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Is the JetBlue Mint Studio Worth the Upgrade?

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JetBlue has changed the game with new Mint business class suites flying overseas. Private, spacious seats with JetBlue's cheery service and outrageously good meals? Check, check, and check. But there's something even better at the front of the plane: The JetBlue Mint Studio. 

This pair of suites in the first row of JetBlue's Mint cabin is like the standard Mint business class suite on steroids, with tons of extra space to stretch out as you cross the Atlantic. It's light on extra amenities or the elevated service you'll find in a bonafide international first class – but in sheer size alone, it's tough to beat.

But this is the airline world, where nothing good comes free. So how do you upgrade to a JetBlue Mint Studio – and, more importantly, is it really worth it? 

Read our full review of the normal JetBlue Mint experience to compare! 

 

 

How to Upgrade to the JetBlue Mint Studio

First things first: You need a flight in JetBlue Mint suites. 

You'll find JetBlue's latest business class cabins flying overseas between New York City (JFK) or Boston (BOS) to cities like London-Heathrow (LHR), Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Amsterdam (AMS), Dublin (DUB), and soon even Edinburgh (EDI). While JetBlue also flies Mint-equipped planes across the U.S. and down to the Caribbean, you'll typically find the airline's older (but still excellent) Mint seats on all but a few major routes like select flights between New York and Los Angeles (LAX).

 

jetblue mint suites cabin

 

You've got a few options to book JetBlue Mint for a bargain: 

  • We regularly see JetBlue slash transatlantic Mint fares to $2,000 roundtrip or less – especially right after they announce brand-new routes
  • Sadly, JetBlue's own TrueBlue Points don't go nearly as far as we'd like to book these flights … though its dynamic award pricing means that you can get a somewhat decent deal using points when cash prices drop.
  • Book those cheaper fares through the Chase Travel℠ portal, where points from the *chase sapphire preferred* get you 1.25 cents apiece toward the cost of a ticket – or 1.5 cents with the *chase sapphire reserve*. That means you can book a $1,900 JetBlue Mint fare for as few as 126,000 Chase points.
  • Book direct through JetBlue with your *venture x*, then go back and cover the cost using Venture Miles. That same $1,900 fare would cost you 190,000 Venture Miles.
  • Book with points from *biz platinum*, which gets a 35% rebate on all premium cabin tickets.

No matter how you book, you'll be able to pick any of the standard JetBlue Mint Suites for free. But from the time you book until just before takeoff, anyone can bump themselves up to an open JetBlue Mint Studio … at anytime. 

And the cost of snagging one of two Studio is remarkably consistent. As of publication, you'll pay:

  • $299 each way for transatlantic routes between the U.S. and Europe
  • $199 each way for transcontinental routes within the U.S.

And in my experience, that cost never changes. So don't count on getting a better deal by waiting until just before departure. On my flight last fall, my neighbor across the aisle told me he upgraded to the Studio space the night before our flight and still paid $299 – the same upcharge I paid while booking six-plus months in advance.

Even now looking at a flight from Boston (BOS) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) for later this week, it's still just $299. 

 

jetblue mint studio seat selection

 

If you're booking directly with JetBlue, you'll have the option to pay extra for a Mint Studio during the checkout process while selecting seats. Otherwise, you should have no trouble managing your reservation at JetBlue.com, opening the seat map, and paying for a JetBlue Mint Studio after the fact.

Thrifty Tip: You can also use JetBlue TrueBlue points … or charge the upgrade fee to a card like the *venture x* and use your miles to cover the purchase!

But as JetBlue struggles to climb out of a financial hole and its botched takeover attempt of Spirit Airlines, the airline has been raising fees like crazy. It wouldn't surprise me to see this Mint Studio upcharge increase in the not-too-distant future. 

 

Extra Space & Storage

Just like in Texas, everything is bigger in the JetBlue Mint Studio.

Honestly, that's the single biggest upside of these Studio suites – they're just much bigger. And that's obvious in a quick glance when you compare the standard JetBlue Mint Suite…

 

jetblue mint suites day

 

… to the JetBlue Mint Studio.

 

jetblue mint studio

 

There are just two JetBlue Mint Studios on each flight. Both are located in the very first row, seats 1A and 1F. It's a clever way to use up some of the extra space at the bulkhead since there's not another passenger's seat in front of you eating into your space. 

And that gives you much more space … in almost every single direction. There's more legroom and a larger footwell to tuck your feet into, too. But the additional width inside the suite is far more noticeable, with enough room for a designated buddy seat for a pal to buckle in and enjoy a meal or a movie together. 

 

jetblue mint studio width

 

But it goes beyond the extra space. Each Mint Studio also features far more storage space, including a handy compartment (with a mirror inside) built into the front of the suite and a fairly deep compartment along the window. Lack of storage is one of the few drawbacks inside each of the standard Mint Suites if you ask me. 

