JetBlue's First Class Is Pretty Damn Cool — but Is It Worth the Cost?

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block
POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

I was invited to fly JetBlue's inaugural Mint class (aka first class) from San Francisco to Boston, and I'm officially converted — not just to Mint, but to the airline. Starting at $599 one-way (and possibly lower — I spotted a $493 seat flying Boston to San Francisco), it's pretty incredible that you can fly across the country and back in first class for $1,000. That said, as a first-time JetBlue flier, I was almost more impressed with the coach perks — especially in an Even More Space seat on my return flight. Read on for my experience on Mint to decide for yourself if it's worth it.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

The first perk to flying Mint is being in the first group to board. On our seats were blankets, eye masks, ear plugs, and a signed welcome note.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

This is what the March lunch/dinner menu (Eastbound) looked like. It featured dishes inspired by Saxon + Parole, a restaurant in New York City that focuses on local meat and seafood, and wine offerings selected by wine expert Jon Bonné.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

The storage compartment wasn't huge, but it was roomy enough to hold my book and some other small items.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Plus there was another small compartment by your feet, which was convenient since you can't have any bags at your feet for takeoff and landing. The flight attendant helpfully put my purse up in the overhead compartment and brought it back down again for me, so it wasn't really an issue.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

There's a button you can push to let the flight attendant know if you'd like be woken up for food service or if you'd rather not be disturbed.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

I appreciated the nook for stashing your phone, complete with an easily accessible charging station, bottled water, and adjustable reading light.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

We were promptly served a tasty RefreshMint cocktail before takeoff — honey-infused limeade and fresh mint with vodka. Word of caution: the spot for the drinks on the center divider was a little precarious for when you need to get up and pass the person beside you.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

The remote is in the armrest, but the TV is also a touch screen.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Here's the view from my window seat (3A). I had one traveler seated next to me, but four lucky passengers on my flight were in individual suites with doors.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Here's a closer look at the charging station. There are outlets in coach, but they are under the seat and a little trickier to get to.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Here's a look at the spacious legroom with the seat in an upright position. With the buttons on the armrest, you're able to adjust how far back you want the seat to recline (including a full lie-flat option), the firmness of the cushions, and the massage feature. That said, I couldn't really tell the difference between the massage and just the normal vibrations of the plane. But the leg room and reclined seats were incredible.

Not pictured: the tray table comes from the center divider (on my right) instead of pulling down from the back of the seat in front of you. Mine happened to be very slanted and close to my body, which made being on my computer and eating a little bit awkward.

Even More Space Seat
POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Even More Space Seat

For comparison, here's the Even More Space seat — JetBlue's version of premium economy — I sat in on my return flight. Still plenty of room to stretch out, and I was also able to board first with this seat (Mint class wasn't available on this plane). These seats vary in price depending on the flight, but I've read examples of them costing an extra $60 or $90 on top of the cost of a one-way ticket.

Other complimentary amenities all coach fliers can enjoy are WiFi (JetBlue's own Fly-Fi broadband Internet), charging outlets, a snack and drink station (with Doritos, chips, cookies, pretzels, etc.), and DirecTV (36 or 100-plus free channels depending on the aircraft). I will add that the plane makes a difference. The newer planes (with Mint Class) have a very cool inflight marketplace and more channel options.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

We all received complimentary Birchbox amenity kits — a male and a female version.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Mine included a cucumber sheet mask, anti-freeze hair sheets, hair serum, body butter, and a long-lastinig eye shadow crayon. I loved the little zippered pouch!

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

For inflight entertainment, there are 15-inch touch screens with free movies, up to 100 channels from DirecTV, and SiriusXM Radio.

I tried out JetBlue's broadband Internet service, Fly-Fi — which is free for everyone on the flight — on both my iPhone and my laptop, and it worked pretty great. It was fast, and I was able to surf the web, check my work emails, use HipChat, and use apps like Instagram and Facebook no problem. The only thing I had issues with was Snapchat.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

As a fan of rosé, I was pretty excited to see Roederer Estate Brut Rosé on the menu and find out that JetBlue was the first US airline to serve rosé. Oh, and it was delicious. The truffled portobello mushroom mousse? Not so much. I couldn't get over the gelatinous texture, and the crostini tasted stale.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

The dinner was a bit better. Served tapas style, you choose three dishes for your main from five options. The grilled ahi tuna with quinoa salad was my favorite, which surprised me since I was a little iffy on ordering raw fish on a plane. The roasted chicken thigh and pork tenderloin porchetta were both too sweet for my taste and just a little bland.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Dessert was a seasonal fruit salad and maple organic ice cream from Blue Marble in Brooklyn, New York. The ice cream was creamy with a subtle maple flavor — I loved it. And I usually can't handle the weird water aftertaste of airplane coffee, but the Dunkin' Donuts offered in both Mint and coach was legitimately good. (Made even better out of a real coffee cup.)

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

Enjoying the comfy blanket and the yummy Brooklyn Brewery Lager. This might also be a good time to mention that the service from my flight attendent was impeccable. He was always available, but I never felt like he was bugging me. Cheers to that!

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

I didn't notice until the flight was over that there were handy hooks for hanging a small purse or coat.

POPSUGAR Photography | Tara Block

So is JetBlue's Mint class worth it? If you're on a five- or six-plus-hour long flight, but especially if it's a red eye and you'd like to take advantage of the lie-flat seats to have a comfortable sleep session — then, yes, it's very much worth it. Or if you're just looking for an affordable first-class option, I'd recommend it.

But, in general, if you plan on working or just being awake the whole flight, I'd say go for coach — but splurge on one of the Even More Space seats for the extra leg room and early boarding. You can still enjoy the free WiFi, charging outlets, free snacks, and inflight TV for half the price (or less) of the Mint class.