Does JetBlue Fly to Hawaii?

With the relatively recent addition of Southwest, travelers now have plenty of different ways to get to Hawaii when it comes to flying on US airlines.

But what about adding one more airline into the mix?

Is it possible that you could soon be getting to the Aloha State via JetBlue? Let’s take a look at some of the recent comments made by JetBlue and see how this could potentially play out.

Does JetBlue fly to Hawaii?

JetBlue does not currently fly to Hawaii although there have been talks about them adding flights from the West Coast to Hawaii for a few years.

Would JetBlue ever really fly to Hawaii?

JetBlue is known for its presence on the East Coast in places like New York, Boston, and Florida.

However, they have been steadily expanding their network internationally and moving west along the way with field offices in Salt Lake City. One of the biggest drivers of a more recent expansion into the West may be the potential merger of JetBlue and the ultra low cost carrier, Spirit Airlines.

If that merger is successful, it’s possible that JetBlue could end up flying to Hawaii in the near future.

In fact, in DOT filings JetBlue specifically commented on this saying that if the merger with Spirit Airlines takes place, they would have the capacity at LAX to increase their flight network with one of the additions being flights to Hawaii.

“A larger JetBlue with access to additional Terminal 5 gates will be able to add even more routes from Los Angeles, including Hawaii flying and additional leisure service.”

Indeed, in prior comments JetBlue made references to expanding into Hawaii so it seems like this is something they have had their eyes on for a while.

But with their strong East Coast foundation already built, they have been focused on building out their transatlantic flights which now serve the UK and France.

It’s worth noting that the DOJ is currently suing to block this merger from going through for anti-trust purposes.

If you’ve ever flown JetBlue Mint before, you probably would be very happy to find out that JetBlue is flying to Hawaii. That’s because they offer one of the best lie flat products in the US!

The flight from California to Hawaii and vice versa is not very long, though. From LAX to HNL, it takes about five hours and 50 minutes.

Some airlines use standard recliner seats in first class when flying between these two destinations so I don’t think it’s a guarantee that JetBlue would fly its Mint product.

Also, in the above mentioned prior talks about expanding flights out of LAX, the A220 was brought up as an aircraft of choice which is not equipped with Mint lie flat seats. This would suggest that JetBlue may not be introducing Mint to this route.

Some airlines fly a mix of standard recliner and lie-flat seats to Hawaii from the western mainland but I’m not sure about the odds of JetBlue doing that.

JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines partnership

Even though JetBlue currently does not fly to Hawaii, there are still ways for you to utilize your JetBlue membership to help you get to Hawaii or at least earn extra points when doing so.

JetBlue and Hawaiian Airlines have a code share partnership, so it is possible to benefit as a JetBlue member when flying to and from Hawaii.

You can use JetBlue points to book Hawaiian Airlines and the redemption rates aren’t bad. For example, 45,000 points could get you a business class one way from the West Coast to Hawaii. For only 6,000 points you can jump from one Hawaiian island to the other in economy.

The drawback is that you currently have to call in and speak with an agent to make this type of award booking.

TrueBlue members can also earn TrueBlue points on Hawaiian Airlines flights. You can read more about the earning rates here.

Related: Hawaiian Airlines First Class Guide

Final word

JetBlue does not currently fly to Hawaii but it’s possible that they could add routes to Hawaii in the future based on statements made by JetBlue (to the government) regarding the potential merger with Spirit Airlines.

If that merger goes through, we could be seeing JetBlue flights to Hawaii relatively soon.

But even if the merger does not go through, JetBlue seems to have been eyeing Hawaii already and so it’s possible those flights could come into existence regardless of what the DOT allows.

British Airways Boarding Groups Explained [2023]

Are you preparing for a British Airways flight but not exactly sure how the boarding process works and what all of the boarding groups are?

In this article, we will break down the British Airways boarding process and give you some insight into what to expect as things at the airport don’t always go as smoothly as you might like.

British Airways boarding groups overview

British Airways currently has nine boarding groups but just who goes into each group will depend on which boarding process British Airways is using.

The first British Airways boarding process is designed for long-haul flights. So for example, if you were flying from London to New York you would utilize that boarding process.

The other one is for short-haul flights which would be, for example, flights around the UK and Europe.

We will break down both of these boarding group orders below but first let’s take a quick look at all of the boarding groups for long-haul flights and short-haul flights.

British Airways boarding groups for long-hauls

Priority Group 1

  • First
  • Executive Club Gold Members
  • oneworld Emerald members

Priority Group 2

  • Business (Club World)
  • Executive Club Silver Members
  • oneworld Sapphire members

Priority Group 2

  • Premium economy (World Traveller Plus)
  • Executive Club Bronze Members
  • oneworld Ruby members

Groups 4 to 9

  • Economy (World Traveller)

British Airways boarding groups for short-hauls

Priority Group 1

  • Business (Club World)
  • Executive Club Gold Members
  • oneworld Emerald members

Priority Group 2

  • Executive Club Silver Members
  • oneworld Sapphire members

Priority Group 3

  • Executive Club Bronze Members
  • oneworld Ruby members

Groups 4 to 9

  • Economy (Euro Traveller)
British Airways Boarding Group Sign


For both long-haul and short haul flights, British Airways offers pre-boarding for a variety of different groups.

If you’re traveling as a family with a small child under two years old and/or have a young child in a pushchairs, you can be among the first to board. It’s recommended that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure so that you are ready for pre-boarding and the agents have enough time to load your push chair.

Some passengers do not care for family boarding getting lumped in with preboarding as they feel that it dilutes the value of priority boarding. This is especially true whenever huge “families” utilize preboarding. So if you are using family boarding, try not to be too liberal with your definition of family.

If you have a disability or require some type of mobility assistance, you can also utilize pre-boarding. It’s advised to contact British Airways 48 hours before your flight so that they can make special arrangements for you.

Anytime you are using pre-boarding, it’s a good idea to check in with the gate agent as soon as you arrive just so that you can verify that everything is in order. Airlines don’t always do a good job at announcing pre-boarding and so it always helps to double check everything at the gate.

Also, if you are wondering about unaccompanied minors and boarding, know that they don’t have a traditional UM policy and you can read more about that here.

Something interesting that British Airways sometimes does is that they bring up people who have to check their luggage at the gate during this time. This could happen because they have one of the last boarding groups and the flight is full or because they somehow got through with an oversized bag.

On some occasions, British Airways will allow these passengers to board during pre-boarding or shortly after. Sometimes the checking of bags and boarding of these passengers can be a little time consuming which can be frustrating for those with priority boarding.

British Airways plane

Long-haul flights

Priority Group 1

  • First
  • Executive Club Gold Members
  • oneworld Emerald members

If you’re flying first class, you’ll be among the first to board.

Some people heavily criticized the British Airways first class product for only being a slight step up from business class. While I agree it’s got some real room for improvement, I’ve enjoyed my experience on British Airways first class and you can read about it here.

Along with first class, the highest elite level members will be able to board: Executive Club Gold Members along with oneworld Emerald members. You should be able to see a sign with the emerald, sapphire, and ruby icons for one world elites.

One issue with the British Airways boarding process is that sometimes agents don’t give priority group one enough time to board before calling up the other priority groups.

There are instances where an agent might call up for group two only seconds after making the announcement for group one!

In fact, sometimes an agent might even lump all of the groups together. You could hear an announcement like boarding groups “one through three.”

It may not sound like a big deal but for people who really value their elite status, it can feel like you are losing out on real value. For example, if you are pushed to the back of boarding you may struggle to find overhead storage bin space which should not happen for someone with top elite status.

Also, calling so many people at the same time can result in a pretty disorderly boarding process. Sometimes it works but other times it doesn’t.

Generally, you may find the boarding process to be more orderly at London’s hub, LHR. But when boarding at countries outside of the UK, you may experience a lot of inconsistencies.

British Airways also have somewhat of a reputation for not policing boarding passes.

This is needed so that people from lower boarding groups don’t try to board early. Lots of airlines don’t properly police these things because they can slow down boarding and cause conflict/confusion between passengers and crew but British Airways seems to be a common offender.

At times, specific airports might enforce boarding groups harder than others so just because one airport is laid back about it, that does not mean that your next attempt to skip a couple of boarding groups is going to go so smooth.

With staff shortages, it’s very possible that some boarding issues have recently gone from bad to worse and it may take some major efforts by the higher ups to correct for the deficiencies. In the meantime, you can do your best to arrive to the boarding area early in order to try to secure a spot for your boarding group.

But other times, you may just have to deal with crowded areas full of gate lice, clueless passengers, and ground crew agents who are just trying to get the job done as quickly as possible.

Priority Group 2

  • Business (Club World)
  • Executive Club Silver Members
  • oneworld Sapphire members

The second group to board is business class along with the second level elites. British Airways recently revamped it’s business class product so that it’s now a much higher quality experience. As mentioned above, don’t be surprised if group two is lumped in with group one.

Priority Group 3

  • Premium economy (World Traveller Plus)
  • Executive Club Bronze Members
  • oneworld Ruby members

Groups 4 to 9

  • Economy (World Traveller)

If you purchase a Basic fare, you will be boarding in the last group. Otherwise, you would be in general boarding which consists of all but the final boarding group.

The boarding process for economy passengers can play out differently just like it can for premium customers. It’s possible that an agent could lump several groups together for an expedited process. Don’t be surprised to hear several groups called at a time.

But sometimes you might even see some of the groups lumped together by signage. For example, you could see a sign for groups four and nine but then a separate sign specifically for groups four through five. There may even be indicators for boarding positions based on your row.

British Airways Boarding Group Sign

Short-haul flights

You’ll notice that the boarding groups for short haul flights are very similar.

Missing is first class because British Airways only puts three cabin products on long-haul flights. Therefore, the highest class is business class and those will board with the Executive Club Gold Members and oneworld Emerald members as shown below.

On these shorter routes with smaller aircraft, getting the boarding order correct is probably even more important than the long-haul flights because overhead storage in space is more precious.

Priority Group 1

  • Business (Club World)
  • Executive Club Gold Members
  • oneworld Emerald members

Priority Group 2

  • Executive Club Silver Members
  • oneworld Sapphire members

Priority Group 3

  • Executive Club Bronze Members
  • oneworld Ruby members

Groups 4 to 9

  • Economy (Euro Traveller)

Arriving late to the boarding area

If you arrive late to the boarding area, British Airways will allow you to utilize the priority line to get ahead of other passengers as they state, “If you arrive after your priority group has been called, you can use the priority boarding lane to go through at your leisure.”

The biggest thing when doing this is to remember that you want to be respectful of other passengers. It can be off-putting when you cut others in line (even if you are justified in doing so). So just try to do this with some grace.

Boarding together

If you are traveling with others and receive different boarding groups, it’s still possible for you to board together. It’s recommended that you check with the gate and get them to sort it out.

Check-in requirements

If you’re curious about the cut off times for checking in, British Airways has several different cut offs.

It’s usually a good idea to check in as soon as you can so that you can decrease the odds of you getting bumped from a flight, so I always try to check in 24 hours prior to a flight. But here are the minimum times for those brave souls who are willing to cut things scary close.

AirportCheck-in close times
London Heathrow60 minutes before long haul flights depart
45 minutes before short haul flights depart
London Gatwick60 minutes before long haul flights depart
60 minutes before short haul flights depart
London City20 minutes before all flights depart
Other UK airports45 minutes before all flights depart
Short haul European airports45 minutes before all flights depart, except at:
Amsterdam, Amman, Antalya, Berlin (Brandenburg), Dalaman, Frankfurt, Istanbul, Lisbon, Madrid, Milan (Malpensa) and Palma de Mallorca – 1 hour
Long haul international airportsAt least 60 minutes before all flights depart
Chart via British Airways.

British Airways boarding FAQ

When do families with small children board?

Families with small children can board during pre-boarding.

When do passengers with a basic fare board?

Passengers with a basic fare will board after general boarding.

When do elite passengers board?

Priority Group 1:
Executive Club Gold Members
oneworld Emerald members
Priority Group 2:
Executive Club Silver Members
oneworld Sapphire members
Priority Group 3:
Executive Club Bronze Members
oneworld Ruby members

If you have priority boarding, can you skip the general boarding line?

Yes, you can use the priority lane even if you show up when general boarding is taking place.

How many boarding groups does British Airways have?

In addition to preboarding, British Airways has nine boarding groups.

Final word

British Airways adopted the numbered boarding group structure for boarding like many other airlines.

Their system is a little bit more complicated because the groups differ based on short haul and long-haul flights, though. Also, they have a reputation for not enforcing boarding groups very much and lumping several groups together which means that your boarding experience may not be as smooth as it could be.

Southwest Boarding Groups Explained: From A-List to Group C! [2023]

Are you wondering how exactly Southwest boarding groups work?

This article will show you everything you need to know about the Southwest boarding process.

I’ll also show you different ways that you can get priority boarding and cover things like family boarding and military boarding. I’ll also give you some details about Southwest seating (charts, maps, etc.) and some tips for getting the best seats.

How many boarding groups does Southwest have?

