JetBlue Mint Boston-Los Angeles Launch Flight – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 4 November 2016
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The so-called premium transcon routes that link New York City with both Los Angeles and San Francisco have long been among the most competitive and busiest in the nation.

They are so named because the leading airlines operating them offer cabins and service that rival overseas flights in amenities and comfort.

American Airlines brought the United States into the jet age in 1959 with non-stop service between New York and Los Angeles on a Boeing 707 that promised “transonic” speed and unparalleled accommodations and amenities. Today, three airlines – American, Delta, and JetBlue – compete out of JFK in the market and a fourth player, United, offers a premium offering out of Newark Liberty International Airport, across the river from Manhattan, in New Jersey.

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JetBlue is the upstart in this Gang of Four. Still calling itself a low-cost carrier, the New York-based airline launched its Mint premium cabin in the fall of 2013. The Mint service was well received and unquestionably lowered the cost of business-class fares on these routes.

While I yearned to sample Mint, the timing never seemed to work. In the interim, JetBlue expanded the routes where it offers Mint to include seasonal service from New York to both Aruba and Barbados. In 2016, the airline began to operate Mint flights from Boston’s Logan International Airport to both San Francisco and Los Angeles and the timing worked out for me to fly on the LAX launch flight.

Because the Mint launch flight would leave from Boston, I stayed overnight at the Boston Airport Hilton, which is connected to several of the terminals via walkways. When I arrived at the gate, the mood was festive and the gate area was festooned with balloons celebrating the inaugural flight.

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