A detailed look at the JetBlue Mint experience: still my favorite after all these years!

A detailed look at the JetBlue Mint experience: still my favorite after all these years!

You know how most premium airline products tend to get worse over time? It’s annoying. However, I recently flew from New York (JFK) to San Diego in JetBlue Mint, and I’m happy to report that it’s every bit as awesome as it was 11 years ago. Maybe even better.

As a reminder, Mint is JetBlue’s premium seating product. They only offer it on a handful of select routes.

The seats are spacious. The food is nothing short of incredible. And the drinks? They are as creatively named as they are delicious. It’s basically the kind of experience you can admit to having a crush on (without feeling weird about it). Like, a bad crush.

New York, NY (JFK) – San Diego, CA
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Aircraft: A321-231
Registration: N993JE
Duration: 5 hours 41 minutes
Seat: 4A (Mint)

jetblue a321 side view n993je
JetBlue A321 side view illustration by NorebboStock.com.
B61189 flight track
Our very crooked route from New York to San Diego this evening as B61189.

My full review of the JetBlue Mint experience from New York (JFK) to San Diego

Wait! Those of you who are looking for a full review of the JetBlue Mint Suites (their international business class product) are in the wrong place. What you’re about to read is my review of their domestic business/first class product (which, confusingly enough, is also called Mint).

Arrival at Terminal 5 at the John F Kennedy International Airport

Never in all my years of traveling have I walked into T5 at JFK and seen it so empty. Not only was it extremely weird, it was refreshingly satisfying. It took less than five minutes to get from the front door, through security, and into the terminal. Hell yeah.

Walking into terminal five JFK
Welcome to Terminal 5 at the John F. Kennedy International Airport! Why exactly this place so dang empty? Is there a zombie apocalypse (or equivalent) going on that I’m not yet aware of?
Inside terminal five JFK
This right here is the hub of T5 (which is especially convenient considering that T5 is the hub for JetBlue).
Far end of terminal five JFK airport
How in the world did an airline with such an awesome premium seating option end up with a hub in one of the blandest airport terminals in the US?
SANspotter sitting in terminal 5 JFK airport
Wait. I take that back. I quite like the “warp speed” carpet pattern.
Gate 14 T5 JFK
Gate 14 (the one aaalllllllll the way at the end) is where this flight to San Diego will be departing from this afternoon. I can almost see the Pennsylvania border from here.
JetBlue A321 with Do & Co catering truck parked at gate 14 JFK
“Fly like you Mint it” (N993JE) is the A321 assigned to San Diego duty this evening. You just know it’s gonna be a good flight when you see a “Do & Co” catering truck attached to the side of the airplane.

The boarding process for B61189 to San Diego

They kicked off the boarding process exactly on time – but that just wasn’t soon enough for for some folks. The gate agent wasn’t even finished making the announcement for pre-boarding when a handful of younger able-bodied individuals strolled up to the gate attempting to board. With a flight time of nearly 6 hours, let’s just say that I wasn’t as tempted to test the patience of that stern-looking gate agent.

Jetblue mint boarding pass new York to San Diego
Interesting. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a “doors close” time listed on a boarding pass before. It’s about damn time. #rimshot
Walking down jet bridge to JetBlue A321 at JFK airport
Now that’s a sturdy looking jet bridge! Just as long as there’s a Mint-configured A321 connected to the end of it, I don’t really care what it looks like.
Jetblue logo in the boarding door airbus A321
First things first, they hit you over the head with a subtle reminder about which airline you’re flying today. Thanks guys!
Jetblue mint cabin A321
Assuming you survived the first hit, they go for the KO with a stunning presentation of the Mint cabin drenched in deep blue mood lighting. Oh baby.

The seats

I’ve flown Mint on the A321 four times prior to this flight. Still, after all that experience, it was still very exciting to see these seats again. There are five rows of mint seats on the A321. Rows 1, 3, and 5 are arranged in a 2-2 configuration. Rows 2 and 4 are arranged in a very spacious 1-1 configuration. I can’t recommend those individual seats highly enough.

