JetBlue Shifts Strategy, Will Offer First-Class Seats

But 'Mint' will be available only to cross-country fliers

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 1, 2013 12:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – JetBlue has famously eschewed the idea of first-class seating with the mantra that all its passengers get equal treatment. Until now. As USA Today reports, the airline is creating a first-class option in everything but name—instead, call it Mint. The swankier seating will be available next summer but only on cross-country flights between New York and Los Angeles, and New York and San Francisco. Think seats that flatten out for sleeping and better food.

The strategy behind the move is that plenty of people who regularly need to make that long flight have deep enough pockets to pay for more comfort. By ignoring that, the airline was losing serious money. "JetBlue is competing with several major carriers who are all targeting the same lucrative demographic of transcontinental fliers," writes Christina Chaey at Fast Company. One analyst in the USA Today story refers to the competition on the two routes affected as a "nuclear arms race."

A JetBlue jet takes off in this file photo.
A JetBlue jet takes off in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
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