 

jetblue mint studio storage

jetblue mint studio

 

The foldout seatback screen is noticeably larger, too. This one measures 22 inches compared to the 17-inch screens in each of the normal suites behind you. Like the rest, it's a touchscreen – or you can use the wired remote built into the console. 

 

jetblue mint studio screen

 

While I wouldn't say the standard JetBlue suites are too narrow, the extra shoulder room in these Studio Suites is honestly pretty incredible. It's easily one of the most spacious business class seats you'll find flying across the Atlantic. In fact, I'd say it's on par with the seat (and to be clear, the seat alone) of Lufthansa First Class or British Airways First Class, two far more expensive options. 

After flying in a standard Mint Suite on the way to Amsterdam, I upgraded to a Mint Studio for the flight home. It was a tremendous office for seven hours.

 

jetblue mint studio

 

But the biggest potential upsides – a buddy seat and much wider sleeping surface – could be muted by one of these suites' biggest maintenance issues.

 

But a Broken Buddy Seat

JetBlue, we have a problem. 

On paper, the buddy seat built into the side of each Mint Studio suite should double as an elegant way to make this one of the widest beds you can find in the sky. In practice, it rarely works that way due to maintenance issues: The leg rest is likely out of order. 

 

jetblue mint legrest

 

The buddy seat leg rest inside my Mint Studio was out of order and so was my neighbor's … and we were not alone. For planes that are typically just a few years old, these broken legrests are a shockingly common problem – and it has been for years. Scan through other reviews of JetBlue Mint Studios and you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere it was working properly. 

Don't get me wrong: The Studio was still much bigger and made for an excellent bed. But that extra bit of sleeping space sure would have been nice…

 

jetblue mint studio bed

 

So if the allure of paying extra for the Mint Studio is about extra space to snooze while soaring across the Atlantic Ocean, you might reconsider. 

As for bringing up a buddy to dine with you, I'm honestly not sure whether that's possible if these leg rests aren't working – I wasn't about to invite a total stranger into my studio to try. But there have been plenty of stories that the second tray table is also out of order – talk about a double whammy. 

Long story short: At this point, I'm not sure you can count on the buddy seat functioning properly. If that was a major selling point for you, it probably shouldn't be.

 

More Amenities … Kind Of

Beyond the extra space and bigger screen, the inflight experience with a JetBlue Mint Studio is more or less identical to what you'll get in any of the Mint Suites behind you. You'll get the same meals to pick from, the same cheery service, and the same free in-flight Wi-Fi. 

There are, however, a few extra touches. 

For starters, you get a second plush pillow to lounge with. Groundbreaking? No, but nice! 

 

jetblue mint studio pillow

 

Pajamas are also available solely to passengers in JetBlue Mint Studios. I wasn't offered any during my flight, nor were they waiting inside my Studio. Surely I could have asked for a pair … but for a daytime flight, that was unnecessary anyways. 

In the past, Mint Studio passengers also got a beefed-up amenity kit with some additional goodies. It seems those days are over: My amenity kit was identical to the one I got in a normal Mint Suite on the way to Amsterdam.

 

Speedier Service

I wouldn't say that the service when flying up in a Mint Studio was better than what I experienced a few rows back. But it was certainly faster. 

That comes down to the location: Passengers in the first row are served meals first. Duh, right?

So while it took over an hour to get dinner back in row 9 on the way to Europe, a flight attendant dropped off my meal inside my Studio within 20 minutes or so of takeoff from Amsterdam. 

 

jetblue mint lunch

 

If you plan to eat on board but still want to sleep as soon as possible, every minute matters. Compared to being at the back of the cabin, a spot in a Mint Studio could easily buy you another hour of solid sleep. Of course, you could save yourself the extra $299 and simply select a suite in row 2 or 3 to get fed and go to bed earlier, too. 

But there's also a tradeoff to being right at the front of the cabin. Being in the very first row also means the crew will be walking past your suite for a solid hour or longer while serving all the other passengers. If you're a light sleeper, you might struggle with all the extra traffic even after you've wrapped up.

 

Bottom Line

I loved flying JetBlue Mint to Europe and I loved flying up front in the JetBlue Mint Studio even more. But for me, it'll be a one-and-done. 

If you're content with any lie-flat suite with a door, you can safely skip the upgrade to a Studio. But if you're particularly claustrophobic and need the extra space, paying the additional $199 to $299 could easily be worth it – especially if you want to eat dinner and get to bed ASAP. 

Really, the Mint Studio's biggest problem might just be that the normal JetBlue Mint suites are excellent enough. Combined with the regular maintenance issues that could jeopardize the extra sleeping space or dining face-to-face with a buddy inside the Studio, I'm not sure I'd encourage many travelers to pony up another $300 for an upgrade. 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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