Jetblue mint single seat 4A
We meet again, old friend. This is seat 4A – one of them single seats frequent JetBlue flyers refer to as “the MF Throne.”
Jetblue mint blanket, pillow, amenity kit, and dinner menu
Waiting on every seat is a blanket, pillow, amenity kit, and the dinner menu. All this for a domestic flight? Good lawd!
Jetblue mint single seat 4A
These seats are 11 years old at this point, but you’d never guess just by looking at them. Unless you’re a super nerdy AvGeek who lives and breathes airline news of course. But you know what I mean.
Jetblue mint seat top down view
The “throne” thing kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? This is exactly why I named JetBlue Mint as the best domestic first class in the US!
Jetblue mint leg room
Hey now! It’s a fold – not an erection. That said, if there was any first / business class seat that could do that to me, this is certainly the one.
Jetblue mint privacy door
The best thing (by far) about these single seats is the retractable door. Looks like the guy over there in 4D has already had about enough of our bull****.
Jetblue mint seat control buttons
A seat control panel that will rival any of the best Japanese toilets. I think I’m gonna have a good time on the way to San Diego this evening.
Jetblue mint seat features
I’ve sat in international business class seats that weren’t this good. From the bottled water and the adjustable lamp to all that glorious storage space…the erection (if it actually happened) was totally justified.
Jetblue mint seat electrical outlets
I’m kind of surprised that a 110V power outlet (and several USB-A ports) is all they give us. Not that I’ve ever had a need for a 220V outlet on an airplane before, but you never know.
Jetblue mint blankets and pillows
They sure as hell didn’t skimp on the blankets and pillows though. It’s like they’re daring me to be uncomfortable on this flight or something.
Jetblue mint amenity kit
Oh. The amenity kit? Further proof that, after all these years, JetBlue is still refusing to cut any corners with the Mint experience.
Jetblue mint cocktail menu
Even their cocktail menu is as impressive as it was when they first introduced Mint back in 2013. The best part? They highly encourage pre-departure drinks. It’s like they get an affiliate commission for it or something.
SANspotter sitting in jetblue mint seat
I’m gonna go with a “Mint Condition” (with gin) shortly after takeoff. Until then, this seat is stimulation enough I think.
Jetblue mint seatbelt
There are no shoulder belts in these seats, but the lap belt is airbag equipped (and could blow at any moment). Maybe I should’ve went with a pre-departure Mint Condition after all…

The departure out of JFK

When you’re sitting in a seat as nice as this, you tend not to notice the departure process. At least not in great detail. Thankfully I was conscious enough to take pictures of our taxi out to the runway. As you’ll see in the following pics, it was more interesting inside the plane.

Gate to 14 jet bridge JFK terminal five
Lol at the next guy who pulls up to this jet bridge after a long flight and thinks “Thank God for gate 14! At least I won’t have to walk a long way to baggage claim.” How gate 14 ended up being at the very far end of T5 I’ll never know.
Jetblue mint seat pockets
You know the seat is good when you’re still discovering pockets and cubbyholes during the taxi out of the runway.
Jetblue mint moments before takeoff
One last check of the new Memoji before takeoff!
Taking off from JFK in a jetblue A321
I was seated on the wrong side of the aircraft to see anything interesting during liftoff, but Mama Nature came through for me nicely just as we punched through the clouds. She’s the best.

In-flight entertainment

Those of you who read my JetBlue A320 Even More Space review will find the following bit of information to be somewhat familiar. Not only are the video screens nearly the exact same size, the user interface is 100% identical. It’s the same selection of live TV, movies, music, and TV shows. Podcasts too!

Jetblue mint in flight entertainment main menu
This is the main menu for the flight entertainment system. The fact that they include the name of the aircraft under the welcome message already makes this one of the best in-flight entertainment systems I’ve ever used. It’s the little things!
Jetblue mint Live TV channels
Would it be a true JetBlue experience without the Live TV? Probably not (even though I’m not going to watch any of this).
Jetblue mint SiriusXM radio, movies, podcasts, map
Fear not! They also have SiriusXM radio, movies, podcasts, and a flight tracker / map thingy. The best part? You can combine these experiences. Map + 80s on 8 FTMFW.
Jetblue mint in-flight entertainment remote control
Possibly the only thing showing its age in this entire seat (besides me) is the remote control for the in-flight entertainment. This was probably hot s**t back in 2013.
JetBlue Mint thinksound noise canceling headphones
These thinksound noise canceling headphones, on the other hand, are hot s**t even by today’s standards. They sound great!

One of the other things that I really like about JetBlue is the fact that Wi-Fi is not only free, but very fast. I say again: why can’t all airlines be like this?

Jetblue mint free Wi-Fi
FYI, Fly-Fi wi-Fi is why I fly high with jetBlue. At least one of the reasons at least.
Shutting the door in JetBlue mint
Leave me alone!

The food

The food in JetBlue Mint is far superior to any food you will be served on any other airline in the US. Not only on domestic flights, but international as well. It’s that good.

You’ll be presented with five entrée choices. You get to pick three, along with a dessert. Portions are large, and the quality is excellent. The food in JetBlue is consistently better than the food I’ve eaten in many other international business class products.

