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JetBlue is now a contender on the competitive U.S. transcontinental route with the introduction of an industry-standard business class cabin.
The gussied-up premium service is available on its 11 new A321 jets, offering what jetBlue says is the option of booking the very first single suites on any airline flying in the Americas.
"We have a 6-foot-8 inch flat bed in 16 seats. We have a 15.6-inch flat TV with 100 channels of DirectTV, 100 channels of Sirius XM radio. We have our wifi, fastest wifi in the sky product. Fantastic food, birch box amenity kits," said Jamie Perry, jetBlue director of product development.
With the introductory price set at $599 one-way, the seats won't cost a mint.
"When you consider, until JetBlue came around, the typical round trip price was in the $2,500 to $3,000 price range, we are talking about a lot less than that," said frequent flyer Seth Miller.
JetBlue has built its reputation on its people-pleasing coach class seating, something Dennis Schaal, news editor at Skift, said won't be compromised by the new emphasis up front.
"You'll notice jetBlue doesn't call it coach class. They call it their core seats. They want to get the message out that the people at the back of the plane are still central to their business even though they have the fancy premium service," said Schaal.
By making modifications in "core" class to accommodate the mint space, jetBlue has actually jettisoned 700 pounds, hoping that budget passengers won't even notice the tighter squeeze.
JetBlue's new "mint" class of service is now available for passengers flying from JFK to LAX followed by San Francisco this fall.