Southwest has three main boarding groups:

  • Boarding group A
  • Boarding group B
  • Boarding group C

If you want to understand the Southwest boarding process though, you’ll need to understand much more than the three boarding groups. Keep reading below for more info on the boarding process!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Best Southwest credit cards

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card

The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Card comes with the following benefits:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 6,000 anniversary points (learn more)
  • Earn 1,500 Tier-Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases, up to 15,000 Tier-Qualifying Points each calendar year
  • $99 Annual fee

Southwest Airlines Priority Card

The Southwest Airlines Priority Card comes with all of the benefits offered below:

  • Bonus spending:
    • 2X Rapid Rewards on Southwest purchases
    • 2X Rapid Rewards on hotel and car rental partner purchases.
    • 1X Rapid Rewards on all other purchases
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit (learn more)
  • 7,500 anniversary points each year
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list Status
  • $149 annual fee applied to your first billing statement

How does Southwest boarding work?

When you check-in for your flight, you’ll be assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and within that boarding group you’ll be assigned a number (1 through 60).

So for example, you might be assigned A50, which means you’ll be the 50th person to board within Group A.

It could vary depending on the airport, but generally, you’ll see monitors or signs showing you where to stand for your group. The signs will typically say something like “A 1-30” or “A 31-60.”

An “A 1-30” sign would mean that if you have an A boarding pass and your boarding number is 30 or under (e.g., A25), that is where you need to go to line up.

You should also see some silver posts marked with numbers which will tell you where to stand. These numbers are usually marked in increments of five.

So if you have A50, you’ll locate the post that might have something like “50 to 55” marked and that is where you will need to go.

Southwest boarding post

You will then stand in that space and as the other four passengers start to accumulate in that area you will usually sort yourselves out by asking each other what boarding spot they have.

If you have A50, you will be in front of that little “50 to 55” section but if you had something like A53 you would be in the middle. Not all passengers care about getting in the exact order but some do.

Once you find where you need to stand, you’ll simply wait for them to start boarding and proceed to make your way to the plane. Once you’re inside the plane, you can choose any seat since seats are not assigned with Southwest.

As unconventional as it might sound from other airlines like United, the boarding procedures are usually pretty smooth.

Southwest planes at airport

What order does Southwest board its planes?

Although there are only three boarding groups, the actual boarding pass issuance process is actually more complex.

Below is the order that boarding passes will be issued, which also determines the order that you will board the plane.

Note that Southwest will usually not call for people to board by these categories. For example, they are not going to ask for all the “A-List” or “EarlyBird” members to board.

Instead, they will call groups up by boarding pass group number. You will hear something like, “now boarding all passengers with Group A boarding passes numbered one through 30.”

So below is the order that you can expect boarding passes to be issued/the order boarding will go.

Passengers already on the plane

Some passengers may already be on the plane depending on the origin of the flight. But if some passengers got off the plane for a layover, they might be among the first to board.

This means that you could have a Business Select ticket, and still have several people board before you depending on the size of the crowds.


Preboarding is available for “customers who have a specific seating need to accommodate their disability and/or need assistance in boarding the aircraft or stowing an assistive device.”

(Those with service animals will usually be included in this group as well.)

This is also when unaccompanied minors board the plane.

Other passengers who might board at this time are those with large camera equipment, instruments, and certain other select people like those who need an extra seat.

This group will be able to board before anybody else despite whatever boarding group or boarding number they are issued.

Because of the open seat policy for Southwest, passengers using preboarding may come under more scrutiny than other airlines.

So if you want to use preboarding with Southwest, it’s a good idea to inquire at the check-in counter about getting that on your boarding pass. In addition, you can also add a special service request to your booking.

Business Select

The next individuals to board are those who purchased Business Select fares. (This will be the first group to be issued boarding passes beginning with Group A.)

Southwest doesn’t offer a traditional first class but they do offer Business Select fares, which offer you the highest earning rate for Rapid Rewards. (More on those tickets below).

After passengers who have purchased Business Select fares, those who were upgraded to Business Select will be issued boarding passes.

A-list Preferred

The next to get boarding passes will be A-List Preferred, which is the top-tier elite status offered by Southwest.

You can qualify for A-List Preferred by flying 50 one-way qualifying segments or earning 70,000 qualifying points.

Once you qualify for A-List Preferred, you’ll receive a 100% bonus on Rapid Rewards earned, priority check-in, and security lane access. You’ll also get free in-flight wifi (on planes equipped with wifi) and the ability to get on earlier flights for free.


A-list is the bottom-tier elite status just below A-List Preferred and so they get boarding passes right after A-List Preferred.

A-List can be achieved by flying 25 one-way qualifying segments or earning 35,000 qualifying points.

Once you qualify for A-List, you’ll receive a 25% bonus on Rapid Rewards earned, priority check-in, and security lane access.


The next passengers to get boarding passes will be those with EarlyBird.

Southwest EarlyBird automatically checks you in 36 hours prior to departure and while it does not guarantee an A boarding spot, it will offer you a much better chance of getting a window or aisle seat.

Read more below on whether or not it’s worth it.

Boarding Group A/B

After EarlyBird passengers are issued boarding passes then boarding passes are issued based on the number of slots left over for Group A.

As mentioned, it is possible that there are no Group A boarding spots left for some EarlyBird passengers so the next boarding passes issued could be for Group B.

Some people might always be able to board right after Group A.

Need extra time

Something interesting about Southwest is that they state that if “a Customer with a disability simply needs a little extra time to board, we will permit the Customer to board before Family Boarding, between the “A” and “B” groups.”

Technically, this goes against the rules for preboarding because even people who only need a little extra time during boarding should qualify for preboarding.

Family boarding

If you are traveling with a kid 6 or under, you should be able to board in between Group A and Group B (this is the family boarding time).

A-List (last minute)

Also, if you’re A-List and you purchased a last minute ticket you’ll be able to board between Group A and Group B.


And finally, military members (usually in uniform but not always) can board between Group A and Group B. If you’re not traveling in your uniform, consider showing your military ID to a gate agent and inquiring about priority boarding.

Boarding Group B

Once boarding Group A is filled up, then boarding Group B boarding passes will be issued.

If you’re in boarding Group B, you can still get a decent seat if you’re in B1 to B30, but the closer you get to boarding Group C, the tougher it’s going to be to get your desired seat.

However, if you’re okay with sitting in the rear of the plane, it will be easier to find desirable seats or seats together.

Boarding Group C

Once boarding Group B is filled up, then boarding Group C boarding passes will be issued.

Most of the time if you’re in Group C, it’s going to be very difficult to get a window seat or aisle seat. Head towards the back for your best odds.


Standbys will be the last to board.


Southwest boarding area

Companion Pass Boarding

The Southwest Companion Pass allows a partner to fly for free with you for up to two full calendar years and it’s one of the most valuable travel perks sought by many.

When you utilize the Companion Pass you and your partner will not necessarily get boarding passes right next to each other. Southwest did run a trial allowing companions to board next to each other but I’m unaware of the results of the trial.

Why do boarding groups matter?

Besides just being able to board the plane quicker and choose your desired seat (window or aisle), there are two specific reasons why you’d want a higher boarding pass.


Southwest has a generous baggage policy where they allow you to check two bags for free.

As for carry-ons, it’s the same baggage policy that most other major airlines have for their standard tickets: 1 personal item and 1 carry-on.

So by getting a better boarding position, you’ll be able to guarantee that you’ll have overhead storage for your bags.

Emergency row seats

Emergency exit rows on Southwest planes have extra legroom and/or have rows with only two seats which are great for couples.

By securing a higher boarding pass, your flight can become a lot more enjoyable as you’ll have more room.

Southwest usually flies 737-700s and 737-800s and the 737-800s have more emergency exit rows with only two seats, so it’s a good idea to check ahead of time (if possible) to see which type of aircraft you are flying on.

Southwest seats

Southwest seating details (seating chart)

If you’re flying Southwest, chances are you’ll be flying on a 737-700 or a 737-800.

You might be wondering about how much room you’ll have with your Southwest seating and here’s what you can expect:

  • 737-700 — Pitch (leg room): 31 inches; width 17 inches
  • 737-800 — Pitch (leg room): 32 to 33 inches; width 17 inches
  • 737-800MAX — Pitch (leg room): 32 to 33 inches; width 17.8 inches

So as you can see, when it comes to Southwest seating, you’ll get more leg room with the 737-800 according to SeatGuru and you’ll have a wider seat with the 737-800 Max.

.8 inches might now sound like that much but every little bit helps when you’re flying. You can view the Southwest seating charts here

Southwest seats

Get the best seat selection (Southwest priority boarding)

There are a few ways that you can secure “priority boarding” with Southwest.

I put that in quotations because there aren’t true priority boarding groups but there are some ways you can effectively get priority boarding and get the best seat selection.

Business Select

If you purchase a Business Select fare, you’ll be guaranteed a boarding position A1 to A15.

Business Select fares are usually just a little bit more expensive than Anytime fares but they allow you to earn more points and also offer the following benefits:

  • Guaranteed A1-A15 boarding
  • Fly By lane access
  • Free premium drink
  • 12 Rapid Rewards per dollar spent
  • Fully refundable fare

You can read more on whether or not Business Select fares are worth it here

Upgrade to Business Select

Instead of purchasing Business Select fares you can also upgrade.

The cost to upgrade to Business Select varies from $30 to $50 per segment, depending on the route.

To upgrade, simply approach the ticket counter or desk at the departure gate and inquire about the upgrade.

Sometimes they make you upgrade at the gate reserved for your flight but other times you can do it at check-in or at another Southwest gate.

Southwest should be able to tell you exactly what boarding number you’d receive before you upgrade so you can see if it’s worth it.

Update: you can now upgrade online at the time of check-in!

The Southwest Priority Credit Card offers up to four upgrades to priority boarding (A1 to A15) based on availability per year.

Among other benefits, it also offers a $75 annual credit, 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies, and 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies. It’s not a bad way to cover those upgrades to Business Select if you only need to cover a few of those a year. 

Southwest EarlyBird

Another option to secure a priority boarding position is to go with Southwest EarlyBird.

This will automatically check you in 36 hours prior to departure.

EarlyBird does not guarantee an A boarding pass but it will almost always get you a boarding pass that will allow you to get an aisle or window seat.

For the most part, you should be able to get a window seat or aisle seat just by checking in yourself 24 hours before your flight. (It’s often possible to get an A boarding pass checking in on your own.)

However, if you won’t be available to check in 24 hours prior or you don’t think that you’ll remember then EarlyBird could be worth it.

EarlyBird used to cost $10 each way and then it was increased to $15 each way. But recently, the pricing was changed to dynamic pricing so it could cost up to $25.

Good News: The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card now offers two annual credits for Southwest EarlyBird!

You can read more about whether or not Southwest EarlyBird is worth it here.

Can you save seats on Southwest?

There’s a lot of debate as to whether or not its acceptable to save seats on Southwest flights.

For the most part it does seem to be frowned upon but you can usually save seats within reason.

Generally, saving seats at the rear of the plane is not an issue, especially if you’re trying to keep your family together.

With that said, if you have a very large group, you might be inviting some issues since saving multiple rows can get a little messy at times.

Also, you don’t want to save seats in the front of the plane, as that might lead to confrontations. In addition, it’s usually not a good idea to save seats in the emergency exit rows as those are usually in high demand.

Tip: One trick I’ve done in the past is to get the flight attendant to occupy a seat as people board and people will usually pass over that seat.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Can groups board together?

Southwest will allow you to board in groups even if your boarding passes are not directly before or after each other.

The catch is that they want you to board with the member who has the lowest boarding pass.

So for example, let’s say there are three of you and you have the following boarding passes:

  • A25
  • A60
  • B30

Southwest will ask that A25 and A60 board with B30.

This is to preserve the “integrity” of the boarding process since it actually doesn’t affect the boarding waiting time of any of the other passengers.

How to print a Southwest boarding pass?

You can easily print your boarding pass by checking in online.

You can print your boarding pass online at or at the airport using a self-service kiosk on the day of departure.

Southwest also allows you to board with a electronic or mobile boarding passes. You can request a mobile boarding pass at the time of check-in on, the mobile site, or the Southwest mobile app for iPhone or Android.

But note that mobile boarding passes are not currently available to passengers traveling on international flights.

Southwest Tips

If you want to learn more tips about flying for Southwest click here.

Also, if you want to earn more Rapid Rewards, be sure to check out the Southwest Shopping Portal

Southwest boarding FAQ

How can I get the best boarding group?

You can get the best boarding group on Southwest by purchasing or upgrading to Business Select. Upgrading will cost you $30-$50 per segment.

You can also get a better boarding position by having A-List status.

By purchasing EarlyBird, you can also increase your odds of getting in the first boarding group although it is not guaranteed.

How do I choose my seat before the flight?

Southwest does not allow you to select your seat prior to the flight.

Is it okay to save seats on Southwest?

Opinions are mixed on saving seats with Southwest Airlines. The best advice is to save seats in the back of the plane if you must and try to avoid saving multiple rows at a time when flying with a large group.

When does A-list board?

A-List will board directly after Business Select. First, A-List Preferred will board and then following them A-List will board.

When do families board?

Family boarding (which is offered to families traveling with a kid 6 or under), allows you to board between Group A and Group B.

What boarding group do I need for a window or aisle seat?

Typically, if you have a boarding position under B30 you should be able to find a window or aisle seat. The further back in the plane you decide to sit, the more likely you will find a window or aisle seat.

When do standbys board?

Standby passengers will be the last to board.

How much legroom do you have on Southwest?

You generally will have 31 to 32 inches of legroom.

Does Southwest have a special boarding policy for coronavirus?

No, Southwest stopped doing the special boarding process in March 2021.

Final word

Southwest boarding policies are pretty straight forward.

