Things just officially got interesting between East Coast USA and London, despite a lingering travel ban. JetBlue promised to shake up the business heavy transatlantic flying market, but continued to play coy about how, and when. Now we know. Watch out summer 2021.
JetBlue will introduce an inspired new business class cabin when it launches flights between London, New York and Boston, with a row of ‘studio’ seats, which takes on first class, at a fraction of the price and the pictures say it all…
JetBlue’s ‘Wow’ New Transatlantic Business Class Seat
JetBlue will fly a single aisle Airbus A321XLR from East Coast USA to London, in an effort to disrupt the status quo flying across the Atlantic. Capturing the new ‘standard’ trend for a top notch business class, each sweet-new-seat will be enclosed by a privacy door.
It was expected that these flights would commence from late 2021, but it appears early aircraft deliveries are on track, and the airline wants to shake things up from summer, perhaps as early as June as vaccination leads to travel recovery.
You care, because JetBlue’s idea is to bring lower prices these routes which have been overpriced for decades, thanks to robust business travel demand, all with a new seat.
With a fuel efficient, single aisle jet smaller than its competitors JetBlue will face less pressure with each flight, and has gone with a ‘premium heavy’ cabin with 24 seats comprised of the Vantage Solo seat, a new iteration of previous ‘Mint’.
There will be 22 standard ‘Mint’ business class seats, and 2 special ‘Mint Studio’ seats in the first row. Window gazers may lament the inward facing seats, but there’s a lot to love, including direct aisle access, new catering, large screens and privacy doors.
The size of the JetBlue A321XLR isn’t too far off British Airways now retired, but long beloved ‘Baby Bus’; which offered an all business class a flight aboard an Airbus A318.
The ‘Baby Bus’ from BA was the closest thing to a private jet, without a private jet, and while many may prefer a big wide body jumbo with 100’s of passengers, others might prefer the more boutique nature of these smaller aircraft.
Rather than just introduce another “new” business class seat into the London x New York atmosphere and tout low fares, JetBlue added ‘Business Studio’, a first row seat featuring “extra” everything, namely room.
It’s the perfect gap between business and first class, and likely at a price that’s a mere fraction of true first class. If looks are to be believed, the ‘Mint Studio’ looks wonderful, offering separate space to sit and work, and another to rest your head on the largest flat bed of a US airline, according to JetBlue.
It’s quite hard to see it as just ‘business class’, and it’s clear that JetBlue will market the ‘Studio’ as a separate product, perhaps allow frequent flyers to indulge when available. The ‘Studio’ is an absolutely brilliant way to liven up the cabin and offer customers a choice for “more”, without some of the unnecessary, or cost prohibitive bells and whistles.
Who wouldn’t pay for a seat of first class standard, at business class pricing? Take the savings and buy your own vintage Champagne, right?
JetBlue says its first row ‘Studio’ will be the largest space offered by any US airline, and the widest bed flying transatlantic. If that’s not a unique selling point for business class I don’t know what is. If the price matches, the shoe fits, and according to JetBlue you won’t even need to raid the US Mint, to experience the ‘Mint Studio’.
Could First-Lite Thrive?
JetBlue’s latest offering for the transatlantic market asks a fantastic question in modern luxury.
Is first class really about the space for most travelers, or is it the extras? And second, would travelers rather opt into an array of first class extras on an a la carte basis, than just bite the bullet for all the trimmings?
If JetBlue can charge competitive business class prices for its ‘Mint Studio’, and promise a business class service, but offer extras to Studio customers on a paid, customizable basis, a new sweet spot in market pricing could be created.
For someone who doesn’t indulge in vintage Champagne, doesn’t need caviar and isn’t a big fan of spending hours in lounges – but loves a comfy bed for a redeye – this could be an absolute game changer in the market, where a bit of extra space leads to more premium revenue.
Choice is good, and from the looks of it, so is JetBlue’s new ‘Mint’ business class cabin.