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jetBlue Mint Suite JFK-LAX... A great inflight experience! On the ground? Not so much

jetBlue Mint Suite JFK-LAX... A great inflight experience! On the ground? Not so much

Old Aug 12, 16, 10:47 pm
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jetBlue Mint Suite JFK-LAX... A great inflight experience! On the ground? Not so much

I've never flown jetBlue before this week. As a free agent now living in SoCal, I have a lot more options for travel back east than from DEN.
I lucked out finding saver and suite availability on my return this week from Pittsburgh. First time at beautiful PNC Park on a hot and muggy night.





Just after noon the next day, I left my office and headed to the airport for my flight to LaGuardia. Lots of weather delays in NY today so my first stop was the Admirals Club to change flights. OMG, AA actually sprung for new furniture! The ratty 30 year old US stuff is gone. New carpet and furniture including end tables with power outlets. Nice improvements although the old walls and dividers are still there.





On the other hand, the worn out entrance is as inviting as ever.



PIT-LGA
AA 409
CRJ
1:22p-2:49p (delayed to at least 3:00p)
August 10, 2016
switched to...

AA 4160
ER4
12:15p-1:46p (sked)
2:00p-2:58p (actual)
August 10, 2016


Once we were finally released from the ground hold, it was a short 55 minute flight. My complimentary EXP snack.









Cool throwback RenoAir livery as we taxied in.



My PIT-LGA AA flight landed at 3pm and I headed to the LGA Centurion Lounge to finish some work and a grab a bite to eat.















Meh, not as good as the food in the DFW Lounge.



Around 5:30 I headed for the taxi stand and the 45 minute rush hour ride to JFK's Terminal 5.



At least now they have an "under construction" excuse for the 3rd world look of LGA.





And my first time at Terminal 5.



Clean and spacious concourse. As I had already OLCI'd, I explored to see if there was any special Mint or premium counter.
A previous TR had referenced an area way to the left. If there was one, I couldn't find it. And certainly no Mint signage.
Not exactly a warm premium service welcome.







With PreCheck, I was thru security in a couple of minutes and into the gate concourse. Nice looking central area.



OK, this is cool.



I followed the "Lounge" sign to something called the Airspace Lounge.



Waiting to be checked in.





Agent said that this was not a B6 affiliated lounge as was suggested in a previous trip report. Mint customers do not get access, but entry was available for Amex Platinum and Centurion cardholders as well as Priority Pass members. Ok, this is one pretty small and uninspiring lounge. But it was near my departure gate so I didn't bother exploring for other options.













And another delay alert. Yippee, one of those nights.



At T-35 I headed out to the gate, only to find that our inbound plane hadn't even landed let alone pulled up to the gate. Apparently, B6 is as honest with delays as AA is.



Red is a popular color tonight.







Finally, our inbound arrives from LAX.



Lining up the wheel chairs at around 9:30pm.


Last edited by SFO777; Aug 12, 16 at 11:59 pm
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Old Aug 12, 16, 10:48 pm
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JFK-LAX
jetBlue 1123
A321
7:30p-10:47p (sked)
11:15p-1:50a +1 (actual)
August 10, 2016
Mint Suite 4A
Dinner


Well, it's not as bad as United's every-but-the-kitchen-sink pre-boarding... but after handicapped and those with children under 2, Mint was invited to board. Of course, getting to the door thru all the gate lice was another story. Gate lice, B6 style.



More emotional support animals. Uh-huh.



A nice looking cabin and especially the 4 suites, 2A, 2F, 4A and 4F.















OK IFE with lots of DirecTV channels but a limited selection of movies that are not on demand but simply cycle in a loop.













Open bar PDB but I went with the mojito-like honey infused limeade with Grey Goose vodka and mint. Delicious.





This month's menu. Yo, Air Canada. Some airlines change menu every month, not every decade.







Nice wine list, with two really good reds. $25 to $30 a bottle, about three times the price of AA First rot gut. And 90-92 ratings. ^



We pushed at a little after 10p and then suffered through the hour plus JFK taxi conga line.









Finally, around 11:15p we were wheels up and on our way to LAX.







As like most, a pretty dopey amenity kit.





Shortly after take-off, Kimberly stopped by to take our orders. Yes, I would like my G&T before dinner.



Showtime! But a dopey paper placemat?? What's the point?



Interesting presentation with my three choices side-by-side.



A paper napkin? Seriously?



Bread was stone cold with the tilted table tray letting my olive oil run all over the plate.



OK, all in all, a little cheap. But, the wonderful Saxon+Parole food made up for all of other quirks and deficiencies.
The Asian pear salad was excellent, with baby mustard greens, blue cheese, candied hazelnuts and grape vinaigrette.



