse herringbone configuration, angled into the aircraft.

The cabin is decorated in neutral tones of grey and blue, with dark wood accents, giving it a stylish and elegant feel.

The JetBlue Mint suites are generally very secluded and private.

Mid-flight, you can walk to the front of the plane virtually undisturbed due to the privacy screens. However, with everyone facing inwards, walking back down attracts lots of attention.

This creates an awkward experience mid flight with everyone looking straight at you.

JetBlue A321LR Mint Suite

At the very front of the cabin on either side is the Mint Suite.

This is a private expanded suite with additional space on the side that surely feels more like a first class suite – it might be the best suite in North America.

JetBlue makes these available for an additional fee at booking typically, and they are available first come first serve. I dream of flying this product some day! It looks incredible.

JetBlue A321LR Snacks & Drinks Pantry

In the middle of the JetBlue Cabin is the snacks and drinks pantry. This is right across from the middle restroom.

You can help yourself to snacks and drinks at-will mid-flight!

There are all sorts of snacks spread in three trays – one seemed chock full of Chewy bars, and another mixed with cookies. On the left side is a mini fridge stocked with cans of soda for pick up.

JetBlue offers a reasonably extensive selection, I must say. On top of it, the pantry is uniquely cool!

JetBlue A321LR Mint Restrooms

The Mint cabin has one restroom at the front and one at the rear (middle of the plane) shared with the economy cabin.

I should note that cleaning of the restrooms seemed non-existent before and during the flight. When I first walked in, there was a tissue on the floor, which I picked up for my photos. On my second visit, at least three used tissues discarded and sitting on the floor. Even worse – the middle restroom shared with economy was a total disaster near the end of the flight!

Forward Restroom

I first tried the exclusive bathroom at the front of the aircraft near the beginning of the flight. My impression was this is spacious. The bathroom is decorated with a Blue and White brick theme on the walls and an ode to New York.

The floor had an unpleasant sticky texture that I didn’t want to know more about.

Although spacious, the bathroom had no special amenities, lighting, or displays.

An infant-changing folding table in the front bathroom along the wall; this pulls down and creates a surface for tasking.

It seemed the floor wasn’t immaculate from before the flight. It feels like general cleaning and maintenance may be a potential issue with JetBlue – the middle restroom was even worse!.

The Middle Restroom

There is one restroom used in common with economy passengers. Walking into the middle bathroom to find it looking like a slop-sink was remarkable, I think that’s a first. This is also the passengers not treating the restrooms with care – just shameful. I had no idea Americans can be this gross.

It was utterly gross when I walked in, so I didn’t hang around here at all. The restroom had not been cleaned even once throughout the flight, which is entirely unacceptable.

JetBlue Mint Seat 3F

This was my first time flying this seat on JetBlue. It’s usually used on transatlantic flights and is exclusively found on the A321neo or A321LR aircraft. Seat 3F is in row 3 on the right-hand side of the fuselage.

The pillow and comforter kit, and a menu, were found ready at each seat.

Each suite comes with it’s own entry ramp and retractable door, a cool design!

This is a herringbone seat that faces into the plane rather than out towards the window.

I didn’t know how much I would like this seat because I love looking out the window during the flight. However, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed only for the sheer volume of cool features! JetBlue and Acumen really put some thought into it.

Seat Details

The suite manages to accomplish a lot of stuff in a surprisingly minimal amount of space – that’s what makes it so cool!

Starting with the obvious: there’s a door to the suite. It opens and releases from a latch below the table lamp on the side. A flight attendant walked 45 minutes after take-off and closed everyone’s door.

One thing to note is the door creates *some* privacy, but you still have a view out to everyone walking by, so it doesn’t do much at the same time.

Inside the suite, there is a Table lamp on this same door wall. There’s one button on the seat controls that controls the light dimming.

Below the table lamp is one of the two side tables in the suite. This curves from the vertical to the horizontal surface and is about 13” wide by 18” long.

The main dining table and work surface swing out from below this. The table comes out at the push of the “Push” button in the interstitial space. It pops out, and then you swing it into place.

The table is not a complete rectangle but three sides of a rectangle plus a curved teardrop on the pivot corner. The table is overall pretty sturdy, but the far side does lean about ½” an inch if pressure is applied.

One problem is that the table does not slide forward or backward; it is stationary. Therefore, you can’t adjust the seat too much forward or backward into recline without compromising your working position.

Using the side table makes for an excellent second-screen surface – I was able to set up my multi-screen arrangement effectively in the suite. It would have been better on the left side of the aircraft!