There are a few ways that you can get priority boarding though they all come with different degrees of assurance.

United Airlines Basic Economy vs Economy (Key Differences) [2023]

Are you thinking about saving a little bit of money by flying Basic Economy on United Airlines?

If so, you’re probably curious about the differences between United Basic Economy and regular (or standard) economy.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive at all of the big (and small) differences so that you know exactly what to expect before flying on Basic Economy.

I’ll also analyze the price differences and give you some insight into whether or not it’s worth it to fly United Basic Economy.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Booking United Airlines Basic Economy

Booking a United Airlines Basic Economy fare will be the same process as booking a ticket for standard economy.

If there is a United Airlines Basic Economy fare available, you’ll clearly see it when selecting your fare during booking.

Also, the differences between economy and Basic Economy will be made very clear to you as you go through the booking process.

Multiple windows will appear showing you the difference between the two so that you don’t make an uninformed decision.

But even with all of those prompts, there still are quite a few nuances that you want to be aware of and I’ll go into those below.

Full-sized carry-on bags

The biggest difference between economy and Basic Economy that most people are probably familiar with is the carry-on baggage policy.

Basic economy fares do not allow you to bring on a free carry-on bag on all routes.

However, some routes will allow you to bring a free carry-on item and those include:

  • Trans-Pacific flights to and from the US
  • Trans-Atlantic flights to and from the US (flights to Europe, Africa and the Middle East)
  • Flights to and from Mexico and Central America, and South America.

Also, if you have a certain type of membership you might still be able to bring a carry-on even with the Basic Economy ticket.

These memberships include if you are a:

  • MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation
  • Primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or
  • Star Alliance Gold member.

If you are not allowed a carry-on bag but bring one anyways you will be required to pay the applicable checked baggage fee. In addition to that, you will likely be charged a $25 gate handling fee.

Personal item

Just like standard economy passengers, United Basic Economy passengers are still allowed to bring a personal item.

A personal item is basically a smaller carry-on which could be something like a small backpack, purse, laptop, etc.

The dimensions allowed for your personal item are: 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm) or less. In my experience, if the object can easily fit under your seat it should not be a problem.

Mobility aids, assistive devices and medical devices including breast pumps are also permitted.

Seat selection

Economy passengers are allowed to select their seat at the time of booking. During that time, you’ll be shown a seat map of the plane and you can select any open seat or choose to pay more for an Economy Plus seat.

However, if you book a Basic Economy ticket, your seat will automatically be assigned prior to boarding (at check-in) and you cannot change it once you have been assigned to it.

In some cases when booking a Basic Economy ticket it will be possible to purchase advance seat assignments during booking and up until check-in opens.

This can be done after you input your personal information during booking and prices will differ based on your route and where in the cabin you are selecting a seat.

For a standard seat in economy, the price for seat selection may range from $10 to $20.

As you’ll see below, sometimes the price difference between economy and Basic Economy is not that great so selecting your seats could be more expensive than just booking economy.

Note: MileagePlus members, including MileagePlus Premier members, will not earn PQP or other accruals toward Premier status for purchasing a standard Economy seat assignment

If you want to purchase Economy Plus tickets, that will only be available at the time of check-in.

Elite benefits and upgrades

Also, MileagePlus Premier members won’t be eligible for complimentary Economy Plus seating. That’s actually a pretty major drawback because Economy Plus upgrades for elite members are extremely common to get.

Note: MileagePlus members, including Premier members, cannot use complimentary, earned or mileage upgrades, or Economy Plus subscription benefits.

Groups and families

When it comes to selecting your seats, a major factor to keep in mind is that customers traveling in groups (including families) will not be placed in seats together.

The only way to ensure that you’ll be seated by each other is if you book advanced seat assignments.

Unaccompanied minors

Seat assignments can be made for unaccompanied minors flying on United.

If you are dealing with an unaccompanied minor on a Basic Economy ticket, call the United Customer Contact Center after you finish your booking and pay the unaccompanied minor fee.

Passengers with disabilities

Passengers with disabilities can be accommodated when purchasing a Basic Economy ticket. You just need to make sure that you make a request at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled flight.


United Airlines has a pretty straightforward boarding process. If you booked an economy ticket you’ll be boarding somewhere between groups 3 through 5, unless some special status applies.

However, if you have a Basic Economy ticket you will be the last to board the plane in group 5.

Normally, that would cause issues for finding overhead storage bin space for your carry-on bag. However, in this case you won’t have a carry-on bag so it is much less of an issue.

There is a very high chance you’ll be given a middle seat so be prepared for that.

Something to be aware of is that if you are a United Basic Economy passenger, you can still retain your priority boarding if you are a:  

  • MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation
  • The primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or
  • A Star Alliance Gold member.

Checked baggage

For the most part, the checked baggage policies for United Basic Economy and regular economy are the same. However, things might be slightly different on international flights.

That is because for Basic Economy fares on trans-Atlantic flights, you’ll have to pay for your first checked bag.

Refunds and changes

There is no change fee for most United standard economy tickets. The only out-of-pocket expense you would have when changing a standard economy ticket would be if the fare is more expensive.

However, things are much different for United Basic Economy. In order to make a change you would have to add economy benefits (which I talk about below).

Basic Economy tickets are not eligible for changes, but are eligible for a full refund inside 24 hours of booking as long as you completed your purchase one week or more before the original scheduled departure flight.

Also, if you cancel a United Basic Economy ticket, you will not get a travel credit. Instead, you would have to add the economy benefits in order to receive a travel credit upon canceling.

Most likely that travel credit will be good for 12 months from the time of ticketing.

MileagePlus and Premier member benefits

If you’re wondering about earning miles and credit toward elite status things are almost the same between economy and Basic Economy.

MileagePlus members will earn award miles for Basic Economy tickets but they will be at 50% the rate as a standard economy ticket.

They will also earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) as well as lifetime miles and accrue toward the four-segment minimum.

But one major difference is that Basic Economy tickets are not eligible for Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs). 

If you’re wondering about checked baggage, elite members will still receive the complimentary checked baggage allowance they are entitled to.

In-flight experience

The in-flight experience for a Basic Economy and economy passenger will be very similar.

Basic Economy passengers will still have access to purchase things like in-flight Wi-Fi, entertainment, food, drinks, etc.

And contrary to some rumors that surfaced at some point, Basic Economy passengers will not have to pay to use the lavatory.

Adding economy benefits (upgrading)

If you purchase a Basic Economy ticket but end up deciding that you don’t want to miss out on the standard economy benefits, you can still add them.

Prices may vary but you might be paying around $45. Keep in mind that every passenger on the itinerary must be upgraded with economy benefits — you cannot mix economy passengers with Basic Economy.

This can be done after the time of booking by visiting the Trip Details page on, or Reservation Details in the United mobile app. 

If you’re in the middle of the trip you can still add economy benefits to your return trip as long as the return trip has not started.

Obviously, the sooner you act the more seats you will have available to you, so acting quick can be very beneficial.

The Basic Economy upgrade benefits include being able to:

  • Cancel or change your flight without paying a change fee
  • Bring one full-size carry-on item on board
  • Receive a complimentary seat assignment prior to check-in
  • Purchase Economy Plus or premium cabin seats
  • Enjoy select Premier status benefits associated with your Premier status: complimentary access to Economy Plus and preferred seating, Complimentary Premier Upgrades, and the option to upgrade using PlusPoints, as applicable

You may not be able to add economy benefits to all Basic Economy tickets but generally you should be able to when flying on select domestic U.S. flights and short-haul flights to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Note that you may not be able to add economy benefits if you purchased a bulk fare, award ticket, or a deeply discounted ticket.


Now that you know about all of the major differences and benefits between basic economy and economy, let’s take a look at the price differences for some of the most popular routes.

After analyzing 100 data points, we found that United Basic Economy was on average about 18% cheaper than economy.

The price difference could range from a small as $3 to over $60 so if you’re choosing between the two fares you don’t always want to assume that United Basic Economy is a far superior deal.

Here is all of the data that we found.

Basic EconomyEconomy
Chicago, IL (ORD)
Phoenix, AZ (PHX)$185$199
Seattle, WA (SEA)$232$249
Washingon, D.C. (DCA)$69$94
Las Vegas, NV (LAS)$192$195
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)$79$89
Baltimore, MD (BWI)$89$109
Atlanta, GA (ATL)$163$173
Akron, OH (CAK)$116$194
Cedar Rapids, IA (CID)$141$169
Charleston, WV (CRW)$184$209
Denver, CO (DEN)
Phoenix, AZ (PHX)$64$84
Allentown, PA (ABE)$156$181
Brownsville, TX (BRO)$123$168
Butte, MT (BTM)$79$89
Cheyenne, WY (CYS)$56$61
Dodge City, KS (DDC)$96$107
Fresno, CA (FAT)$127$167
Harlingen, TX (HRL)$123$168
Hobbs, NM (HOB)$173$193
Joplin, MO (JLN)$122$127
Houston, TX (IAH)
San Antonio, TX (SAT)$79$104
San Diego, CA (SAN)$149$174
Austin, TX (AUS)$59$84
Jacksonville, FL (JAX)$129$154
Columbus, OH (CMH)$139$164
Indianapolis, IN (IND)$129$154
Lincoln, NE (LNK)$224$249
Louisville, KY (SDF)$192$231
Madison, WI (MSN)$158$183
Manchester, NH (MHT)$177$227
Los Angeles, CA (LAX)
San Diego, CA (SAN)$89$114
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)$182$193
Austin, TX (AUS)$70$99
Jacksonville, FL (JAX)$256$267
Mason City, IA (MCW)$165$220
McAllen, TX (MFE)$168$193
Miami, FL (MIA)$229$233
Milwaukee, WI (MKE)$308$329
Mobile, AL (MOB)$250$267
New York, NY (LGA)$199$218
New York, NY (EWR)
Phoenix, AZ (PHX)$137$168
Philadelphia, PA (PHL)$174$199
San Antonio, TX (SAT)$108$133
San Diego, CA (SAN)$158$198
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX (DFW)$99$134
Austin, TX (AUS)$94$119
Jacksonville, FL (JAX)$49$74
Columbus, OH (CMH)$89$114
Indianapolis, IN (IND)$119$144
Charlotte, NC (CLT)$119$144

When United Basic Economy is not worth it

There are a few instances when United Basic Economy will probably not be worth it.

  • You want to bring a carry-on item
  • You want to sit together with a family or group
  • You think you might need flexibility to make a change or cancel
  • You need to earn Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs)

As you can tell from above, the price difference between economy and United Basic Economy is not always that much but the price to add economy benefits can be much higher than that difference.

For example, imagine purchasing United Basic Economy because it is $20 cheaper but then having to shell out $45 to make a change or cancellation.

So at the end of the day you may end up spending more money trying to save if you later end up realizing you need the economy benefits.

United Basic Economy FAQ

Are Basic Economy fares available on all United flights?

United Airlines states that “Basic Economy fares are available on select routes” so you might not be able to find these on every route.

Does United offer you a carry on for Basic Economy fares?

On domestic flights you are not offered a free carry-on but on many international routes you will be allowed a free carry-on bag.

Can you change a United Basic Economy fare?

No, you cannot change a Basic Economy fare. Instead, you will have to add economy benefits in order to make a change to your flight. This essentially works out to be a “change fee.”

Does United Basic Economy count towards status?

Yes, you can earn Premier Qualifying Points (PQP) as well as lifetime miles and accrue toward the four-segment minimum. But Basic Economy tickets are not eligible for Premier Qualifying Flights (PQFs). 

What can you take on United Basic Economy?

You can take a personal item with you but full-sized carry-on bags are not allowed on many routes. When flying internationally, you may be allowed a carry-on bag so be sure to check the terms of your booking.

How much does it cost to check a bag with United Basic Economy?

The standard checked bag fees will apply. However, if you have to check a carry-on bag you will have to pay an additional $25.

How do you upgrade from United Basic Economy?

Upgrading can be done after the time of booking by visiting the Trip Details page on or Reservation Details in the United mobile app. You may not be able to add economy benefits to all Basic Economy tickets. 

How much is it to choose a seat on United Basic Economy?

The price will differ based on the route and where in the cabin you are selecting a seat. Prices can be as cheap as $10 but can increase to $20+.

How much cheaper is United Basic Economy than standard economy?

We analyzed 100 data points and found that United Basic Economy is approximately 18% cheaper on average.

Final word

United Basic Economy is a way to save money on airfare no doubt. If you don’t have a need for a carry-on and don’t care where you sit on the plane, it could make sense for you to purchase a Basic Economy fare.

The problem is that if an unexpected situation arises and you need to make a change or cancellation, you may end up spending more money than you initially would have had you simply booked an economy ticket.

Also, while you can retain some elite benefits like priority boarding and free checked baggage, you lose out on things like upgrades to economy plus.

JetBlue Boarding Policy Guide (Window vs Aisle Seats) [2023]

Every airline has a different type of boarding policy (although a lot of them are pretty similar). JetBlue boards its planes by groups in a pretty standard fashion compared to other US airlines, such as United and American.

So boarding a JetBlue plane is pretty straightforward.

But there are some things that you likely will have questions about such as what boarding group will you likely get based on your seat (window vs aisle).

In this article I will answer all of the questions you may have about JetBlue’s boarding policy and groups.

