Just a week after it announced plans to increase its premium-cabin Mint service between New York JFK-Los Angeles and JFK-San Francisco, JetBlue now says it will extend the service to transcontinental routes out of Boston.
The airline said its Mint-equipped A321s will start operating between Boston-San Francisco in March 2016 with up to three daily flights, followed by Boston-LAX Mint service beginning in the fall of next year, also with up to three daily roundtrips. The books open July 8, 2015 for reservations on the new Boston-SFO service.
JetBlue’s expansion of Mint service to more markets is just the latest salvo in an ongoing battle among carriers to see who can offer the newest and the best for cross-country passengers who can afford to fly in the front of the plane.
Trip Report: JetBlue Mint SFO-JFK Wow!
Will JetBlue’s announcement spur United to offer something better than its aging 757s on the BOS-SFO route? Time will tell. Maybe a hint of United’s plans can be seen in reports that it will put a p.s.-configured 757 into service between Boston and Los Angeles next month — but only on one flight a day, and only for six weeks, starting July 2, after which it goes back to A319/320s.
Certainly the expansion of Mint premium cabins marks a departure from the “old” JetBlue — one that was closer to the Southwest model, with single-class seating, a free first checked bag and so on. But just as JetBlue is straying from its original model with premium seating, it is also moving away from it with plans for changes in its “core” product — i.e., basic coach (it added some extra-legroom seating a few years ago). Flyers in that section will be seeing an end to that free checked bag when they buy the lowest fares, and also more seats being crammed into the economy cabin of its A320s, with reduced pitch.
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