JetBlue’s new transatlantic Mint product features private suites and studios with their own sliding doors and luxurious interior design. Olivia Palamountain reports
Originally focused on transcontinental flights, the brand has now set its sights on transforming transatlantic travel with private booths and an ultra-spacious front-row Mint Studio concept.
Designed in partnership with Acumen Design Associates and launching on JetBlue’s London flights this summer, the new-look Mint business class offering will feature a thoughtful, residential-inspired design and custom touches throughout the cabin interior.Inspired by the popularity of the four private suites in its current Mint configuration, JetBlue’s transatlantic Mint cabin will feature 24 private suites with a sliding door for every customer and gradient panelled mood lighting. (A 16-seat layout will debut on a limited number of flights between New York and Los Angeles in 2021.)
“Residential textures” abound, such as flannel-covered privacy dividers, concrete lampshades, woodgrain table patterns and soft, vegan leather-covered seats and headrests. Bedding is by Tuft and Needle, which has supplied T&N Adaptive® Foam cushions, memory foam pillows and customisable blankets.Tech updates include tilting 17-inch Thales AVANT seatback screens, wireless charging stations, an integrated phone ledge, and easy-to-reach in-seat power, as well as laptop, shoe and handbag stowage.
JetBlue is the first carrier to outfit its aircraft with Thompson Aero Seating’s VantageSOLO seat, a herringbone configuration designed for narrow-body aircraft and further customised for JetBlue.
As part of the relaunch, JetBlue will also introduce Mint Studio, sporting the largest bed and Thales AVANT entertainment screen (22 inches) on any US airline. Conceptualised by Acumen and developed in partnership with AIM Altitude, each JetBlue aircraft will have two Mint Studios in the front row.Mint Studios also have an extra side table and a guest seat that can accommodate an additional Mint customer when the flight is at cruising altitude. Passengers also get to borrow a custom version of Master & Dynamic’s MH40 noise-isolating headphones for use during the flight.
Onboard catering has had an overhaul too. JetBlue has partnered with Delicious Hospitality Group to bring NYC hotspots Charlie Bird, Pasquale Jones, and Legacy Records to passengers.An international artisan wine list has been curated by Parcelle, while cocktals (shaken on board) are inspired by recipes from Ada’s Place, a speakeasy in New York.“Mint was an idea to make premium travel across the US less stuffy and more affordable, and its performance has exceeded even our most optimistic expectations of going beyond New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco,” says Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer for JetBlue.
She adds: “It’s remarkable how Mint’s thoughtful design has resonated with customers as we successfully grew it to more than 30 routes. We put our heart into this redesign of Mint and were inspired by our original vision of offering customers an exceptional experience at a lower fare – which is what JetBlue is all about.”
The rise of Isolation Class
The fact that JetBlue has unveiled a new business class product with private booths comes as no surprise to Globetrender. Last year, in our Aviation Trend Briefing, we predicted the rise of “Isolation Class”.
We wrote: “Real-estate has always been at a premium onboard airlines but in the viral age, sectioned off private cabins will be a highly desirable luxury for which airlines will be able to charge top dollar. Carriers that already offer customers self-contained ‘suites’ will do well, especially those with full-height curtains or doors. Examples include Air France La Première and the newest version of Emirates first class – most others don’t have full-height dividers.
“According to Globetrender’s Future of Business Travel report, which surveyed more than 2,000 international frequent flyers, 75 per cent of respondents said that being able to fly first or business class would make them more likely to travel for work in the future. This was second only to there being a Covid-19 vaccine (80 per cent).
“The promise of a private suite will no doubt sweeten the deal further, even though airlines are keen to reassure passengers that the risk of catching Covid in the air is small (the problem is, what if you are sat next to someone who is coughing for six hours?).
“Visionary design firm PriestmanGoode is seeking to solve this with its new concept for business class Pure Skies Rooms, which sees passengers seated in private booths separated by full-height curtains.”
What’s coming next? Trend reports available to download HERE