N595JB, an Airbus A320 named Rhythm & Blues at SLC airport
In part one of this series I provided an overview of my airline sampler trip (five airlines over four days) and offered my thoughts on my very first flight with Virgin America, from Dallas (DAL) to San Francisco (SFO.) ForÂ part two I reviewed United’s 787-8 BusinessFirst service from SFOÂ to LosÂ Angeles (LAX). TodayÂ we pick up just a stone’s throw away from LAX, at Long Beach Airport (LGB), for a quick journey to Salt Lake City (SLC)Â withÂ JetBlue.
Let me first say, I’ve always been fond of JetBlue. Except their route map. They simply don’t exist in my neck of the woods, so the opportunityÂ to check them out never presented itself. When opportunity doesn’t knock, we’ve got to go looking.Â Enter the Airline Sampler, a trip focused solely on getting out and experiencing new things. I was excited to find a way to incorporate my first B6 (their airline code) flight into my adventure.
Delta has partnered withÂ Starbucks as their new coffee provider – Photo: Starbucks
I will be the first to admit (and I have) that I am a coffee addict. Â So to surprise no one, I am talking about something close to my heart, and my stomach. Â Coffee on-board a flight (or while waiting for one) is a big thing, not only to me, but to so many other travelers.
The Delta 737 called “The Spirit of Seattle” seen from the airÂ – Photo:Â Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter
Airlines are not known to have the world’s best coffee. Heck, some might even call it plain awful. Â An airline’s choice of coffee can be an important one, not only to keep the passengers happy but also for their budgets. More and more airlines are taking their choice of coffee quite seriously and I decided to hold the cream and sugar and dive on in.
The 2013 World Airline Award winner was Emirates; who will it be this year? Photo: Brandon Farris
The 2014 World Airline Awards were held recently, in conjunction with the Farnborough Air Show, and the winners have been announced. Â In a star-studded event held at the old Royal Aircraft Establishment’s Wind Tunnels, the winners were announced by Skytrax, who manages the awards. Some of the winners this year cameÂ as a bit of a surprise.
The World Airline Awards are an independent and totally non-biased process, with nearlyÂ 19 million people voting online (between August 2013 to May 2014) to decide who has the best services, cabins, cabin crews, and even lounges. Â This is not just for your big name full-service airlines; even Low Cost Carriers have their own categories! Â More than 105 different nationalities participated in this year’s survey and helped to define who was going to be namedÂ “Worldâ€™s Best Airline”.
Throughout its fifteen year history, JetBlue Airways has worked hard to be the blue-collar airline with an upscale image. With popular features such as DirecTV and SiriusXM entertainment at every seat, the most legroom in coach of any US-based airline, and, most recently FlyFi wireless onboard internet connectivity, the airline has put the passenger experience at the forefront.
Now, the airline is poised to launch the next generation of its onboard product. Dubbed “Mint”, the service will initially be offered exclusively on its route between New York and Los Angeles, with flights to San Fransisco set to follow later this year. I recently had the chance to preview the new product at JFK and wanted to share what I discorvered.
- A Mint mini-suite
- A row of two Mint seats
The new Mint Experience is a wholesale, multi-faceted upgrade of the traditional JetBlue product. Offered exclusively on a subfleet of the carrier’s Airbus A321 aircraft, Mint provides a true premium product to compete with the other four carriers flying in the transcontinental market. The most noticeable change onboard is to the seat.