by VGP Blogger Rachel B.
This week it’s all about first class seats. Starting this week, American Airlines will begin flying its new transcontinental fleet from JFK to LAX, with JFK to SFO to follow. The A321 planes reward those who are willing to pay (with cash or miles). There are three classes of service: a ten-seat first class with fully flat sleeper seats, a 20-seat business class, also with lie-flat beds but in a two-by-two configuration; and a 72-seat coach section, with half of the seats located in a “main cabin extra” section with 35-inch pitch.
Other features include supersize video screens and a personal entertainment system in first and business. The offerings I’m most excited about are power outlets and USB jacks throughout the plane. There are also meals for premium fliers that can be ordered in advance of the flight. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get a sneak peak unless you pay the price (or are invited to an American Airlines event), since the premium seats also have their own entrance, but a few pictures from American’s website are below.
For those well-heeled flyers that still choose to fly JetBlue despite their shenanigans of this week, JetBlue will offer similar premium seats starting this June called Mint. According to JetBlue’s site, JetBlue Mint includes 16 lie-flat seats in the front of our cabin, four of which are suites. The seats have a massage feature, cushions with adjustable firmness and the ability to lie completely flat. The seats also have their own door. The door does look quite small, but I’ll take any attempt at improvement in privacy. The token inflight entertainment we’ve all come to know and love on JetBlue will be included with up to 100 channels from DirectTV, SiriusXM Radio and access to Fly-Fi for internet.
The menu offerings in Mint seem above par. They will have a small plates menu from New York restaurant Saxon + Parole. Saxon + Parole has a traditional grill with a focus on meat and seafood as well as seasonal and sustainable produce. There will also be full-bottle wine service, a refreshing departure drink and complimentary alcoholic beverages. Fliers will also get an artisanal sweet treat as a parting gift.
JetBlue will give both men and woman a gender specific complimentary Birchbox. Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that for $10 a month sends 5-10 sample size high end beauty products to your doorstop. Not sure what this really has to do with flying, but I like travel freebees so Birchbox is a welcome perk for me. If the box included products that were specific to airline travel- such as mints, hand sanitizers, or moisturizers – I can see them being worthwhile.
Now the question will be if the extra perks such as a decent meal and some sample size beauty products will be worth the price. I did quick search on JetBlue’s site and found that a non-refundable weekend ticket for June starts at about $500. Similar direct flights on Delta are between $375-500 right now. I will be curious to see if the JetBlue Mint flights will run flash specials similar to their offerings on other flights. Service to San Francisco (SFO) on JetBlue Mint will be available by the end of the year.
What first class seats are you excited about?