The suite has a massive touchscreen TV, around 16 inches or so.

Suite door closed and TV retracted
Suite door closed and TV retracted

The TV screen swings out to be perpendicular to you (head-on viewing angle) and can also be titled down. I found it easy to use and position to my liking.

Suite door closed and TV in the open position

Below the screen, you can find the various controls. Power, volume, menu, Home, and return.

In case there was not enough storage, there is a storage tray located beneath the TV – it can be used for laptops, tablets, and similar. Inside is also a small storage bay for a phone.

Finally, there are two addition storage wells, one beneath the foot ottoman for a small bag, and a second explicitly for shoe storage.

I was amazed by the sheer amount of storage, which can be an issue with these herringbone seats.

I must confess that I love this functionality and forward-thinking – including the ramp into the suite!

Moving to the window seat of the seat, there’s a fixed armrest and another useful “side table” area.

The side viewing angle of the window, which allows light at a pleasant angle
The side viewing angle of the window, which allows light at a pleasant angle

The side table has a pop-up storage cubby and an excellent phone charging port. I laid my phone here, and it charged.

A charging port and more storage behind the seat by the window
A charging port and more storage behind the seat by the window

However, I did notice that my phone overheated at one point because of the charging.

My phone charging mid-flight
My phone charging mid-flight

Above that, There is a hook meant for headphones, but it is not used for anything and is not suitable for hanging a coat either. However, there’s a small coat hook just to the side of this.

Below that is another much smaller storage area. There is also water bottle storage and a small side bin; the second power port is here.

In what can only be described as a big shock, I saw TWO power ports on the seat! One is above this side table, and there’s a second one on the opposite side below the other side table, lower on the seat. Both also have USB ports; one is a USB A, and the other is a USB C.

Now let’s turn back to the opposite (my left) side.

There is one document storage area on the left, along with the seat remote. There are two mode buttons to Take Off and Land position, or Full Flat.

There’s a small pop-out reading light at the side of the seat as well, just above the seat controls.

Overhead you’ll find a single air nozzle and overhead light.

Heading back towards the seat, you can find the seat controls.

Seat Controls

There are two sets of controls at the seat.

One’s a basic pair of Sleep Mode & Upright buttons, for use while in lie-flat mode. The other is more comprehensive on the table side.

  • Three buttons for master Take Off and Landing, Lounge, and Sleeping positions.
  • Three “bars” to adjust the back position, seat position, and ottoman footrest position.
  • Finally a bar below to control the ambient table light at each seat.
  • A “Do Not Disturb” setting.

When the “Do Not Disturb” button is selected the Green Mint seat logo on the Suite frame turns Blue instead of Green, instruction the Flight Attendants to avoid service.

Pillow and Comforter

The pillow and comforter is by Tuft & Needle, and comes in a zipped cotton fitted bag.

The sleeping kit opens from the side and includes two pieces.

The pillow is fluffy and has good padding. It’s one of the most comfortable pillows that I’ve ever used in flight.

On the flip side, after trying the comforter, it was woefully inadequate and simply too thin in texture.

Lie Flat Mode

The seat really excels in lie flat mode, which is also a surprise given the narrow confines of the suite. It’s foremost a very private experience.

This was one of my favorite parts about this suite – look how awesome this is!

The partitions are also high enough to not disturb any neighbors, even with some light.

The window positioning lets in light at the perfect angle for reading.

Unfortunately, I noticed the seat frame needs serious cleaning, which is a common theme on JetBlue.

When putting the seat into lie-flat mode, the lack of cleaning became very obvious and apparent.

The seat basically extends all the way to the edge of the suite giving very little foot space – or so it seems!

At least in my suite the final panel didn’t align well with the Ottoman – I’m not sure if this is intentional.

One of the most impressive bits of forethought was the small gap next to the door. You need this space to stand in to get out in the lie-flat mode. I love the small attention to detail in design – the small footwell gives additional space to slide your toes.

The Flight

The flight seemed almost totally full, so boarding took a while. We left the gate slightly early at 11:55am.

Take Off

With our gate position, it was a very quick transfer to the takeoff runway (NE to SW). We were third in line, and took off at 12:10pm. I noticed we even beat the 12:00pm Delta flight in the A330-900neo. It’s worth noting that seat 3 is still a little too far ahead for good views of the engine.

Who could ask for a better view?
Who could ask for a better view?

We looped left over the Atlantic, into a loop over central Manhattan and NYC. I was surprised to find us flying on a totally clear day for the whole flight!