JetBlue boarding groups order

There are a total of ten JetBlue boarding groups and these include:

  1. Pre-Boarding for customers with disabilities
  2. Mosaic and Mint customers
  3. Even More Space customers (Group A)
  4. Courtesy Boarding
  5. Group B
  6. Group C
  7. Group D
  8. Group E
  9. Group F
  10. All remaining customers

Below, I will go into detail as to who qualifies for each boarding group. Note that the below is an overview and provides general guidance but your specific boarding group may vary.

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Pre-Boarding for customers with disabilities

If you need pre-boarding it’s recommended that you speak to a crew member at the gate prior to the boarding time.

Just let them know the type of assistance you may need and they can help you out with things like wheelchairs, service animals, or any equipment that might be needed.

If you have a disability and require special travel needs JetBlue recommends that you book your flights as soon as you can and that you add a Special Service Request (SSR).

Adding an SSR is easy and you can do it when you choose your own seat when you book online at or with the JetBlue app.

Just check the box under the traveler info, and dropdown menus will appear. There is no fee to add an SSR.  

You can find out more about disability seating here.

Unaccompanied minors can also board during pre-boarding as well. However, if they show up at the gate after pre-boarding has already ended or later they may board the aircraft at the end.

Keep in mind that JetBlue usually has designated seats on the last row of the aircraft for unaccompanied minors.

 Related: Guide to Visiting Airports & Flying with Vision Impairments

Mosaic and Mint customers

Mosaic status is the elite status of JetBlue.

It comes with a number of benefits which include a free first and second checked bag, change and cancellation fees waived, 15,000 bonus points upon qualifying, expedited security line, early boarding, and additional bonus points.

Mint is the business class cabin for JetBlue and it is widely considered one of the best offered by any US airline. You can read more about what the Mint experience is like here.

JetBlue Mint seat

Even More Space customers (Group A)

JetBlue Even More Space customers get to board with Group A.

Even More Space is just like economy plus for other airlines and they provide you with extra legroom.

The extra legroom could be up to 7 inches which is pretty significant for economy seats so this can be well worth it for a lot of people who value that extra space for their feet and legs.

Courtesy Boarding for active military personnel and customers traveling with small children

After Group A is courtesy boarding which is for active military personnel and also customers traveling with small children. It’s always a good idea for active military members to have their military ID with them.

If you are traveling with a car seat or a stroller this would be the boarding group you would likely fall into.

Related: Comprehensive Military Airline Benefits and Discount Guide

Group B

Group B is the first general boarding group for JetBlue. If you are seated in the rear of the plane you will likely be a part of Group B.

Also, if you have a window seat towards the back of the aircraft your odds of getting Group B should be pretty high.

Group C

Group C is the second general boarding group and it caters to those in the middle seats, especially for those sitting towards the back of the plane.

However, if you have a window seat and are seated towards the front of the plane then this might be the group you get.

Group D

Group D will be for economy passengers seated in middle seats towards the front of the plane or people in aisle seats towards the back of the plane.

If you are boarding in this group and your plane is full there is a chance that you may not find room for your carry-on items in the overhead storage bin. This is especially true if you are flying on an E-190 aircraft.

Group E

This group will not be called if you are flying on an E-190 aircraft.

Group F

One of the last boarding groups. Again, don’t expect to have overhead storage bin on many flights.

All remaining customers

If you somehow did not fall into any of the above groups such as an unaccompanied minor arriving late you will then board last.

H/T: Flyertalk

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JetBlue boarding area

When do you need to board the plane?

Your exact boarding time is usually dictated by two things: 1) your destination and 2) your aircraft.

The best advice for arriving at the proper time to board is to first see what boarding time is listed on your boarding pass whenever you check in and/or arrive at the airport.

You still need to be diligent about your boarding time even after your boarding time is printed on your boarding pass though.

The reason is that your boarding time could potentially change (and even your gate of departure could also change).

So it is best to double check your boarding times with the schedules available in the airport or with an airport agent.

Still, JetBlue does provide some general guidance for boarding.

For domestic flights each customer must board the aircraft at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

For international flights, each customer must board the aircraft at least 20 minutes prior to departure.

Note: In the event you had a connecting flight on the same itinerary that was late, it’s possible that the flight attendant could delay boarding in order to give you enough time to make it to the plane.

Related: SSSS on Boarding Pass? What Does It Mean & How to Avoid It!

Different boarding areas

On occasion, it’s possible that you won’t be boarding in a JetBlue boarding area.

This is the case when JetBlue uses another airline’s boarding area such as a boarding gate for British Airways. The boarding process will remain the same although you won’t have the same types of signage to follow.

In these cases, just listen carefully to when your boarding group is called and where they want you to line up since it won’t be quite as clear.

British airways boarding area
A British Airways boarding area used for JetBlue.

Boarding together on JetBlue

If you are traveling as a group you probably are interested in also boarding together as a group.

If you want to make sure that you will be boarding with other passengers make sure that you are on the same reservation AND that you check in together.

If you are on the same reservation and check in separately you will not be guaranteed to be in the same boarding group. This even applies to Mosaic members.

In the event that you fail to check in together I would contact an agent and see if they can get you in the same boarding group but it may not be possible.

Related: JetBlue Airways Baggage Fees Guide

JetBlue Boarding FAQ

What are the JetBlue boarding groups?

Pre-Boarding for customers with disabilities
Mosaic and Mint customers
Even More Space customers (Group A)
Courtesy Boarding
Group B
Group C
Group D
Group E
Group F
All remaining customers

How many boarding groups does JetBlue have?

There are a total of nine JetBlue boarding groups.

What boarding group will I get if I have a window seat?

You will often get one of the earlier boarding groups such as Group B or Group C but it also depends on where you are located in the plane (back or front).

What boarding group will I get if I have an aisle seat?

You will often get one of the later boarding groups such as Group D but it also depends on where you are located in the plane (back or front).

Will I get to board with my friends and family?

If you are on the same reservation and you also check-in together you should be able to board together.

When do unaccompanied minors board?

Unaccompanied minors will board during pre-boarding unless they arrive later. In that case, they may be the last to board.

What is the latest I can board the plane?

For domestic flights you can board at least 15 minutes prior to departure and for international flights, you must board at least 20 minutes prior to departure.

Final word

As you can probably tell, the boarding policy and boarding groups for JetBlue are pretty straightforward. They allow for pre-boarding and give priority to premium customers at the front and then board according to where people are situated in the plane.

JetBlue Mint Guide: Routes, Prices, and What To Expect [2023]

JetBlue Mint might be one of the most underrated premium products in the US.

It’s offered by an airline with a reputation for being a budget carrier but the Mint experience can be far from what you would expect based on that reputation.

In this article, I’ll give you an overview of JetBlue Mint. I’ll explain exactly what the product is, and go in to different things like the routes and prices as well as showing you what to expect when you’re actually flying it!

JetBlue Mint overview

JetBlue Mint is the premium business class/first class product offered by JetBlue. It’s considered by many — including myself — to be one of the top ways to fly lie flat across the country (and now internationally).

So don’t let JetBlue’s reputation as a budget carrier deter you from trying out this product because your expectations might just be exceeded in a major way.

JetBlue Mint is a little bit confusing though because it comes in a few different forms. So to clear up some of the confusion, I’ll talk briefly about each of these below.

JetBlue Mint

The older Mint product

The first Mint product is the older product that was announced back in 2013 and started flying in 2014.

You’ll mostly find this product on the A321 flying transcontinental and medium-haul flights across the US or to nearby international destinations, such as the Caribbean.

There are two versions of this product although you will find both versions on the same aircraft.

How is that?

Basically, the Mint cabin has two different types of seats.

One type is a fully enclosed suite, complete with a door and lots of extra space. Seriously, this seat feels like a throne when you’re sitting in it.

The other seat is a lie-flat seat that is side-by-side with another seat. It’s not a bad seat but it has very limited (practically nonexistent) storage and counter space compared to the suite.

On an A321, you’ll find four fully enclosed suites and 12 seats located side-by-side. So the rows alternate with a 2-2 configuration and a 1-1.

It’s really nice that the 2-2 seats have fully lie-flat seats. However, I would always go for the individual suites because it’s just a more comfortable and private flying experience. Also, you can select those seats for no additional cost (which was something that surprised me).

JetBlue Mint

The newer Mint product

The newer Mint product was released in 2021 and it’s used for premium transcontinental routes, transatlantic routes, and on some routes to Latin America. You’ll find it on both the A321neo and A321LR (Long Range).

This newer Mint product also has a special type of seat called the “Mint Studio.” It’s located at the bulkhead row and has a lot of extra space, large 22″ TV, etc. You can even have a guest come and sit with you on your side seat. But the Mint Studio will cost you a little bit extra ($299).

The A321neo features 16 lie-flat seats, which includes 14 Mint Suites and 2 Mint Studios. You’ll have a lie-flat bed that extends all the way to 6’8” and a 17.1” TV screen. The A321LR is going to offer you an identical seat but the cabin will feature 22 Mint Suites and 2 Mint Studios.

JetBlue Mint video review

JetBlue Mint Pricing

Old JetBlue Mint

We analyzed many routes and found that the average one-way price for JetBlue Mint was $1,548.

If you search around long enough, you can find some for under $800 when flying across the country such as between Miami (MIA) and Los Angeles (LAX).

For example, on a recent flight from Miami to Los Angeles that we took, we flew Mint for about $730, which I consider to be great value given the level of the product.

It is possible that you could find even better deals. For example, there have been deals where the prices are almost comparable to economy prices.

So if you’re flexible with your travels you can always just sit back and wait until you hear news of a JetBlue Mint sale.

New JetBlue Mint

The new JetBlue Mint is obviously going to be a more expensive option because of the locations that it flies between.

The average Mint price from New York (JFK) to London (LGW) was $3,564 and from New York (JFK) to London (LHR) it was $3,640.

If you wanted to fly the new JetBlue Mint on a transcontinental route, the prices are a good deal cheaper.

The average transcontinental route from New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) came in at $1,703 and it’s even possible to find these for under $1,000 if you’re lucky.

Just like with the old Mint product, you can find flash deals for the new one. I’ve seen deals for the new JetBlue Mint product going for under $2,000 round-trip between New York and London! So keep your eyes open.

JetBlue Mint Routes

Below is a breakdown of the JetBlue Mint routes as of spring 2023. (We will regularly update these routes but if you ever see spot a need to make a change just let us know!)

You’ll notice that the major hubs are Boston and New York as JetBlue has a strong East Coast presence. With that said, they do serve the West Coast at major airports like LAX and SFO.

In addition, it’s possible to get to places in the Caribbean like St. Lucia (UVF) and St. Maarten (SXM) with Mint.

In terms of the transatlantic routes, JetBlue is starting off with routes to London and Paris and I imagine that they will be expanding to other routes overtime. The routes below include both the old and the new product.

Departing AirportArriving Airport
Boston (BOS)
Aruba (AUA)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Los Angeles (LAX)
San Diego (SAN)
San Francisco (SFO)
Seattle (SEA)
Bridgetown (BGI)
Liberia (LIR)
St. Lucia (UVF)
St. Maarten (SXM)
St. Thomas (STT)
London-Gatwick (LGW)
London-Heathrow (LHR)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Los Angeles (LAX)
San Francisco (SFO)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Liberia (LIR)
Boston (BOS)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Miami (MIA)
New York (JFK)
Newark (EWR)
West Palm Beach (PBI)
Miami (MIA)
Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK)
Aruba (AUA)
Las Vegas (LAS)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Palm Springs (PSP)
San Diego (SAN)
San Francisco (SFO)
Seattle (SEA)
Bridgetown (BGI)
Liberia (LIR)
Paris (CDG)
Grenada (GND)
St. Lucia (UVF)
St. Maarten (SXM)
London-Gatwick (LGW)
London-Heathrow (LHR)
Newark (EWR)
Aruba (AUA)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Palm Springs (PSP)
New York (JFK)
San Diego (SAN)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
San Francisco (SFO)
Boston (BOS)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
New York (JFK)
Seattle (SEA)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
West Palm Beach (PBI)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Aruba (AUA)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
Newark (EWR)
Bridgetown (BGI)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
Liberia (LIR)
Boston (BOS)
Los Angeles (LAX)
New York (JFK)
Grenada (GND)
New York (JFK)
St. Lucia (UVF)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
St. Maarten (SXM)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
St. Thomas (STT)
Boston (BOS)
Paris (CDG)
New York (JFK)
London-Gatwick (LGW)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)
London-Heathrow (LHR)
Boston (BOS)
New York (JFK)

JetBlue Mint experience

Below, I’ll give you an idea of what the JetBlue Mint experience is like.

I’ll focus on the older Mint product since I have not personally experienced the new one yet. But as soon as I do, I’ll be sure to update this section!

Check-in and baggage allowance

Whenever you arrive at the airport, you will have your own dedicated check-in desk. This should help you avoid longer lines if you need to check a bag or work out some other type of issue.

This line is also available for Mosaic members, which are the JetBlue elite members.

It’s one of the easier premium check-in experiences because unlike some airlines that have multiple lines for different elite members, there’s just one place to go for all elites/premium flyers.

Anyway, if you’re checking bags you’ll be allowed two checked bags of up to 70 pounds each, which is the standard for premium seats in the US. Of course, you also get to bring your carry-on and one personal item with you.

JetBlue Mint check-in

Priority security

With Mint, you can also sometimes take advantage of priority security which could help you get to the security checkpoint quicker. However, when flying first or business class in the US, I just rely on CLEAR and TSA Pre-Check.

