We've already given you a sneaky peeky at the seats themselves, but what's the big deal? Money, of course. These seatslie-flat, semi-private, fully adjustable and pretty neat-o in generalbeat the current Business Class offerings on other airlines flying coast-to-coast on several levels. Now understand that flying in them will start from just $599 one-way, all-in, between New York-JFK and LAX or SFO, when the going price on competitors is $2000, and you see what we're talking about.
While it's true similar seats exist (manufactured by Thompson Aero Seating of Belfast), Barger explains why JetBlue's "Mint" stands out:
There are other airlines flying variants of this seat, but this 'Mint' offering that we have has been customized. Over the last couple of years, every time we've asked the Thompson team can we change something, they've always said yes. A couple of examples: the traytable, the seat's styling, adding a door to the single seats.
The seat itself is up to 22.3" widethat's the widest seat flying these routes across the transcontinental markets. ...And the lie-flat experience, the full bed? 6'8" longthe longest in the market as well. So, as we looked at our opportunities, we wanted to make sure that we were getting in big and we're certainly doing it.
These are exciting times, friends. Comfortable flights across the country are now no longer for expense account jockeys and airline mile hoarders. Heck, we'd book this ourselves despite self-identifying as mileage junkies. There's just one issue: the seats have already sold out.
Here's the deal: JetBlue's calendar is only open for flight bookings through June 18, 2014. The new Mint seats begin flying between JFK and LAX on June 15, 2014. Those three days sold out in about three minutes (while we were in an elevator), with Mint seats going for the promo sale price of $499 each way. Your next chance at Mint will come this November, when JetBlue again extends their schedule for bookings later in 2014. Don't worrywe'll let you know when that happens, but be ready to make a quick decision to catch the lowest fares and have a chance at a Mint center "suite" seat with privacy door, of which there are only four.
And oh yes, there will be an amenity kit. And yes, there will be complimentary hot meals. All this and more tomorrow, in part 2 of our series on what's arriving with JetBlue's A321s.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]