Passing Hunts Mesa in Arizona, one of my favorite places in the world
Passing Hunts Mesa in Arizona, one of my favorite places in the world

This offered absolutely stunning views – this is pretty rare to have a clear flight across all of North America. I keenly used the In Flight Entertainment system to track the flight.

In Flight Entertainment, Headphones, and Wi-Fi

JetBlue really excels in all three of these categories. I was absolutely floored, especially after my experiences on the older Throne Seat A321 Mint aircraft.

In Flight Entertainment

On the A321LR IFE and map system was brilliant and close to the best I’ve seen.

This is a huge upgrade over what JetBlue used to have and still does on other A321 Mint aircraft.

Flying past the Four Corners over Colorado
Flying past the Four Corners over Colorado

Having also recently flown that I can attest that this new aircraft has in-flight entertainment that’s much like Air Canada’s – it includes an amazing in-flight map…

JetBlue offers DirecTV
JetBlue offers DirecTV
Watching in flight live sports is possible on JetBlue
Watching in flight live sports is possible on JetBlue

…DIRECTV…

The newly revamped entertainment system offers tons of movie and TV options
The newly revamped entertainment system offers tons of movie and TV options

…a massive suite of movies and TV shows…

Not many games available on the IFE system, but the graphics were cool!
Not many games available on the IFE system, but the graphics were cool!

…and even flight connections!

Headphones

Another best in class is the headphones used by JetBlue. These are by the brand Master & Dynamic, and are literally the best I’ve ever used in flight in the air!

The noise was crisp, the noise cancelling worked beautifully, and my favorite part was the extra comfortable fit over your entire ear.

These are not found at the seat – instead I had to make the request, and then was handed a set.

The headphones also come with JetBlue mint tagging on the wire which is very elegant and a theft deterrent.

WiFi

The Wi-Fi in the FlyFi system was incredible. The connectivity was fast, easy enough, stable, and free. I was able to stay very productive. Perhaps the best part is it’s Free!

After logging into Fly-fi.com, you’re easily given one choice to “Watch an Ad and Connect.” The only drawback was being forced to watch an ad for 30 seconds.

 Fly-Fi is the best WiFi system I’ve used in North America. I was even getting ringing calls on the flight and could have probably taken them!

Service

Generally JetBlue’s service felt lacking on this flight – and that was surprising!

I will say the flight attendants were hard-working, and service was prompt and efficient.

However, the service lacked both personality and a polished edge. It felt like the team was just going through the motions, rather than out of any true cause, direction, or frankly belief in the brand.

To name a few specific points:

  • My coat was not taken upon boarding. 
  • There were no pre-departure beverages offered, nor were orders taken.
  • Passengers in Mint were not greeted by name (as I recall).
  • Nor was a water bottle included on departure, but this was handed out later.

All this is surprising to me for JetBlue Mint, to be honest.

Pre-Departure Service

There were no pre-departure beverages offered. A water bottle was not included at each seat.

Menu

There were menus found at each seat.

In the uniquely JetBlue way, each menu is personally signed by the crew on board. I love this touch – personalization really stands out in this service class.

JetBlue’s dishes are served Tapas Style, and you’re able to choose three out of the five options. I chose the Lasagna, the Fall Panzanella, and the Chicken Cacciatore.

A separate pull-out is included for drinks – also simple, green and tasteful. JetBlue continues to have tasteful branding.

Post Departure Service

About fifteen minutes after takeoff, a FA walked to each seat and distributed a water bottle. 

Another five minutes later, the next FA walked and took food orders.

About ten minutes later, drinks were individually served to each passenger in the cabin by handheld tray, plus a small set of nuts.

These were served in an elegant golden dish – the nuts were crunchy and very tasty! 

Meal Service

The food was also delicious, although it felt lower quality than my flights of four years ago. Food was overall tasty on JetBlue, and a par over Delta in my opinion.

I enjoyed the ability to mix different choices.

The meal was served in ceramic dishes on a tray, over a paper table mat.

Another uniquely JetBlue touch is the olive oil, chili oil and pepper offered in the gold nuts tray. That’s clever!

Lasagna

The lasagna came stuffed with baby spinach and kale, and smothered in fresh tomato sauce and parmigiano.

There were least four layers of tastes – first the sauce. then the pasta, then the warmth and cheese, and finally a spice.

This was much better tasting than it looked, I enjoyed it.

Chicken Cacciatore

This was a chicken topped with mushrooms, tomato, and rosemary breadcrumbs.

Of the three this was my least favorite.