Lounge access for Mint?

Unfortunately, JetBlue does not have a lounge network like the legacy carriers do.

Personally, I feel like at some point JetBlue is going to enter the lounge game, especially now that they are serving transatlantic flights. And that’s just not me speculating — there is some evidence that they have plans in the works.

I think JetBlue will be able to deliver a lounge product or airport dining experience at a really high level, although balancing their low costs with the expenses of a high quality lounge may not be so easy. We’ll see how it plays out.s


During boarding for your JetBlue flight, you will be the first to board right after pre-boarding. There should be a priority line for Mint and Mosaic members and that is where you will line up.

Just be aware that sometimes JetBlue may be using a boarding area of a different airline, such as British Airways, so your boarding signs may look a little different. You’ll still get priority though.

JetBlue Mint

Your seat or suite

Depending on the type of seat you were able to choose, you will either be in a 2-2 or 1-1 configuration.

If you are in a 2-2 seat you will have less extra space but will still have a fully lie flat seat. If you are in the window seat, then you will have to hop over the person next to you to get aisle access.

As you can tell from the photos below, there is limited space between you and the other passenger so it could get a little bit awkward but the middle divider does provide some level of privacy.

JetBlue Mint

However, if you have selected one of the amazing suites then you will have tons of extra space including extra compartments for storage and counter space. It’s actually a great workstation with three power outlets in addition to USB ports.

JetBlue Mint seat

With one quick push of a button, you can close the suite door and have a much more private flying experience.

If you want to get extra comfortable, you can play around with the inflatable seat cushions which can provide you with enhanced lumbar support. They also have a massage function which works pretty well. All of these can be controlled from a small panel located on your armrest which I found to be pretty responsive and easy to use.

JetBlue Mint seat

While the 15″ screens on JetBlue Mint were in need of updating (mostly for just lacking high definition and responsiveness on the touchscreen), the Master & Dynamic headphones issued were high-quality and did a solid job of canceling out the background noise. Just make sure that you request them if you need them because they won’t be waiting for you at your seat like some other airlines.

Another area where JetBlue does not skimp is the bedding. I think the Tuft & Needle pillow they issued me was one of the best I’ve ever been given in business class!

JetBlue Mint bed


One thing that surprised me on my recent JetBlue Mint flight was the service.

I have not flown a lot of Mint flights so I don’t know if the service is always that great, but on my flight from MIA to LAX, I experienced some of the best service I’ve ever had on a flight.

And that’s coming from someone who has flown on most of the top of international first class products, including Singapore, Lufthansa, Emirates, Etihad, etc.

The main crewmember had anticipatory service down to perfection and was extremely professional and personable. I honestly could not have asked for a better flight attendant and that was something that really surprised me!

Dining and drinks

Another thing that was a pleasant surprise was the dining.

Pre-departure beverages will come out promptly during boarding and we even received multiple refills while waiting for the cabin to complete boarding.

If you’re a drinker you can go for one of the complementary alcoholic beverages known as the “Mint Condition” which consists of Bombay Sapphire gin or Tito’s handmade vodka, ginger, lime, cucumber, mint. (They also have a non-alcoholic version of this special beverage.)

You can check out their drink menu here.

As for the dining, back in 2020 JetBlue partnered with Delicious Hospitality Group to deliver their catering. So you’re going to receive quality dining from the same people who have brought you highly rated NYC restaurants like Legacy Records, Charlie Bird, and Pasquale Jones. 

In the morning flight out of Miami, I enjoyed a pretty amazing Charlie Bird breakfast with avocado toast, crêpes, and delicious maple bacon. Compared to the breakfasts that I have had flying first class on American, Delta, and United, this was easily the best.

I’ve heard mostly good things about the dining on other JetBlue Mint flights so I think that you can count on a quality meal when you fly JetBlue Mint.

JetBlue likes to keep things fresh so they are constantly changing up the menu every couple of months. If you want to check out the menus you can do so here.

JetBlue Mint food

Amenity kits

Another way that JetBlue surprised us is that they issued us two separate amenity kits.

The first amenity kit had items like an eye mask, earplugs, toothpaste tablets, and toothbrush, while the second Wanderfuel amenity kit had various items like pain cream, moisturizing eye gels socks, lozenges, and lip balm.

I appreciated all the unique freebies and also liked how they utilized sustainable packaging as sometimes amenity kits feel very wasteful to me.

JetBlue Mint amenity kit


You’ll be able to enjoy free Wi-Fi on your flight.

I found the Wi-Fi to be easy to connect to and relatively fast which allowed me to get work done and be pretty productive. The fact that the Wi-Fi is free and reliable is a major plus for Mint in my book.


I know a lot of people don’t pay too much mind to the lavatory but if you’ve ever had to go quite often on the plane, it helps to know what to expect. There is a lavatory at the front of the cabin and one just behind.

But what’s great is that there are two lights at the front of the cabin that will tell you which ones are open so you can easily get up and go when you need to and not play a guessing game.

Priority luggage

It’s not uncommon when flying first class to be offered priority luggage.

This means that your bag will be among the first to hop off the plane and it will cut down on your waiting time (and potentially stress and worry about the location of your bag).

The problem with this is that a lot of times the priority luggage tag basically means nothing. I understand that sometimes things happen and you can’t always count on it to work the way it is supposed to. But with some airlines, it’s like that tag is essentially meaningless 90% of the time.

However, on my first experience with JetBlue our bag was the second one to come out which was very impressive. Obviously, there was a little bit of luck that went into it but it was great to see the priority luggage perk actually mean something.

Final word

Overall, I can’t say enough great things about JetBlue Mint. It’s an amazing feeling whenever your expectations are exceeded in a major way and that was the case when I flew JetBlue Mint.

I can’t recommend the experience enough so if you have been on the fence about booking your first flight with JetBlue Mint, I’d highly recommend that you give them a shot!

Hawaiian Airlines First Class Guide [2023]

Hawaii is a bucket list destination but one way to make your trip even more memorable is to fly first class.

But is it really worth it to fly first class on Hawaiian Airlines and what can you expect?

In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about flying Hawaiian Airlines First Class. I’ll break down the different aircraft you might fly on whether you are flying from the mainland or between Hawaiian islands.

In addition to showing you the product, I’ll also talk about both cash prices and award prices so that you’ll have a good idea of what to expect when it’s time to make your booking.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class Aircraft

When you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines first class, you can expect to be flying in one of the following aircraft:

  • Airbus A321neo
  • Airbus A330-200
  • Boeing 717-200

Beginning in 2023, you might also be able to fly on the Boeing 787-9. Those will have an entirely new seat including window seats with direct aisle access!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Mainland first class product

If you’re flying between the Hawaiian islands and the mainland you’ll be flying on an Airbus A321neo or Airbus A330-200. Let’s take a look at each of those aircraft to see what they have to offer.

Airbus A321neo

The Airbus A321neo is going to be found on some of the routes between Hawaii and the western continental United States. For example, the A321 might serve a flight from Oakland to Honolulu or from Las Vegas to Honolulu.

The A321 is the only cabin I have not personally flown (with Hawaiian Airlines) but it looks like a pretty aesthetically pleasing (yet basic) first class cabin.

They have some interesting touches like foot rests and a compartment for water bottles but for the most part it looks like a pretty standard domestic first class cabin.

The biggest thing to note about the Airbus A321neo is that you don’t get the lie flat seats. Instead, you get the standard recliner seats with 39 inches of pitch in a 2-2 cabin with 16 seats.

Also, you won’t find seatback TVs and will be issued a tablet which is smaller than the one given on the A330.

Airbus A330-200

The Airbus A330-200 is the main first class product that people actually get excited about. You’ll find this aircraft on all of the long-haul flights between Hawaii and states like Florida, Massachusetts, New York, etc.

But this aircraft will also serve some destinations on the West Coast including states like California and Washington.

You can check out my full review of my Hawaiian Airlines First Class experience flying between Honolulu and Phoenix.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class seats

Overall, I was pretty impressed with the flight especially the service.

But the hard product was not bad either.

The A330 has fully lie-flat seats which is very nice when crossing the Pacific but there are a couple of potential shortcomings.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class seats

First, the first class cabin is arranged in a 2-2-2 configuration with a total of 18 seats

This means that if you have a window seat you will not have direct aisle access. If you’re flying as a couple then this is not a big deal at all.

But if you are sharing a row with a stranger than it is more of an issue.

The other thing that might surprise you is that there are no TV screens in first class. It’s pretty rare to find fully lie-flat seats with no TV screens.

In place of screens, Hawaiian Airlines provides tablets for your entertainment.

The tablets are pretty big and there is a stand that pops out allowing you to easily stand up the tablet for viewing.

Initially, I was a little turned off by using a tablet but I found that it was a pretty decent in-flight experience.

The only real drawback is that you have to wait for it to be distributed to you and they take it prior to landing so it cuts down on your viewing time a little bit.

I also found the dining to be a fairly solid first class experience.

It did not blow me away like some international airlines would such as Singapore Airlines but I also did not expect it to be on par with the best of the best. Instead, it was more in line with a pretty solid domestic first class meal.

Hawaiian Airlines First Class dining
Hawaiian Airlines First Class dining
Hawaiian Airlines First Class dining

Inter-island first class product

When flying first class between islands, you’ll likely be on the Boeing 717-200.

The first class cabin is pretty small on this aircraft and you can read about our flight experience flying between Honolulu and Lihue.

The inter-island first class experience is going to be very similar to a domestic first class flight. You’ll have a standard recliner seat and the seats are arranged in a 2-2 configuration.

I did find the reclining feature to be a little bit different than most domestic first class seats. It’s hard to explain and it’s a pretty subtle difference but it’s almost as if the entire seat is shifting versus just the back of the seat.

Obviously, these flights are going to be very short usually ranging from about 30 minutes to 45 minutes. A lot of people question whether first class is worth it for such a short flight.

Personally, I thought it was well worth it to fly first class for a few reasons.

Most of all, whenever I factored in the baggage fees we would be paying with an economy seat, I realized that booking a first class ticket would essentially be a break even point since you get two free checked bags as a first class passenger.

That was more than enough reason to book first class since we’d also be getting things like priority boarding, lounge access, and free drinks.

Speaking of free drinks, I was surprised that they even served drinks on such a short flight. This goes back to the great service we experienced one flying first class with Hawaiian Airlines.

Read: Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort Review

One thing to keep in mind is that the economy cabin is arranged in a 3-2 configuration.

Therefore, if you’re just looking to have a row to yourself or with just you and your partner, you can still get that in economy by choosing a row with only two seats.

Just keep in mind that those seats tend to get selected first so if you want to choose a row with only two seats be sure to do that as far in advance as possible.

Related: Hawaiian Airlines Boarding Groups & Process Explained

Hawaiian Airlines First class lounges

If you love to spend time in airport lounges, you might be a little bit disappointed when flying out of Hawaii because your first class ticket will not provide you with access to any amazing airport lounge.

If you’re flying between Hawaii and North America (West Coast) or between Neighbor Islands in First Class, you’ll get access to the Premier Club, which is a very, very basic airport lounge.

If you’re flying between Hawaii and New York, Boston, or Orlando, you’ll get Plumeria Lounge Access. This is a much more equipped airport lounge but still on par with a standard Priority Pass lounge.

In fact, it actually is a Priority Pass lounge so if you are limited to access to the Premier Club but you have Priority Pass you definitely want to head to the the Plumeria Lounge.

Related: Which Lounge at HNL: Premier Club or Plumeria Lounge for Hawaiian Airlines?

Hawaiian Airlines mainland first class routes and prices

Now let’s talk about prices.

I think the first thing that I thought was notable was that the prices for the lie-flat A330 cabin can be just as expensive or cheaper than the A321 which has the standard recliner seats.

This is very different from when I was researching American Airlines first class prices since most of the time the standard recliner cabins are significantly cheaper than the wide-body cabins with life-flat seats.

Also, as you probably would imagine Hawaiian Airlines First Class prices get much more expensive when you are flying between Hawaii and the East Coast.

For example, when flying between the West Coast and Hawaii it’s not very difficult to find a first class ticket for around $1,000 and usually the most expensive tickets were still under $1,500 for the most part.

But when looking at prices to East Coast destinations such as Orlando and Boston, the first class prices went up quite a bit. For the most part I was seeing prices around $2,000 to $3,000.

Award tickets

If you’re looking to book an award ticket with Hawaiian Airlines miles, you’ll find different prices for different regions. They have different prices for the West Coast, Central US, and East Coast.

The cheapest first class awards go for 40,000 miles and that rate applies to all regions of the US. That award can offer you exceptional value especially when flying from the East Coast.

The problem is I really struggled to find awards for 40,000 miles. I searched for lots of routes and throughout different months and when I did find open awards it was only for one seat.

So while 40,000 miles can definitely be a bargain you might find it challenging to find a booking opportunity especially if you were looking for more than one seat.

On the other hand, the more expensive awards range from 80,000 miles to 130,000 miles. These prices are much less of a bargain but in my experience it was very easy to find open awards.

West Coast

First ClassAward Amount
First Class 140,000
First Class 280,000
Upgrade 125,000
Upgrade 250,000


First ClassAward Amount
First Class 140,000
First Class 2110,000
Upgrade 125,000
Upgrade 250,000

East Coast

First ClassAward Amount
First Class 140,000
First Class 2130,000
Upgrade 125,000
Upgrade 250,000

You can always refer to partners to book Hawaiian Airlines flights and those may offer better deals. For example, booking Hawaiian Airlines with Virgin Atlantic Miles could offer a sweeter deal.

