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JetBlue introduces luxury class seating

jetblue_mint.jpg

Front row in JetBlue's "Mint" class seating. (JetBlue Airways)

All are passengers are no longer equal at JetBlue, a company that has long billed itself as a one size fits all airline.

The company just announced it will offer a new premium business class, which it has titled “Mint.”

The Mint cabins will feature lie-flat seats, custom Birchbox grooming kits, complimentary cocktails, a personalized "tapas-style" menu and fresh cappuccinos made from the first espresso machine built to be used in flight.

JetBlue’s first flight featuring Mint seats will depart from New York's JFK Airport to Los Angeles International on June 15, 2014. Following the introduction of Mint, the company plans to offer seven daily Mint service flights between JFK and LAX starting in summer 2014. JetBlue plans to add another Mint route between New York's Kennedy Airport and San Francisco International Airport starting in fall 2014.

“We intend to reinvent the lucrative coast-to-coast market with Mint," JetBlue President and CEO Dave Barger said in a statement.

With one-way fares starting at fares $499, the airline is hoping to lure in business class customers from traditional carriers to its lucrative transcontinental routes. 

But some critics say that in switching to offering a more high-brow inflight experience, the carrier may risk ruining its long-held egalitarian image.

“The tightrope that JetBlue will have to walk is wooing these premium flyers back without alienating its traditional base of economy flyers,” writes Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com.

That said, the coach class is getting an upgrade as well, with new seats offering more legroom, larger personal television screens with 100 channels and in-seat power outlets. JetBlue will also offer a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and water for customers on New York-Los Angeles/San Francisco flights.