Jetblue mint condition mixed drink with gin
The Mint Condition (with gin). A very bold move for a guy who normally drinks water (or Diet Coke) on airplanes.
Jetblue mint pre meal snack
I have no idea what the hack these things little nuggets of deliciousness are, but they paired excellently with the buzz I was feeling from the minty liquor.
Jetblue mint dinner menu
Here’s a quick look at the menu before we dig in. This is a high resolution pic, so click on it, salivate if you must, and good luck picking just three items.
Jetblue mint dinner tray
Chicken *and* steak? I’ve basically just told you that I’ve got a thing for protein without actually telling you that I’ve got a thing for protein.
Jetblue mint flat iron steak
Technically, it’s a flat iron steak with broccoli rabe and citrus breadcrumbs. Truthfully, it may have been the best steak I’ve ever eaten on an airplane.
Jetblue mint roasted chicken
This is the roasted chicken with porcini mushrooms and a chestnut crumble. Not quite as decadent as the steak, but certainly delicious enough to make me think nice thoughts about the person who prepared it (likely in some back alley kitchen – probably in the Bronx).
Jetblue mint steak dinner
I don’t know how they did it, but the steak was as tender as could be. What is this? 1974? The only other time that I’ve seen steak look this good on an airplane is in vintage airline advertisements.
Jetblue mint vanilla gelato dessert
Finally, to cap off the dinner service, I went with the vanilla gelato with caramelized bananas and almond honey granola. Might as add a sugar high to the alcohol buzz, right?
SANspotter eating dessert in JetBlue mint
Was it good? Of course it was. Then again, I’ve always been a big fan of McDonald’s hot fudge sundae, so I’m probably not the best guy to voice an opinion on this.

Testing out the lie flat seat

Honestly, I’ve got nothing to criticize about the seats when converted into a lie flat position. Sure, maybe it’s a bit narrow. Yeah, the foot well is a little tight. But you know what? Having a door that shuts out the world (combined with the high-quality blankets and pillows) makes this one of my favorite lie flat seats in the history of the airline industry.

Jetblue mint lie flat seat
Now this is nice! It’s not the most spacious lie flat seat that I’ve ever experienced, but the fact that I can do this solo (without having to rub shoulders with complete strangers) makes it a really good time.
What it's like to sleep in a jetblue mint seat
This is what you’ll see as you struggle to fend off the post-meal acid reflux before falling asleep. Pretty nice isn’t it?
Jetblue mint footwell
It’s probably best to leave your clown shoes at home. The footwell is a little small.

The descent (and arrival) into San Diego

I probably don’t even need to tell you how fast those six hours flew by. It was quick. More importantly, every minute of it was spectacular. Well, maybe not the bathroom part.

Jetblue mint forward lavatory
The most disappointing thing about the lavatory is the lack of deep blue mood lighting. What a letdown.
Jetblue mint pre landing snack
FYI, the pre-landing snack was keto, organic, AND paleo. That’s nuts!
View of Coronado Bridge from the window of a jetblue a321
There it is. I can now say “yes” if anyone ever asks me if I’ve seen the Coronado Bridge bathed in deep blue mood lighting.
jetblue a321 landing in San Diego at night
Welcome to San Diego!

We touched down on Runway 27 one minute ahead of schedule. How unfortunate. I mean, of all the times that I’ve experienced a horribly tardy arrival, why couldn’t it have been today? I’ll take nearly any excuse to sit in a seat like this for as long as I can.

jetblue a321 mint cabin deep blue mood lighting
Enjoy this ambience while it lasts, because…
jetblue a321 mint cabin end of flight arriving in San Diego
…the captain has now turned off the mood lighting button. Actually, it was probably the lead flight attendant. F that guy.
jetblue a321 mint cabin end of flight arriving in San Diego
One last look at the beautifully staggered seat configuration as I make my way off this airplane. Basically, you’d be a fool to choose any other airline if JetBlue Mint is an option on the route that you are flying.
jetblue a321 mint aisle
Please disregard the speed at which I am in the process of deplaning. I swear to God (cross my heart and hope to die) that I was sad about this experience coming to an end.
Walking up gate 33 jet bridge at San Diego airport

Pros and cons of the JetBlue A321 Mint experience

Every time somebody asks me about which airline to fly in the US for the best first class experience, I always tell them JetBlue. Always. That’s surprising to a lot of people. I mean, they’re not exactly the first airline most people think of as being luxurious and opulent. The fact of the matter is that Mint is as good as it gets. Period.


  • The single seats (rows 2 and 4) are some of the most private airline seats in the US.
  • After all these years, the seats still look (and function) like new. They’ve been very well-maintained.
  • Food quality is every bit as good (and often better) than what you’ll get in international business class on some of the world’s best airlines.


  • The in-flight entertainment UI is somewhat dated.
  • Those of you with large feet are likely to find the footwell cramped when the seat is in a lie flat position.

Comments (6)

  1. JNSD

    March 28, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 29, 2024
  2. JCC

    March 29, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      March 30, 2024
  3. Peter

    April 22, 2024
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      April 22, 2024

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