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Review: JetBlue’s Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

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This is our review of JetBlue’s Mint Studio on its Airbus A321LR fleet.

Like many airlines, JetBlue has embraced a ‘business plus’ model for its front-row customers. The lack of a passenger in front of you means that you benefit from more personal space and (often) privacy, something that is being embraced by more and more airlines.

JetBlue has branded its two front row business class seats (1A and 1F) as ‘Mint Studio’, which is available on all of its transatlantic flights including Heathrow, Dublin, Edinburgh and Gatwick to New York and Boston.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

Mint Studios can’t be selected during booking but are offered as an upgrade to customers, with pricing from £250/$299 one-way.

In this review, I want to look at the Mint Studio experience and specifically what you get versus a standard Mint Suite business class seat, which I’ve reviewed here. If JetBlue is a new airline to you then I recommend you read my introduction to JetBlue and how it’s disrupting transatlantic flying.

What’s the difference between JetBlue’s Mint Suites and Mint Studio?

I’ve outlined the upgrades in terms of personal space that Mint Studio offers over the standard Mint Suites, but what else is different?

As you’ll see below, most of the service you receive in Mint Studio is the same as any other business class customer: you get the same menu and drinks options and the same amenities such as slippers, blanket and amenity kit.

Beyond the additional space and privacy you get, it’s actually very similar to Mint Suite.

In fact, the best way to think of Mint Studio is not as a separate class of service (it’s not like first class) but simply as an improved front-row seating option.

Exploring the Mint Studio seat

Let’s start with what is different – the seat itself. The extra space is noticeable as soon as you board. Here is 1A, one of two Mint Studio seats on the plane:

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

And here is a standard Mint Suite:

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

The big difference is the addition of a padded bench to the right of the seat, which can act as a buddy dining seat (with its own tray table) as well as an extended bed area.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

In fact, the seat is very big in bed mode, with plenty of room for your knees if you’re a side-sleeper like I am:

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

The Studio door and walls are the same height as other suites, but it is still very private. You are only really overlooked if someone walks past or stands up in their seat behind you. Definitely no awkward eye contact with the person across the aisle:

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

Crew are very proactive in closing the suite door. As I mentioned in my Mint review, I find doors less necessary in an inward facing herringbone configuration where your head and shoulders are in the window and your feet are in the aisle, as you are better protected from the comings and goings of the aisle anyway.

Other features of the seat include an additional tall storage cupboard with mirror:

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

There’s also a flip-up storage compartment along the window, which features a bottle of water and a tall thin storage unit.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

Another benefit of Mint Studio is the larger, 22″ in-flight entertainment screen. This is 5″ larger than a standard Mint Suite. Content is the same, which means a good selection of older films but fewer new releases than you might expect. The Master & Dynamic headphones were once again excellent.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

On the other hand JetBlue’s excellent free-for-all Fly-Fi more than makes up for it. After watching a 15-second ad I was connected on all my devices with speeds fast enough to browse and share images and photos to social media. I’m not quite sure how JetBlue can offer wifi to all customers and yet still maintain good speeds, but it does.

As with other suites, you get a very handy little laptop drawer underneath the screen, which in my opinion is one of the most useful storage compartments to have.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

And instead of one ambient light you get two!

Charging options are the same and comprise two universal sockets, a USB-A and a USB-C port as well as a wireless charging pad. As with my outbound flight, I couldn’t get the wireless charging pad to work despite using one all the time at home.

Apart from an additional printed cushion, the amenities are the same, with a pillow and blanket provided by Tuft & Needle. The amenity kit is the same Caraa sports mesh pouch that can be converted into a drawstring bag. It contains a sleep mask and ear plugs from Tuft & Needle, dental kit (bamboo tooth brush, tooth paste and mouthwash) from Plus Ultra, lip balm, peel wipes and ‘moisture cushion’ cream and hand cream from Dr Dennis Gross as well as a pair of socks and a deodorant wipe.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

And that’s the seat. More space, more storage, a bigger bed, bigger screen and buddy dining. Everything is just that little more comfortable and spacious.

JetBlue Mint Studio service and food

As I said above, beyond the seat itself the service in Mint Studio is identical to what any other customer in Mint receives. This is not a problem, given that JetBlue’s crew are fantastic.

On boarding, the crew asked if they could take my coat and offered me a choice of pre-departure drinks: orange juice, mimosa or (Italian) sparkling wine. This is served in a plastic cup due to storage and weight constraints, which doesn’t make a good first impression. Fortunately everything is served in real glassware after takeoff.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

On my day flight return from New York to London Heathrow, the first meal was a breakfast service, followed up by a smaller meal before landing.