However, when I called Virgin Atlantic to search for open awards that I found on Hawaiian Airlines they struggled to find those same open seats so you might run into some award inventory issues.

Now that you have an idea of the award prices, let’s take a look at the cash prices from various Hawaiian Airlines routes within the continental US.

Note that we searched for prices a couple of months out and picked a random day to get out quick view of what the prices might be like.

If there was more than one price, we listed the range of the prices for that day.


Phoenix (PHX) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $1,861


Los Angeles (LAX) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $845 to $1,314

Los Angeles (LAX) to Kahului (OGG) [A330]

  • $970

Oakland (OAK) to Honolulu (HNL) [A321]

  • $1,418

Oakland (OAK) to Kahului (OGG) [A321]

  • $1,442

Sacramento (SMF) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $1,713

Sacramento (SMF) to Kahului (OGG) [A321]

  • $1,413

San Diego (SAN) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $1,015

San Diego (SAN) to Kahului (OGG) [A321]

  • $1,851

San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $899

San Francisco (SFO) to Kahului (OGG) [A321]

  • $1,428

San Jose (SJC) to Honolulu (HNL) [A321]

  • $1,341

San Jose (SJC) to Kahului (OGG) [A321]

  • $1,318


Orlando (MCO) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $2,071


Boston (BOS) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $3,489

New York

New York City (JFK) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $3,489


Las Vegas (LAS) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $1,209 to $1,219

Las Vegas (LAS) to Kahului (OGG) [A321]

  • $1,536


Portland (PDX) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $1,021

Portland (PDX) to Kahului (OGG) [A321]

  • $1,850


Austin (AUS) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $1,608


Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) to Honolulu (HNL) [A330]

  • $1,764

Seattle/Tacoma (SEA) to Kahului (OGG) [A330]

  • $1,769

Hawaiian Airlines inter-island first class routes and prices

If you’re wanting to book an award flight for an inter-island route here are the prices for first class:

First ClassAward Amount
First Class 115,000
First Class 230,000
Upgrade 17,500
Upgrade 215,000

Paying 15,000 miles for an inter-island first class flight might be getting you somewhere around one cent per mile which is not too great. In some cases, the higher fares could get you closer to 1.5 or two cents per mile which is much better.

But personally, I would just be looking to pay cash for these flights because they can be so cheap.

Also, I would not consider 30,000 miles for an inter-island first class flight to be a good deal in the vast majority of cases.

Related: Flying Southwest Inter-island in Hawaii? Here’s What to Expect


Hilo (ITO) to Kahului (OGG) [Boeing 717]

  • $159

Hilo (ITO) to Honolulu (HNL) [Boeing 717]

  • $143

Kona (KOA) to Kahului (OGG) [Boeing 717]

  • $137 to $210

Kona (KOA) to Honolulu (HNL) [Boeing 717]

  • $143

Kona (KOA) to Lihue (LIH) [Boeing 717]

  • $159


Kahului (OGG) to Honolulu (HNL) [Boeing 717]

  • $143

Kahului (OGG) to Lihue (LIH) [Boeing 717]

  • $159 to $294


Honolulu (HNL) to Lihue (LIH) [Boeing 717]

  • $143

Final word

Personally, I’m a pretty big fan of flying first class on Hawaiian Airlines.

Above everything else, I was impressed by the level of service from the crew members during all of our first class flights. While the in-flight entertainment is non-traditional it’s still not a bad experience in my opinion.

I would just make a few notes about booking Hawaiian Airlines First Class:

It’s odd that the A321 can be just as expensive or even more expensive than the A330 considering that it only offers standard recliner seats versus the fully lie flat seats.

First class awards for 40,000 miles are an absolute bargain especially from the East Coast but can be extremely difficult to find.

JetBlue Mint A321 Review (MIA-LAX) [2023]

For quite a while, I heard so many good things about JetBlue Mint that I was highly curious about the product. I envisioned it being a relatively solid experience but the flying experience turned out to far exceed even my best expectations.

In this article, I will review my recent flight from MIA to LAX on the JetBlue A321 Classic with Mint and explain just how this flight blew me away!

JetBlue Mint A321 Video Review

If you are a video person, be sure to check out the entire video review I did for this flight here:


Like some other premium products, prices can fluctuate by a lot for JetBlue Mint.

If you’re flexible with redeye flights or early morning flights, you may be able to find the good deals easier.

In this case, the price for the 7 AM nonstop flight was about half the price of the other nonstop time and so we only had to pay around $730 per seat which I thought was great value, especially while earning 5X with the Platinum Card!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!


We arrived to a pretty empty MIA around 4:30 AM for check-in and made our way to the exclusive JetBlue check in desk for Mint and Mosaic members.

JetBlue check-in

The agent working at the desk was clearly not in the best mood.

I sympathize with her because it was so freaking early but at the same time when you are the first point of contact with Mint/elite customers you have to do a little better than early morning stank eye.

JetBlue Mosaic Mint check-in

After checking a bag, we made our way to security where we breezed through thanks to CLEAR and Pre-Check.

The CLEAR staff was very friendly and professional which unfortunately I’ve found to be decreasingly common over the past few years.


After screening, it was time to take a very short tram ride over to our gate which only took a couple of minutes.

We did have the option to spend a little bit of time at a Priority Pass lounge (Turkish) but, it just did not really seem worth it. Plus, I was trying to save my appetite for the flight.


After we made our way over to the gate, I realized that we would not be boarding in a typical JetBlue boarding area.

JetBlue boarding area

Instead, we had to go downstairs and board at a British Airways gate. It took me back to the days of living in the UK but was a little bit odd.

For the most part, boarding went pretty smooth. A couple of potential line cutters were turned away, including one who tried to swoop under the stanchion belt.

I don’t know what it is about boarding a plane that makes some people act a fool but it’s one of the weirdest things.

british airways boarding area

JetBlue A321 Classic with Mint cabin

The cabin has a total of 16 Mint seats but they are not all the same, as the cabin has a unique configuration.

The rows alternate with odd rows having two side-by-side seats and even rows featuring a fully enclosed single suite.

JetBlue A321 Classic with Mint cabin

The side-by-side seats are more of your typical domestic first class product although they still have the lie-flat feature.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint double seats

From the bookings that I have done, there was no additional cost to select the fully enclosed single suite, so it was just a matter of booking early and selecting that seat. I highly recommend going with that suite since you have the optimal level of privacy and extra room.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint double seats

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

As soon as I finally saw the Mint suite, 2A, with my own eyes, I could tell that I was going to really like the seat.

One of the first things I look for in a business class seat is what type of counter space and storage it offers. This suite clearly had a lot of counter space and it also had ample storage space

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

The main counter area featured two power outlets (with two USB ports) so it’s a great laptop station.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite outlets

The other side of the seat had a reading lamp, additional storage pouches, and one more outlet.

There’s also a really deep compartment that opens up that could fit things like amenity kits, headphone cases, and more.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite storage

Then you also have a couple of storage pouches in the front including one directly below the TV monitor and one further down. So you’re definitely covered with the storage space!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite storage

Overall, I found the seat to be very comfortable and just a great way to fly transcontinental.

With its central design, it very much has a “throne” type of feel to it, which is only amplified by the fact that only four seats are comparable within the Mint cabin. In other words, it gives you more of a first class feel while surrounded by business class.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

And obviously with a seat like this legroom is not an issue. It’s also nice that they have a floor ramp that gives your legs a place to rest in the upright position.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

As for privacy, it’s great even whenever the suite door is open.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

To close the door on your seat, there is a little latch button you pull and that slides out the door. Sometimes the door will slide all the way closed but other times I had to give it a little bit of a push. With the door closed, it’s obviously a lot more private although you don’t have the tallest suite walls.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

The headphones were from Master and Dynamic and very high-quality.

Unlike the headphones that I had just received on my American Airlines business class flight, that were extremely worn and even a bit of tattered, these felt very fresh.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite headphones

I really loved the design and high quality feel of the headphones and the sound was great.

One thing that was a nice touch is that when JetBlue requested for us to return the headphones about 15 to 20 minutes before landing, they offered to supply us with ear buds so we could finish anything we were watching.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite headphones

The flight would offer us two amenity kits: one pre-flight and one that we would receive just before landing.

The pre-flight Tuft and Needle amenity kit came in recyclable packaging and included toothpaste tablets, a toothbrush, earplugs, and an eye mask.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite Tuft and Needle amenity kit
Tuft and Needle amenity kit

Now, let’s talk about the only true complaint I had. And that would be the in-flight entertainment.

I thought the screen was just dated. It was reasonably sized but with lower picture quality and the responsiveness of the touchscreen was severely lacking.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite TV

An IFE remote comes out from the side so you can use that to navigate but overall the IFE just has an “old school” feel to it.

But now let’s get back to the good stuff.

One thing I really liked was getting pre-departure beverages. Not just that, but I received multiple refills while we were boarding without even having to ask.

That was the first sign that service was going to be on point, but it was going to be a lot better than I ever anticipated!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

Eventually, it was time for an on-time departure and we took off around sunrise, offering amazing views of Miami.

Dining (breakfast)

With such an early flight and no real time for enjoying lounge access, I was holding my appetite for the flight and I’m glad that I did because breakfast was exceptional.

Basically, for breakfast you can choose 3 of 5 options which included: strawberries, chia pudding, avocado toast, crepes, and frittata. You could also add on some bacon. Here’s a look at the menu:

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite menu
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite menu
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite menu

It started with a large, flaky croissant.

Lots of airlines give you croissants that are mediocre or feel sort of like an afterthought but this one was clearly a prized croissant. Delicious!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

After the croissant came out some heavy turbulence started. We would have some pretty noticeable turbulence throughout the flight, which made the service that much more impressive.

Anyway, after the turbulence break, I was able to pop out my tray table which can easily be done by pulling a small tab.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

Then the full breakfast was served.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

Initially, the bacon seemed like a bit much as this maple bacon was pretty heavy and thick and not the typical bacon I go with. But I decided to give it a shot and indulge and it was worth it.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

When the avocado toast first came out, I didn’t even recognize it, as it wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

But it turned out to be one of the best breakfast dishes I’ve probably ever had. The tomatillo sauce added a twang on the avocado that really set off the flavor.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

The crepes, loaded with hazelnuts, ricotta, and praline sauce were on point and made even better with juicy strawberries.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite breakfast

In the drink department, Brad was served up the signature “Mint Condition,” which was mixed and poured at his seat. He had high remarks for the cocktail along with other drinks he tried like the Bloody Mary.

Here’s a link at the drink menu:

By the way, this breakfast absolutely blew the American Airlines breakfast I just had out of the water. It was a night and day difference.

About midway through the flight, I was offered a cheese plate which I definitely did not need but still accepted, mostly out of curiosity. Nothing but good things to say about that.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite cheese plate

I found the seat controls to be pretty straightforward. It’s very easy to go from the upright position, to recline, to fully lie-flat with just one button. I enjoyed using the massage feature and thought the floor light was a pretty cool addition.

The lumbar support function took a little while to get going but seemed to work fine for me after some trial and error. Brad on the other hand had some issues which led to us both receiving a $200 flight credit (without even asking for anything)!

That was just another reason why the service was tremendous on the flight.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite seat controls

Now for the sleeping experience.

I didn’t really have any intention of getting shut eye on this flight so I only made the bed to briefly test it out.

I forgot to deflate the lumbar support which made it a bit uncomfortable but I think had I deflated that it would’ve been a lot better.

I really did love the pillow which was one of the most comfortable pillows I’ve been given by an airline.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite bed

One thing about this bed is that it’s great for tall people as the foot well is extremely deep. I felt like I just kept sliding sliding underneath the seat in front of me!

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite bed

I found the in-flight wifi very easy to use. I loved that it was free and it gave me a reliable connection throughout the flight.

Another feature that I really loved about the cabin is the lavatory lighting system upfront. You can instantly see which lavatories are occupied so that there is no confusion when getting up to go.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint cabin
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint lavatory
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint cabin

I was surprised to be issued a second amenity kit towards the end of the flight.

This one had pretty much everything I needed including honey lozenges, pain cream, and lip balm, along with socks. It also came with rejuvenating eye gels.

As an aside, I really appreciated the recyclable amenity bags. Especially on trips where we do a lot of long-haul flights back to back, I start to really notice the waste that goes into amenity kits.

While premium bags are cool, I wouldn’t mind if more airlines made the switch to more sustainable packaging.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint amenity kit
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint amenity kit

As we approached LAX, the cabin lit up with natural light and I was able to get a better well lit view of the suite. The more I looked at it, the more I really appreciated the design.

JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite
JetBlue A321 Classic Mint suite

Record amounts of snowfall had been hitting California and it was impressive to see so much of the landscape covered in snow.

It was also just a beautiful day in Los Angeles.

When we landed our bag was the second bag to come out. So many times priority luggage bag tags don’t mean anything so it was a nice surprise to see our bag come out so quickly. Pretty much the cherry on top of what was an amazing flight.

Service levels

While I loved the breakfast and seat, the biggest thing that stood out on the flight was the level of service. The main flight attendant provided a level of attentiveness that is really hard to achieve.

He anticipated all of our needs throughout the entire flight, yet it never felt like he was over doing it which can happen with some overeager flight attendants.