The Chicken & dumplings was sensational, with herb velouté, asparagus, sugar snap peas, carrots and turnips. Wow.



But the sleeper was the Bison Meal Loaf. What a great flavor combination with blueberry quinoa, roasted beets and zinfandel BBQ sauce.



The Turley Zin was excellent, but the Wind Gap Soif was a real wow. What a concept, drinkable wines on a domestic flight.



While the fruit and artisan ice cream was not decadent, it was refreshing.



After dinner, I reclined my seat to full flat and slept like a baby for more than 3 hours only to awake on descent. LA on a partly cloudy night. Since it was nearly 2am and well after the west bound landing curfew, we headed over the Pacific and turned back to land on runway 12L.



A final parting gift, cookies and cake from Brooklyn's Mah Zeh Dahr Bakery. Mrs. SFO777 enjoyed the cake the next morning.





We arrived at 1:50am, some three hours late, at the third world like Terminal 3. Wow, except for the new TBIT, LAX is a bad airport at best... but T3 is the absolute dregs of LAX.

I really enjoyed the jetBlue experience, but only once I boarded the flight. If I could time my arrival at JFK to T-30, breeze thru PreCheck and go right to the gate and board, it would be a perfect travel experience. But, B6s complete lack of and ignorance of premium ground services is a big negative. Nevertheless, I'd likely ignore the deficiencies, suck it up and fly jetBlue Mint again, as the inflight product is superior to the competition including AA's three class First.

Last edited by SFO777; Aug 14, 16 at 7:44 am
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Old Aug 13, 16, 12:14 am
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Thank you, SFO777, for another top flight trip report. While JetBlue's food and wine look pretty good, those Mint seats look pretty hard and none too cozy.

I really miss the days of big, plush First Class seats. National's DC-8-61s were perhaps the best, along with American's 707 widebody refit seats. Continental's original DC-10 California Room loungers were also superb.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 5:17 am
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More emotional support animals. Uh-huh.



What an obnoxious comment. So what if that is the case? Who are you to judge?
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Old Aug 13, 16, 6:39 am
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Nice repot... Thanks for sharing...

There is Mint check-in area but it is well hidden - I had to ask a B6 employee for directions. Lounge is simply not part of the experience.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 7:56 am
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Jet Blue looks like they offer a very nice hard product with Mint.
I have flown them in economy and had nice flights.
Nice read.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 8:50 am
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Such a pleasure to read an SFO777 TR of Mint. I am a huge, huge fan of the in-flight product and am thrilled to see them continue to expand it to additional routes.

A quick tip for your next time in JFK T5 -- the best "lounge" IMO is the somewhat hidden but incredibly lovely Rooftop outdoor space. YMMV of course but before 7 hours on a plane, there's something amazing about spending some quiet time in green space with nice tables and chairs.

Also, there indeed is a separate Mint/Mosaic checkin position at T5; it recently moved and can be challenging to find unless you know exactly where to look (it's closer to the Airtrain escalator, if that makes sense.)

ETA: Did you have an opportunity to check out the "Marketplace" area on your Mint flight? Great, clean setup of sodas, waters and snacks. Such a great product.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 9:58 am
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
Thank you, SFO777, for another top flight trip report. While JetBlue's food and wine look pretty good, those Mint seats look pretty hard and none too cozy. I really miss the days of big, plush First Class seats. National's DC-8-61s were perhaps the best, along with American's 707 widebody refit seats. Continental's original DC-10 California Room loungers were also superb.
Thanks very much Seat 2A. Like most seats these days, they could have a little more cushion and less firmness (like AA's comfy Mad Dog seats). But the suite was indeed cozy and comfortable.

Originally Posted by SgtRyan View Post
More emotional support animals. Uh-huh.

What an obnoxious comment. So what if that is the case? Who are you to judge?
What's really obnoxious is the rampant abuse of a program that presumably has merit occasionally. There are dogs and cats on every flight now.
What's next? Emotional support pigs? Chickens? Oh wait, that's already happened.

BTW, it wasn't the only "emotional support" doggie on the flight.



But my fave was this one on an AA flight.



Originally Posted by TPJ View Post
Nice report... Thanks for sharing...
There is Mint check-in area but it is well hidden - I had to ask a B6 employee for directions. Lounge is simply not part of the experience.
Thank you TPJ. I'll search a little harder next time. But it does seem strange that it's hidden.

Originally Posted by apodo77 View Post
Jet Blue looks like they offer a very nice hard product with Mint.I have flown them in economy and had nice flights.
Nice read.
Thanks apodo77. It was a great experience.

