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One size no longer fits all at JetBlue
JetBlue has announced that it will start offering a new premium business class, which it is calling “Mint”.
With fully-flat beds, private suites, dual power outlets that include USB ports, amenity kits and a Saxon+Parole designed tapas menu, JetBlue’s new “Mint” seating will start in the summer of 2014.
The new business class will be available on flights between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport starting in June of 2014. Flights between New York’s Kennedy Airport and San Francisco International Airport will be starting in the fall of 2014. The airline is hoping to win over business class passengers from traditional carriers on the lucrative New York routes.
“Mint is JetBlue’s refreshing take on a premium class product. It is stylish service minus all of the stuffiness often associated with the traditional front-of-the-cabin experience,” said JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger in a statement.
“JetBlue is truly all about serving the underserved, the customer who wants to enjoy first-rate service at an exceptional and affordable fare. We believe Mint is better than other airlines’ first class and business class service, and with fares that make it accessible to everyone, we think Mint will become the obvious choice for customers flying across the country.”
“We intend to reinvent the lucrative coast-to-coast market with Mint,” Barger stated.
However, some critics say with the switch to offering a premium inflight experience, the carrier might run the risk of breaking with its long time image of equality among passengers.
“The tightrope that JetBlue will have to walk is wooing these premium flyers back without alienating its traditional base of economy flyers,” writes Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com.
JetBlue will be dedicating 11 new Airbus A321s for the two routes, each will be equipped with 16 lie-flat seats, four of them will be private suites.
Passengers in coach will also receive improvements considering the new Airbus A321 aircraft will offer free WiFi and in-seat power outlets for all passengers, along with increased audio and television programming.
JetBlue’s first “Mint” flight will depart Kennedy Airport for Los Angeles on June 15, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. Fares are now on sale for $499 one-way from New York to Los Angeles for travel between June 15 and June 18, 2014.