It’s hard to describe this one in words – it was very saucy and tasted almost Moroccan middle eastern. The chicken was well cooked but a bit bland, though the sauce helped.

Fall Panzanella

This fun looking dish was made of butternut squash, kale, and croutons, plus some cheese.

It was served cold, and had a very fresh kale taste.

I added the italian spice dressing to this, and it tasted fantastic! With the tasty squash, it also had an awesome spice kick.

Dessert

The dessert was probably the best part! This is Ice Cream Vanilla Gelato with Roasted Apples and caramel crumble.

The first thing I noticed is the massive size! It was served in a normal sized bowl for JetBlue – so there was tons of quantity.

I thought this was nicely layered and presented. It tasted phenomenal, honestly – I could have eaten one more, haha!

Drinks

JetBlue offers a couple of really tasty drinks. The menu is simple but the drinks are still delicious, and I enjoy trying a few during the flight. Drinks are available both as alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic options.

Mint Condition

The Mint Condition is JetBlue’s classic brand drink.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 231019_JetBlue_Mint_Herringbone_Business_Class_A321neo_New_York_JFK_to_Los_Angeles_LAX_n423-1024x579.jpg

It includes vodka (or gin), ginger, lime, cucumber and mint.

What’s also nice is the non-alcoholic option – the “Mint (Zero Proof) Condition” – tastes just as good!

Venetian Spritz

This contains house made aperitivo, sparkling wine, grapefruit.

As it sounds, this drink was sweet and fruity.

The grapefruit slice was a beautiful elegant touch to the tasty drink.

Snacks

Snacks were distributed mid-flight after the primary meal service. On my flight we received a Kind granola bar.

It’s also worth mentioning Mint passengers can always get up and grab snacks at-will from the bar!

Landing

Our flight was super fast and we ended up descending into Los Angeles quickly on a clear day. I used the awesome IFE to track our progress in flight while looking out the window.

I love sitting on the right side of the plane for it’s awesome views of LA on landing.

Suddenly we were over the 405, and touched down on the south side runways.

Classic view over the 405.
Classic view over the 405.

Our plane efficiently docked into the south side of the airport at Terminal 6.

The experience of arriving at Terminal 6 in LAX is unremarkable on JetBlue. Between this and the lack of the lounge at JFK, all you’re getting with JetBlue is the in flight product.

From this point I made my way to the Hertz at LAX, where I luckily ended up in a Ford Mustang convertible.

Final Thoughts

I haven’t flown JetBlue Mint in many years, so I was definitely curious to see how JetBlue would compare to my previous flights as well as to Delta.

JetBlue definitely holds a “Delta killer” in its hard product – the IFE and headphones, and Wi-Fi, were far superior. The seat was better than I expected in all the right ways.

I was pleasantly surprised with the very comfortable suite seat with a closed-door configuration. I didn’t think I would like the inward-facing herringbone seat.

It comes with LOTS of storage, two power ports, a charging area, and a window that permits light naturally onto your working surface.

The design blocks out light and makes sleeping easy. While the pillow was plush and comfortable, the comforter was far too thin.

It doesn’t seem the carrier is fully taking advantage of their hard product with their soft offering. While I enjoyed the delicious food and drinks, some parts like “polished service” truly left much desired.

And don’t even get me started on the cleaning…

Was it nicer than Delta? Not 100% – overall Delta still holds the edge in service and warmth, to Delta’s benefit and JetBlue’s chagrin.

Pros

  • Check-In, Boarding was smooth and easy.
  • The seat is amazing. It comes with LOTS of storage, two power ports, a charging area, and a window that permits light naturally onto your working surface.
  • The table was sturdy, although it could have been better
  • IFE and Map system was brilliant and close to the best I’ve seen (Air Canada being the leader)
  • Excellent headphones, best I’ve ever used.
  • Wi-Fi in the FlyFi system was incredible.  I was getting ringing calls on the flight and could have probably taken them. The connectivity was fast, easy enough, stable, and free. I was able to stay very productive.

Cons

  • Looking into the cabin is not my favorite position – it makes the privacy aspect of the suite doors useless, and everyone’s eyes are looking at you when you’re in the center aisle for any reason.
  • The comforter was woefully thin, and should be at least twice as thick.
  • JetBlue Cabins lack cleanliness. The well of the seat was filthy. I found weird crumbs and dust/debris alongside my seat when in the sleeping position.
  • Bathrooms were filthy, not cleaned even once in flight. Walking into the middle bathroom to find it looking like a slop-sink was remarkable, I think that’s a first. This is also passengers not treating the restrooms with care – just shameful.

Verdict: 8.5