He was world-class professional, committed to getting things right the first time, and patient with every passenger, including the passengers in front of us who tried to sneak in an economy passenger!

I’ve flown on most of the top first class products out there and the service level on this flight was right on par with some of the best. It was impressive to witness and it really changed the way that I view JetBlue.

Final word

This flight could not have come at a better time.

After a very mediocre AA flight, I was seriously questioning my passion for long-haul flying. It had been so long since my last long-haul flight and I was surprised how meh the entire experience felt. It seriously made me wonder if I just didn’t have the love for flying anymore.

But then this flight came along and woke me up. It reminded me that flying is still something that I love and it also reminded me how much of a difference great service can make on a flight. I was officially out of my little flying slump!

American Airlines Domestic First Class Ultimate Guide [2023]

American Airlines is one of the largest airlines in the world and you might be wondering about what the first class experience is like on a domestic flight in the US.

Most of my domestic first class experiences have been on United but I have had a few on American and I thought it would be helpful to put together an article that covers everything you need to know about American Airlines domestic first class.

What is domestic first class on American Airlines?

Domestic first class on American Airlines is the top premium cabin offered on domestic flights within the US. It is also often the same product offered to other nearby international destinations, such as Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Domestic first class on American Airlines typically comes in a two class cabin configuration (first class + economy) but there’s also something called “Flagship First,” which is a three cabin configuration (first class + business class + economy).

The most common type of domestic first class seating is the standard recliner seat, which you will be able to find from many destinations and on aircraft like the 737-800.

When flying domestically this is called “business/first” or just “first” but when flying on shorter international flights it is called “business.” When people refer to “domestic first class” this is typically what they mean.

But you can also fly on lie-flat seats when flying in first class on domestic routes.

First class cabins with lie flat seats are also usually only flown on select routes from hubs but these can be on many different types of aircraft (I will break down these in more detail below). In some cases, these will be known as “Flagship Business.”

Three class cabins with a first class and business class cabin are only flown on a couple of premium transcontinental routes in the US and on aircraft like the A321T or 777-300ER. This is known as “Flagship First.”

Don’t Miss out! Find out which American Airlines credit card can set you up with a big bonus, lounge access, free checked bags, and a short-cut to AAdvantage elite status! Read more here!

Pricing in miles

If you want to use miles to book a domestic first class flight on American Airlines, it’s going to cost you 25,000 miles one-way for a MileSAAver award.

Tip: It’s possible to find web special awards lower than 25,000 miles one way.

If the award includes travel on an aircraft that offers lie-flat seats in the U.S. and Canada, the Business/First levels will be 7,500 miles higher.

If you are redeeming on the three class cabin such as the Flagship First on the A321T, you will be shelling out 50,000 miles for a one-way flight.

For more information about how to maximize your American Airlines miles be sure to check out our top uses of AA miles.

Aircraft & Routes

There are quite a few different aircraft that you can fly on when it comes to American Airlines domestic first class.

And these aircraft have different seats so it’s a good idea to do some research to find what type of aircraft you would prefer to fly on. (Google Flights is an easy way to do this.)

The most common aircraft operated by American Airlines is the 737-800 so that is the most likely aircraft you will be flying on.

That aircraft has a standard reclining first class seat and will have four rows of first class.

Two first class seats
American Airlines first class seats on a 737.

The A321-200 and A319-100 are two other very common aircraft that American Airlines uses, and you will probably see them pop up in your searches. The seats will be pretty standard and you will likely encounter four or five rows of first class.

While narrow-body aircraft will be the most common you will encounter with American Airlines, due to different scheduling policies, you can also get wide-body planes on domestic routes sometimes.

If you are trying to fly on a lie-flat seat then consider booking a flight on one of the following aircraft:

  • 777-300ER
  • 777-200
  • 787-9
  • 787-8
  • A321T
  • A330-200
Lie flat on the 777-200.

In the past, you may have also looked for fully lie flat seats on the 757, 767, and A330–300. However, many/all of those aircraft have recently been retired, so I’m not sure it will be possible to fly first class on them in the future.

Typically, you will have your best luck finding these wide-body planes flying between premium routes or across the country from AA hub to AA hub.

Routes to consider include the following:

  • DFW — MIA
  • DFW — HNL
  • DFW — LAX
  • DFW — OGG
  • DFW — ORD
  • JFK — LAX
  • JFK — SFO
  • MIA — LAX

Some of these wide-body aircraft will feature some of the top business class seats like the 777-300ER which offers the Zodiac and the 787-9 which offers the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat.

The first class perks

If you choose to fly first class on a domestic flight with American Airlines, you can expect to receive a number of perks.

Priority check-in

When you show up to the airport, you’ll be able to check-in at a desk that is separate from the standard check-in desk.

Look for the sign that states “Priority” as shown below and that is where you will be able to check-in and check your baggage.

Passengers who can use this priority check-in area include:

  1. First, Business, and Premium Economy passengers
  2. AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum Pro, Platinum and Gold members
  3. AirPass travelers
  4. oneworld Emerald, Sapphire and Ruby members
  5. Citi AAdvantage Executive cardholders
  6. Eligible corporate travelers
Priority check-in area for first class passengers at airport
Priority check-in area for first class passengers.

Priority security

You will be allowed to enter the priority security line which will offer an expedited security waiting time in many cases.

Personally, I just choose to jump in to the TSA Pre-Check line and you might even want to jump ahead to CLEAR if you have it.

With TSA Pre-Check you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Shoes can stay on
  • Belt can stay on
  • Light jackets can stay on
  • Laptops allowed to stay in bag
  • Liquids (3-1-1 Rule) can stay in bag

Checked baggage benefits

When flying on first class domestically, you’ll be offered two free checked bags. What’s more, these bags can weigh up to 70 pounds.

The typical checked baggage fees for American Airlines are $30 for the first bag and $40 for the second bag so you’re looking at saving at least $70 whenever you check two bags.

Keep in mind that you can also get free checked baggage on domestic flights with the Citi Platinum Select Card.


American Airlines lounges are known as Admirals Clubs. These are pretty standard airport lounges that offer comfortable places to relax along with light snacks, free drinks, and free Wi-Fi. You can also choose to purchase certain meal items and premium alcoholic beverages.

Related: Admirals Club Houston IAH (Terminal A) Review

Many domestic first class passengers wonder whether or not they will have lounge access.

In most cases, you will not get airport lounge access when flying domestic first class with American Airlines. Typically, you will need to be flying internationally to get access.

If you are flying domestically, you can get lounge access if you are flying on certain premium routes like the following:

  • New York (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX)
  • JFK and San Francisco (SFO)

Note that if you are flying between other premium routes, you will only get lounge access if you are flying on the right type of aircraft.

  • LAX and Boston (BOS) – traveling on A321T aircraft only
  • LAX and Miami (MIA) – traveling on Boeing 777-300 aircraft only

Of course, if you want lounge access you can always purchase it by getting a day pass or by purchasing an annual membership.

Tip: The annual fee for the Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite MasterCard is only $450 so if you get approved for that card you can save a lot of money on your membership.

Sitting area at American Airlines Admirals Club Houston IAH
American Airlines Admirals Club Houston (IAH).

Priority boarding

When flying domestic first class, you will board with “Group One,” so you will be boarding directly after pre-boarding.

You will see a sign near your departure gate that clearly indicates where to line up. When it is time to board, you will line up on the left side which is designated for priority groups and consists of groups one through four.

Tip: If for some reason you show up late to boarding, you can bypass the line at any time by heading through the left side.

To find out more about how the American Airlines boarding process works, click here.

Boarding sign showing priority groups on left and main groups on right.
Boarding sign for American Airlines.

The flight experience

Below, I will walk you through some of the features of flying first class on an American Airlines 737 since that is such a common aircraft.


You will be among the first to board the plane so you will easily make your way to your seat at the front. You should have no issue with overhead storage bin space as there are compartments reserve specifically for first class passengers.

American Airlines first class overhead storage bin space.

Once you get settled in your seat, you may be offered a drink which includes complimentary alcoholic beverages.

You may also be brought out a hot towel at some point and your seat may already have a (very thin) blanket and headphones that may be sponsored by Avis.

Freshen up with a hot towel in first class.

The cabin

The first class cabin is located in the front of the plane and you will also have access to the first class lavatory.

The number of first class seats in the first class cabin and the configuration all depends on the type of aircraft you’re flying on.

A standard 737 or similar will have a 2-2 configuration and may have four or five rows of first class seats. A smaller aircraft may only have two rows of first class like the A319 or even a 1-2 configuration.

American Airlines first class on the Airbus A319.

The seat

The typical domestic first class seat is going to be a traditional reclining seat and not a lie flat seat.

You will have much more legroom than you would in economy.

You can expect the pitch to be around 40 inches to 42 inches compared to economy which is around 31 inches. (It’s worth noting that you can get some pretty decent legroom of around 34+ inches with Main Cabin Extra.)

American Airlines first class seat showing legroom.
Enjoy extra legroom on American Airlines first class.

The seat will also be wider and more comfortable. For the width, you’re looking at over 20 inches versus an economy seat which is closer to 17 inches.

There typically is a neck support that you can mold to your liking.

Folded neck support on first class seat
First class seat neck support.

Your main tray table will usually pop out of your armrest on an aircraft like a 737. It’s pretty spacious and can function as a workstation as well.

In addition to your main tray table, there will also be multiple cocktail trays that can be pulled out.

You may be able to pull out these cocktail trays from the front/side of your seat.

Bloody Mary on seat cocktail tray.
The drink trays are a great use of space.

There may also be a tray that folds down from in front of you.

Back of the seat drink tray.

Also, you may or may not have an in-flight entertainment screen built in the seat in front of you.

If you don’t have a screen right in front of you, there may be a larger screen at the front of the cabin or you may just be expected to stream entertainment via a mobile device/laptop.

You should be given instructions on how to set up your entertainment on your own device.

Instructions on how to connect in-flight entertainment.
Many aircraft require you to connect your own device for entertainment.
Back of American Airlines first class seat.
Not all first class seats have monitors in the back.

You should have access to power outlets but you may not on all aircraft. On a narrow body like a 737, look for the outlets in the middle between the seats.

It’s worth pointing out that there are new American Airlines first class seats for domestic flights. The cabin has more noticeable privacy partitions, better seat cushions, more underseat storage, 5-volt USB ports, and they even added phone/tablet holders.

Dining and drinks

Went flying first class domestically, you’ll be offered complimentary alcohol and food, depending on the length of the flight and the time of your flight.

Here is what you can generally expect:

  • Flights under 700 miles: Light snacks (fig bar, cookies, and/or pretzels)
  • Flights between 700 and 899 miles: Warm mixed nuts and a plated snack (fruit/cheese, pita/hummus, or spinach dip/pita). A small dessert may be offered.
  • Flights between 900 and 1,298 miles: Warm mixed nuts and a three course meal. A small dessert maybe offered.
  • Flights between 1,299 and 2,199 miles: An appetizer with your entree and dessert. You might receive cake for lunch desserts and ice-cream for dinner desserts.
  • Flights over 2,200 miles: The above plus you’ll receive a choice of dessert. You might receive made-to-order sundaes or a cheese plate for both lunch and dinner desserts.

Tip: No meals are offered between 1:30pm and 4pm on flights under 900 miles.

There are some flights under 900 miles that will receive a more extensive meal service. These include flights on the following routes:

  • Dallas (DFW) – BJX/ORD/MEX/QRO/SLP
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – PAP
  • Los Angeles (LAX) – DEN
  • Miami (MIA) – DCA/IAD/PAP
  • New York (LGA) – ATL
  • Phoenix (PHX) – MZT

When flying on premium transcontinental routes such as between JFK and LAX/SFO or MIA-LAX you can expect an upgraded dining experience.

For example, you might be offered three meal choices, better service, printed menus, tablecloth linens, etc.

If you are flying on a smaller regional jet you can expect the following meal offerings:

  • Up to 175 miles: A light snack mix along with beverage service
  • 176-899 miles: Snack basket
  • 900-2199 miles: Warm mixed nuts, two meal options, and dessert.

If your flight has scheduled meal service, you can pre-order your meals starting 30 days before your flight and up to 24 hours before departure.

H/T: Flyertalk

To give you a sense of what to expect on a shorter flight of around 2 hours I’ve broken down the meal experience below.

Initially, you may find a nice little refreshing mint waiting on your seat.

Packaged peppermint.
First class mint.

As things get closer towards meal service, you may be brought some warm mixed nuts to hold you over. Note that you may not get these for early morning flights.

Bowl of mixed nuts.
Warm mixed nuts.

On the handful of times that I have flown American Airlines, I did not think that the food was too bad.

I’ve enjoyed the dishes like ravioli, lasagna, salad, and some fantastic desserts. Typically, you will be offered a vegetarian dish and a meat dish.

Meal on tray table
American Airlines first class meal.
Plate with piece of bread
American Airlines first class bread.
Plate with a piece of cake.
American Airlines first class dessert.

Sometime after your meal service or just any time during the flight, you may be offered additional snacks. In some cases, they may bring around a basket of snacks and allow you to select whatever appeals to you.

Bag of chocolate chip cookies.
First class snacks on American Airlines.

American Airlines domestic first class FAQ

How many miles do I need to book American Airlines domestic first class?

For a standard domestic first class MileSAAver award, prices will begin at 25,000 miles.

