I love the word Mint for a premium offering. As a Brit it connotes money and luxury – It’s mint! I also really like the idea of a Jet Blue Business Class, because if you can bring a budget flight ticket to market which is marginally similar to the standard economy offering, why not do the same in business? And by looking at how well Jet Blue Mint has been received I’d say I’m not the only one. The LLC have developed a genuinely innovative product and a loyal base, and that’s why it’s doing so well
What is the Jet Blue Mint experience?
Mint debuted back in 2013, with $599 one way tickets between New York and San Francisco and New York and Los Angeles. Within a year it’d rolled out more options, you can now fly Mint to a selection of US internal flights between the West and the East Coasts. It also offers some Caribbean routes seasonally. The service is operated onboard a the Airbus A321 and there are 16 Mint seats per flight.
In Mint class, passengers get extra storage and dual 110 V + USB power outlets, 6’8” long and up to 22.3 inch wide, lie-flat seats with adjustable firmness and a 15.6 inch video screen with 100 channels. Five offerings in the meal service and a Hayward & Hopper toiletries bag are included. Furthermore, four of the seats are mini-suites and adjoining seats can be turned into additional mini suites.
The reason for the Jet Blue Mint success
While this is a really good offering, Mint is a small fish in a sea full of Business Class offerings. It’s no secret many other LLC have looked to Mint and waited before considering their own business customer strategy. However, that element of waiting is what’s led to the Jet Blue Mint success. Spirit and Frontier also offer products – the Spirit Big Front Seat is 22-inch wide, with a 36-inch pitch. Frontier offers an extra legroom option. But that’s it. No lie flat beds, no suites, no screens.
Right now, Jet Blue is the only real LLC Business offering. While others have premium offerings they’re still aimed at leisure travellers. Mint is designed to attract business travelers, corporate types – true frequent flyers.
As a result, it’s found followers and cannibalized other airline’s business revenue streams. American, Delta and United don’t know how to offer a similar product and can’t meet the price without undercutting their own economy product.
How Jet Blue played the long game with Mint
JetBlue began courting corporate passengers when they joined the Sabre Travel Network global distribution system (GDS). Choosing to be part of the Sabre suite of software help free up resources and improve efficiency. A better ticket distribution system with Sabre helped business customers see them as a business supplier.
They also pay attention to the human factor. From it’s East Coast hubs in Boston and JFK, Mint serves a dozen cities daily and more seasonally and on the weekend. These added vacation-land destination also hold their appeal to individuals. After earning your miles at work, business travelers can burn them at the weekend heading off to Costa Rica, St. Lucia or St. Maarten. This means individual business passengers are not adverse to flying Mint.