Originally Posted by LewDog View Post
Such a pleasure to read an SFO777 TR of Mint. I am a huge, huge fan of the in-flight product and am thrilled to see them continue to expand it to additional routes.
A quick tip for your next time in JFK T5 -- the best "lounge" IMO is the somewhat hidden but incredibly lovely Rooftop outdoor space. YMMV of course but before 7 hours on a plane, there's something amazing about spending some quiet time in green space with nice tables and chairs.
Also, there indeed is a separate Mint/Mosaic checkin position at T5; it recently moved and can be challenging to find unless you know exactly where to look (it's closer to the Airtrain escalator, if that makes sense.)
ETA: Did you have an opportunity to check out the "Marketplace" area on your Mint flight? Great, clean setup of sodas, waters and snacks. Such a great product.
Thanks very much LewDog. The Rooftop sounds great. Will have to check it out next time. Still strange that they don't promote or even have any signage (that I could see) for the Mint/Mosaic checkin position. Didn't checkout the Marketplace as I was comfy in the walled off suite and just wanted to get some sleep. Will check it out next time. Thanks!
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Old Aug 13, 16, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by TPJ View Post
Nice repot... Thanks for sharing...

There is Mint check-in area but it is well hidden - I had to ask a B6 employee for directions. Lounge is simply not part of the experience.
Yes, there is, though it is very small and hard to spot.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
After dinner, I reclined my seat to full flat and slept like a baby for more than 3 hours only to awake on descent. LA on a partly cloudy night. Since it was nearly 2am and well after the west bound landing curfew, we headed over the Pacific and turned back to land on runway 12L.


We arrived at 1:50am, some three hours late, at the third world like Terminal 3. Wow, except for the new TBT, LAX is a bad airport at best... but T3 is the absolute dregs of LAX.
The second airport terminal I ever visited was T3 at LAX, also after a long delayed flight and a 2:30AM arrival landing from the west. Let's just say I'm glad I started at the bottom and it could only get better .
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Old Aug 13, 16, 12:40 pm
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Originally Posted by SgtRyan View Post
More emotional support animals. Uh-huh.



What an obnoxious comment. So what if that is the case? Who are you to judge?
I think its fair for SFO777 to "judge". The "emotional support" animal thing is out of control. People abuse the hell out of this loophole(since technically, anything can be an "emotional support animal"...without any documentation needed). IMO it is incredibly inconsiderate for people to bring animals(who many are allergic to) into a metal tube with re-circulated air con at 35k feet. Next flight your on im going to bring my emotional support black mamba snake...we will see how you like it...lol
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Old Aug 13, 16, 1:44 pm
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Great report as always SFO777. The Mint inflight product is indeed a great way to fly coast to coast and it's difficult to beat the pricing as well. Only recently have airlines like AA struggled to match on certain days and flights.

As you've noted, B6 still struggles a bit in its differentiation of premium passengers. Mint flights especially should have some sort of priority access line to bypass the economy customers and of course there really should be some sort of lounge access. The Airspace lounge is really quite sad. I visited a couple weeks ago during a transfer from an SQ flight and really it's useful to get your free snack or drink and have a shower, after that, as others have stated the rooftop deck is nice (assuming the weather is also nice). The Mint product is very good, but there are a few little things that one expects with a premium product that have just been overlooked.

Originally Posted by Gripevo View Post
I think its fair for SFO777 to "judge". The "emotional support" animal thing is out of control. People abuse the hell out of this loophole(since technically, anything can be an "emotional support animal"...without any documentation needed). IMO it is incredibly inconsiderate for people to bring animals(who many are allergic to) into a metal tube with re-circulated air con at 35k feet. Next flight your on im going to bring my emotional support black mamba snake...we will see how you like it...lol
I agree. I'm sympathetic to those with needs for actual service animals, those that have been trained specifically as service animals, however the emotional support pet nonsense is completely out of control. I personally can't stand dogs and if someone boarded with one and sat next to me with it out of its carrier, I would be livid and probably request a seat change. It's an aircraft people, not a petting zoo.
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Old Aug 13, 16, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
But my fave was this one on an AA flight.

Kill me, but I love it^
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Old Aug 13, 16, 1:53 pm
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PS: This must be paradise for you:
https://www.instagram.com/hanktheworldtraveler/
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Old Aug 13, 16, 1:59 pm
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Excellent overview of the product, with the usual SFO777 wit and panache ^

Next time you fly through, I'd be interested in your view of the supposedly upgraded dining options in T5 (as you have done for DEN for example). Also, are any parts of the historic old TWA terminal still visible?
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