If you are flying on a lie-flat seat you will have to pay an additional 7,500 miles.

If you are flying on Flagship First, prices start at 50,000 miles one way.

How can you get lie flat seats in American Airlines domestic first class?

You can get lie flat seats by selecting the right type of aircraft on a specific type of route.

These include the following aircraft:

  • 777-300ER
  • 777-200
  • 787-9
  • 787-8
  • A321T
  • A330-200

And these aircraft can sometimes be found on the following routes:

  • DFW — MIA
  • DFW — HNL
  • DFW — LAX
  • DFW — OGG
  • DFW — ORD
  • JFK — LAX
  • JFK — SFO
  • MIA — LAX

Do you get free checked baggage when flying American Airlines domestic first class?

Yes, you will receive two free checked bags.

Do you always get a meal on American Airlines domestic first class?

No, you will only receive a meal if your flight is a certain distance or route. If your flight is over 900 miles, you can expect a meal although some routes offer meals on flights shorter than that.

Do you get lounge access with American Airlines domestic first class?

No, you normally will not get lounge access. However, if you’re flying on a premium route such as from New York to Los Angeles, you will get access to a lounge.

Do you get priority boarding with American Airlines domestic first class?

Yes, you will be able to board with Group 1.

Do all first class seats have TV monitors?

No, unfortunately some first class seats will not have TV monitors installed for in-flight entertainment.

Can unaccompanied minors travel in first class?

Yes, unaccompanied minors may travel in first class.

Final word

As you can see, there are a lot of details regarding the American Airlines domestic first class experience. There are quite a few different products out there and they come with different features and special offerings.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class Review (SCL-MIA)

Since 2014, we’ve done a lot of international flying including lots of the first class and business class products out there. But while we were focused on international airlines for so long, we had very little experience with what the long-haul product was like on US carriers.

Luckily, that would finally change when we booked a flight from Santiago, Chile to Miami on American Airlines’ 777-200. Here’s how it went and how it failed to meet my expectations.

Booking American Airlines 777-200 business class

This flight was initially a connecting flight on LATAM from SCL->BOG->MIA.

But after searching for award availability I saw American Airlines open up and we wanted desperately to mix up the airlines on this trip since we would have been flying LATAM’s (dated) business class product 5X!

So I called Qantas and I was able to change the flight and I was surprised to find the American Airlines flight was actually cheaper at 68,400 miles compared to 75,000 miles. Fees were only $62. The downside was they charged me a change fee in miles of 5,000 miles.

Still, we avoided the connection late in the trip and finally I would be able to try out AA’s long-haul, lie-flat product!

Getting to SCL

This flight was the returning leg of a 17-day trip down to Latin America where we spent most of our time exploring Easter Island, which had been a bucket-list destination for me for over a decade.

At this point of the trip, we were running on fumes and so we just stayed at the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel before we departed.

We actually booked two nights so that the night of the trip we would be able to stay in the room as long as we wanted, which was a great call.

About three hours and 15 minutes prior to departure we made our way from the hotel over to the international terminal which was a pretty short walk. As the sun sets very late here in the summer, it was a beautiful and breezy walk over to T2.


We made our way over to the priority check in for American Airlines and there was basically no one around.

However, the people in front of us had some type of issue and were occupying the priority desk so it would have been much faster for us just to join the main line. We were not in a rush though so there was no big deal.

American airlines boarding

After getting through check in we made our way through a long immigration line and then through security pretty quickly before trying to find an airport lounge.

We walked past a LATAM lounge and I thought maybe there was a snowball’s chance in hell there was still some way to get in with an international business class AA boarding pass but my dreams were quickly dashed. No chance.

So we then made our way over to our gate area where we would pass by a Pacific Club VIP lounge open to Priority Pass members (and apparently everyone else at the airport).

The line was backed way out out of the door and not moving at all.

lounge line

Worse, it didn’t look like there was much space inside and we decided that we would just hang out in the terminal since the lounge options were lacking.

I enjoyed some of the sites in the terminal, especially the Easter Island themed artwork. But after exploring some of the terminal, we soon found ourselves chowing down at McDonalds, as it was one of the few places with seating open so late.


Boarding was a little bit interesting and I think I finally convinced myself to just ditch the whole trying to board first strategy.

The reason I try to board first is to get photos and video of an empty cabin.

The photos look a lot better because they are cleaner and allow you to see the cabin in detail. Plus I don’t have to worry about any privacy issues or getting in the way of other passengers.

I usually line up at boarding around 30 minutes prior to it beginning and find a spot (that is not in the way) to line up at.

But I think after doing this for so many years, I’m finally kind of over it.

For one, about 25% of the time there are people who are very determined to board first for some unknown reason.

These people will try to cut you (outright or slyly) and sometimes just give you some kind of negative reaction or looks because you lined up before them. It’s truly the weirdest sense of competitiveness.

Other times, you may just get cut by a clueless passenger who pays absolutely no mind to anyone lining up. Usually you can call them out or a gate agent will but sometimes they quickly get through and you are stuck behind them.

Also, preboarding often boards just seconds before you and so they are often in the cabin shot anyway, so the efforts to line up early end up not mattering.

In this case, I talked with a boarding agent about where I could stand so that I would not be in the way and as soon as I stood there I initiated a long line up of business class passengers who came out of the wood works.

So now, well before boarding was beginning there was now a long line of passengers extending out into the terminal.

When boarding finally began, we had to go through an additional screening on the jet bridge for liquids. The agent going through my bags did not have speed as an asset so I ended up losing my top boarding position up front anyway.

When we finally got on the plane, there was an elderly-ish couple blocking the aisle in our cabin and access to our seats. They were obviously having some kind of issue and getting a crew member involved but it wasn’t clear to me what was going on.

The cabin already feels a little bit claustrophobic to me and the added congestion didn’t help.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class cabin
American Airlines 777-200 Business Class cabin.

But finally, we were able to make it to our seat.

The 777 comes with B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats. I believe the last time I flew these seats was in 2018 when flying on Virgin Australia business class on the 777-300ER. I generally had a good impression of the seats but remember a few challenges they posed.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class cabin seat
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seats.

First, let’s talk about counter and storage space: two of my favorite things in business class.

I love that the seats have a good amount of counter space with the compartments closed. You can easily prop up a laptop if needed, place random things on the counter, etc. It just makes life easier.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat

Then you can utilize the two storage compartments on the side for smaller personal items. One of the storage compartments is only about a couple of inches deep while the other one is about 4 inches deep. So while storage opportunities are there, they aren’t the greatest.

It’s also worth pointing out that Virgin Australia’s 777 has an additional (but arguably useless) storage compartment that the seat did not have which was located right behind the 777 pamphlet you see in the photos.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class seat

In the deeper compartment, you’ll find to USB ports, the headphone jack, and the power outlet. This is also where you will pull out the in-flight entertainment controller.

I like the simplicity of the outlets being right there so you don’t have to contort your body or go on a mad scavenger hunt to find them. When I flew this seat in Virgin Australia’s 777 this compartment only had one USB port so it was interesting to see another one.

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat storage
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat storage
B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat storage

The next thing that stood out was the 18.5-inch TV monitor. After flying on LATAM’s business class, this TV monitor represented an instantly recognizable upgrade. I was excited to use it and enjoyed the quality.

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat

I found the entertainment options to be plentiful with good movies. You can also use the touchscreen to navigate which I found to be very responsive. No complaints here.

B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat screen

It was then time to check out the Bang & Olufsen headphones. Once again, I was excited for these because LATAM does not provide you with very high-quality headphones so I was relieved to get back to premium audio gear!

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class headphones

Unfortunately, when I opened the headphone case, I instantly noticed how worn down these were. I don’t expect these headphones to be brand new but they felt and looked extremely worn, and some of the wiring was even exposed and frayed.

They still worked okay from what I could tell but I expected better.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class headphones
American Airlines 777-200 Business Class headphones

Then it was time to try out the Shinola Detroit amenity kit. They provided us with a pretty compact and plain amenity kit but I liked the zipper design and overall feel of the bag, which felt like a quality amenity kit.

AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.
AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.

On the inside we had socks, a short writing pen, toothbrush with toothpaste, earplugs, an eye mask, and lip moisturizer and lotion by D.S. & Durga. There didn’t seem to be a lot of creativity that went into the kit but the products were seemingly quality.

I guess I had been left a little bit impressed by LATAM’s long-haul kit that came with some uniqueness like a bamboo toothbrush with sugar cane cap and vibrant design but this plain Jane kit wasn’t a big deal by any stretch.

AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.
AA business class Shinola Detroit amenity kit.

I like the seat controls on the B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat. They are very simple and right there for easy access. I also found them to be pretty responsive. The lighting controls for my seat did not work, however.

Also, I should probably mention that the Wi-Fi did not work on the plane (despite charging us), which was another let down because I really wanted to test it out.

These seats have an interesting little armrest that can be raised and also they have a small storage compartment underneath them.

15 minutes after loading the plane, pre-departure beverages were served with champagne, water, and orange juice coming out on a tray. I recorded myself grabbing a cup of orange juice to which the flight attendant responded, “Really, you going to do this now?”

Apparently, despite showing no signs of straining, she was struggling to serve a few partially filled plastic cups and me recording myself grabbing a cup (which maybe added half a second) was causing too much strain for her.

Whether she meant her comment to be joking or not, I’m not sure, but because this was my first (and only) interaction with her she definitely came off as rude.

I’ve been getting pre-departure drink photos or videos for years and never had a flight attendant get chirpy like that.

The interaction pretty much set the tone for the service for the entire flight which I found to be at best forgettable. Interactions were brief, uninspired, and all business.

It was one of those flights where the majority of the crew feels like they are just doing what they have to do to get the job over with.

I may not have realized just how mediocre things were if it were not for the JetBlue Mint flight I would take in the next 24 hours which reminded me what quality premium service is all about! More on that amazing flight later.


I had pretty high expectations for the dining as I fully expected American Airlines to blow away LATAM’s product. But of course that would not happen.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class menu
The menu

The tray table is simple enough to utilize as you simply pull the lever on the bottom and then it comes out to you.

A tablecloth was then brought out as dinner approached.

Nuts along with my beverage of choice, sparkling water, were then brought out.

Then the entire meal, including bread, was brought out at once.

The seasonal salad with quinoa was pretty fresh as was the smoked trout. The main parmesan breaded chicken breast looked very appetizing and I was excited to give it a shot.

Unfortunately, it had this uncanny moistness to it that caused the breading to get very soggy and it just didn’t sit right. It was edible but didn’t deliver like I thought it would.

I took one bite of the grilled polenta and immediately ruled that out. So the dinner on the hole was mostly a swing and a miss in terms of rising above mediocrity.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class dinner
Dinner on American Airlines 777-200 Business Class.

I will say that the chocolates given out were absolutely amazing and the one true highlight of dinner.

And now, let’s fast forward to breakfast.

Surely breakfast would deliver at a higher level?

Unfortunately, that was not the case. I was given one of the slimiest pieces of ham I’d ever seen along with basically inedible potato frittata. The fresh fruit got me through breakfast but I was once again very disappointed with the dining on American Airlines.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class breakfast
Eating on a flight shouldn’t feel punitive.


I eventually put the seat in lie-flat mode to get some decent rest.

Unfortunately, at this time I was just checked out so I did not get any good bed photos. It’s a pretty long bed at around 78 inches and for the most part you have a good amount of width so as to be comfortable. I did have a slight gap between the cushions in my seat which made lying flat a bit uncomfortable, though.

The other thing I don’t like about the seat is that when reclined it’s difficult to get in and out of especially when you are trying to put your shoes back on to get to the bathroom. (AA did not provide any slippers.)

Speaking of the bathroom, I really did like the bathroom on the 777-200. It was spacious, modern looking, and well-kept.

American Airlines 777-200 Business Class lavatory

I ended up maybe dozing off for a short amount of time but not nearly as long as I thought it would on this flight considering that we departed at midnight.

Before I knew it, we were on the approach to Miami and finally arriving back in the US.

I hate to say it but this was probably one of the most disappointing long-haul flights I’ve done.

Part of it was this was my first time flying with American Airlines on the long-haul and I had worked up these expectations that were probably too high. I imagined them at the very least blowing LATAM out of the water which definitely did not happen.

In fact, I would say that based on this trip the soft product of LATAM was clearly better than American Airlines. The service was certainly more memorable and I even enjoyed the food better. That’s something that I did not expect before going on this trip and to be honest it was kind of a bummer.

Again, I’m very thankful for the JetBlue Mint flight we would go on just a day after this flight because I felt like I was losing some of my love for long-haul flying.

I had done so little long-haul flying since the pandemic and I was starting to wonder if things were just that much different in a post covid world.

Turns out, no, flying can still be an awesome experience but the soft product really does matter. A lot.

As we arrived back at MIA, Global Entry was a breeze and we didn’t have any issues getting back into the country. Felt good to be back.

Final word

Overall, this flight fell well short of my expectations.

For the most part, I’m a fan of the 777-200 hard product having basically flown it before and found it pretty comfortable and private. So from a comfort standpoint, it was a pretty worthwhile experience.

But the soft product on this flight was severely lacking. I didn’t care for 80% of the food and the service was bottom-tier, minimal effort, etc.

I really wanted to enjoy this flight and have good things to say but it seemed like American Airlines just didn’t put forth any effort into making the flight memorable. So unfortunately for me, my first long-haul flight with American Airlines was overall a big dud.

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