JetBlue features an innovative small plates dining concept which lets you choose three of five possible plates for your first meal and two of three for your second. These are ordered via the in-flight entertainment screen.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

First up, however, is a small pastry served with a drink of your choice:

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

For breakfast, the choices included:

  • Pineapple with toasted coconut
  • Salted yoghurt with raspberry jam and oated crumble
  • Avocado toast with roasted tomatoes, basil, parmigiano, crostini
  • Brioche French toast with roasted strawberries, whipped mascarpone
  • Frittata with leek, ricotta, herb and parmigiano salad

Sides of maple bacon and Calabrian chilli oil were also available. I went for the yoghurt, avocado toast and frittata. It is all served on one tray:

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

As with my outbound flight, I was pleasantly surprised. Airplane breakfasts are rarely inspiring – nobody daydreams about frittatas – and yet I found it all delicious and different to the usual ‘scrambled eggs, sausage and potato’ that you so often get on flights. The frittata and bacon were fantastic, to the point that I think I audibly ‘mmmm’ed on my first bite!

Crew were very attentive throughout the flight and regularly asked if I wanted a top up or another drink. About midway through our 6:30 journey, they came round offering some snacks including crisps and nuts. I asked if they had any chocolate and they managed to find some cocoa covered cashews.

The second meal service was, in my opinion, less inspiring and probably my least favourite meal on all my JetBlue flights. The options were:

  • Tuscan kale salad with parmigiano, caeser vinaigrette and lemon
  • Carrot soup with puffed wild rice and cilantro (coriander)
  • Panini with mortadella, fontina, roasted red peppers and basil

I opted for the latter two. The carrot soup was nice but the panini felt a bit basic and less sophisticated than I would want for something in business class.

Review: JetBlue's Mint Studio from New York JFK to London Heathrow

Conclusion

Hopefully this gives you a taste for what you can expect in Mint Studio vs Mint Suite. Anyone looking for a bit more personal space is likely to be pleased.

As I noted above, it’s better to think of it as a preferred seating option than a separate cabin of service. I do think airlines generally could differentiate these business-plus seating options more, perhaps with improved bedding (a mattress topper would be excellent) or amenity kits.

As with standard Mint Suite, however, I think JetBlue perfectly balances excellent service with refreshing ideas and a more personable, less formal manner. Not everything is a winner (the plastic cup for pre-departure drinks being one of them) but JetBlue offers an exceptionally competitive product. In many cases, it’s better.

Comments (50)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TimM says:

    I always try to book the front row on any airline – due to height and convenience. It is just a shame that easyJet don’t have ‘Satsuma Suites’ there, yet 🙂

  • Jonathan Lancaster says:

    I got a set of Mint Studio pyjamas on my overnight flight from JFK-LGW a few years back. Have those been enhanced away or is it just that they don’t bother on daytime flights?

    • Rhys says:

      Not sure – likely just nighttime.

      • Jonathan says:

        Yeah unfortunately nice freebies like that are are often given on flights that take place largely throughout the nighttime, probably also varies by airline

  • Malcolm says:

    Did a random check of pricing of Mint from Edinburgh to New York and coming in at a punchy £4.7k return. Economy was about £580 for same flight. Not cheap. Think I can manage 14 hours in economy and spend the £4.1k extra on something else.

    • jjoohhnn says:

      You’ll need that for the hotels 😉

      • Malcolm says:

        Exactly!

      • Jonathan says:

        Just because you’ll fly into NYC area, doesn’t mean you’re necessarily staying there, although the U.S. is hardly cheap at all for having somewhere to stay the night or however long you want / need

        • Gordon says:

          The only good thing financially about NYC, is the flat fare from the airport to Manhattan.

  • Richie says:

    Thanks for this @Rhys the detail is really interesting. I hope HfP will be covering the inaugural A321XLR flight.

  • Novice says:

    Looks good. But the important question is; is it worth the money?

    Imo, it would only be worth it on a very long flight. 6/7 hours is not that long.

  • Tom R says:

    I find the wireless chargers on those planes very glitchy. They work but you have to be really exact with placement. Do you have a case on your phone? I found removing mine helped. Did you make use of the phone stand in the suites, also another little interesting feature I’ve not seen before. Not sure I’d pay the 250 extra, seems a bit steep for a little bit of extra room. Maybe nice if you’re traveling as a couple and want dinner together I guess but I’ve taken at least 8 flights in mint and 75% of the time the seats are empty, and when they are not I’ve never seen anyone get up and join.

    • Rhys says:

      I use wireless chargers a lot, so I know they can be a bit fiddly. I think these ones just didn’t work!

    • TimM says:

      If it is a long flight and you need power, just take a power bank. Anything up to 160 Wh is acceptable.

  • Joe says:

    JetBlue is phenomenal. Best US domestic airline by far. If they were part of an alliance I’d strongly consider moving more business to them

    • Ben says:

      Not sure I’d agree with that. T5 at JFK is one of the worst airline terminals out there, a total zoo. This is where the lack of lounge access really matters…Rhys reviewed a daytime flight back from JFK, but the majority of people fly at night, where eating in the lounge beforehand and then go straight to sleep on the plane is the best option…but that’s not possible on JetBlue.

      Their FF scheme is also subpar, I was Mosaic for a while and the benefits are far below what legacy airlines provide.

      I tend to avoid flying them domestically in the US for those reasons.

  • Robert says:

    Herringbone seating puts me off a but, but I’ll probably try Mint at some point just to check it out (domestic I would imagine).

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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