To celebrate the 40th anniversary of APEX EXPO this year, we’re looking back at APEX members’ most significant achievements. Today, we give kudos to JetBlue for transforming domestic business class for the better.
In June 2014, after spying an opportunity to disrupt and redefine premium travel in the US transcontinental market, JetBlue launched Mint, a premium product available on board its Airbus A321 aircraft, sold for much less than transcontinental business-class flights on other airlines.
Today, Mint consists of 16 Thompson Vantage lie-flat seats across five rows at the front of the aircraft in an alternating configuration of 1-1 and 2-2, with the 1-1 rows consisting of private suites with sliding doors. At six feet and eight inches in length, JetBlue claimed they were the longest lie-flat seats in domestic business class when they launched.
However, the experience went beyond the seating product. Passengers were also introduced to tapas-style dining, fine wine, free in-flight entertainment and connectivity, and looked after by specially trained Mint crewmembers.
In the five years since its introduction, Mint has gone from strength to strength. Now featured on 35 of its Airbus A321 aircraft, the airline offers the service on numerous transcontinental routes, as well as routes between the northeast USA, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Mint will soon be making its way across the Atlantic. Earlier this year, JetBlue announced plans to fly to Europe from New York and Boston from 2021, starting with a service to London. As part of its plans, the airline is developing a transatlantic version of Mint, which will feature more lie-flat seats than currently offered on its existing A321 aircraft.
Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s CEO, is excited about the future of Mint. He commented, “We disrupted transcontinental travel in the US five years ago with accessible fares and a thoughtful reinvention of the business-class cabin, and we’re looking forward to doing the same for transatlantic customers.”
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