It’s Thanksgiving week, so I’ve decided to lie low and post two trip reports today and tomorrow. No post Thursday, and I’ll be back the following Monday as usual.
The last time I flew Mint, it did not go well. It’s not like it was JetBlue’s fault — I just had a nasty cold, and I was in bad shape. I thought Mint itself was incredible, but I couldn’t even remotely enjoy it. I didn’t even try the food. Fortunately, I joined the board of a company that brought me to South Florida for a meeting this month, and they offered to fly me up front. The meeting was actually right near Miami Airport, but why fly a domestic American First Class seat when I could ride Mint to Ft Lauderdale? It was worth it.
I had checked in on my app and hopped in a Lyft 2 hours before departure. My driver took a very strange route to the airport, and it took us a full hour to get there. Thankfully I had built in a little buffer, because, well, LAX. Once we arrived, I was routed into a lengthy maze of a security line that was totally unnecessary thanks to the short lines. It was also strange that upon showing my boarding pass, they gave me a bright green piece of paper showing I was Pre Check.
This was a dedicated Pre Check lane, so I have absolutely no idea what that was about. I was through in less than 5 minutes.
I started walking down the busy concourse and noticed the giant advertising screen above. I assume it’s been there before, but for some reason it felt really intrusive this time. It just added to the stress of the early morning rush.
At the gate, I sat for a few minutes before they boarded. Mint travelers boarded early, and I had a note from Chad and Anne on my seat welcoming me aboard along with the amenity kit.
November 8, 2017
JetBlue 700 Lv Los Angeles 810a Arr Ft Lauderdale 4p
Los Angeles (LAX): Gate 59, Runway 25R, Depart 7m Early
Ft Lauderdale (FLL): Gate F9, Runway 10L, Arrive 29m Early
N984JB, Airbus A321-231, Prism tail colors, 100% Full in Mint
Seat 2A, Mint/First
Flight Time 4h11m
Chad came by and asked if I’d flown Mint before, and I told him I had. Others around me appeared to be in a similar boat with those in front of me actually recognizing Chad from a previous flight. He asked if he could bring me a Mint cocktail, and I said yes. Even though I was going to Florida, I couldn’t help but be jealous of the airplane next to us. Hawai’i > Florida every day of the week.
I was on my phone when someone who was boarding slowed down and said “Good morning, Cranky Flier.” Then he kept walking. Ok, fess up… which one of you was onboard? (Sorry we didn’t have time to chat, but that pesky seatbelt sign just wouldn’t come off.)
We pushed early and had a short taxi before heading up into the clear blue sky. Once the ding went off, Chad came by and pulled down my laptop bag for me. (I still wish there was more in-seat storage on this airplane, but the flight attendants are good at making up for the deficiency.)
I pulled it out, logged on, and started working. The wifi was humming along just fine as we made our way through choppy air. The captain came on to say that it’d be bumpy for awhile and the jetstream at this time of year was what it was. In the meantime, Chad came through and offered me another drink. I said yes. He brought that with a little shot of strawberry yogurt.
Chad then came by to set me up for the meal, but I was deep in post-writing mode and asked if he would mind serving everyone else first. He said that was no problem. I just kept cranking, hoping that the seatbelt sign would go off so I could use the lav. That didn’t happen until about halfway through Texas.
Chad had held back a long time, and I thanked him profusely before telling him I was ready to eat. He came back with the three dishes I chose. The coconut pancakes were my favorite by far. The charred carrot salad was good but not really a morning kind of food for me. Lastly the corn chowder was just ok.
I followed it up with a tasty yet very sweet vanilla pear sorbet.
Chad came by again and asked if I wanted another drink. I told him those Mint cocktails were too sweet, so I’d just stick with water. But then he came back a bit later and told me that he could easily create a version with less sweetness (basically a vodka soda with a mint leaf), and I was in. I really appreciated his interest in trying to please me on something small and unimportant. That was just proactive, good service.
By the time we got to Louisiana maybe half an hour later (if that), the seatbelt sign came back, and it wouldn’t go off again the rest of the flight. I hate flights like that, but some days it’s just bumpy. I continued to crank on work until the internet went out over the Gulf. Then I watched a little TV until Florida came into view and I fired up the computer again. It was a busy day, so I wasn’t getting any rest.
We descended in over Florida, and I snapped this photo to record what the future ocean floor will look like.
We landed straight in and taxied to our gate with no delay. I walked off into the steamy South Florida afternoon.