My first baby (a little girl named Quinn) was born in October of 2021. We knew long ago that we wanted to fly back east for her first Christmas (as long as our pediatrician OK’d it) and, therefore, we found ourselves booking roundtrip tickets from LAX to New York. We splurged for first class (Mint on JetBlue), which I would highly recommend if you can swing it… and it just might be easier than you think.
If you’re thinking about flying with an infant and are even remotely interested in first class, look into the cost of those seats in airline points and the associated airline credit card (or other credit card) that could help you get those necessary points. Obviously, flying first class is not an option all the time or for everyone, but if you plan ahead and think strategically you may be able to do it for a much more reasonable price than the stated cash price. In our case, we opened a JetBlue Plus Visa card months in advance with this specific trip/purpose in mind.
The sign-up bonus for this card varies but it’s pretty substantial (typically between 40k and 100k points after spending a $1,000 in the first 90 days). Even if you don’t intend to utilize this card long term, the points from that big initial bonus can help you pay for an expensive trip. I’m a huge fan of JetBlue and this is the airline I’m most familiar with, but of course there are similar setups/cards for other airlines.
In addition to the JetBlue card, I have held the Chase Sapphire Reserve card since it came out a few years ago and I use it as my primary credit card. I’ve amassed A LOT of points through this card, especially over the past 2 years while traveling has been on hold (and therefore, I haven’t been using the points I’ve earned). The important thing to know about Chase Sapphire points is that they can be transferred to various airline partners on a 1:1 basis; this partnership includes JetBlue. Transferring Chase Sapphire points to JetBlue is a great way to utilize Chase points from every-day spending.
Of course, we know how much uncertainty there is in the travel world due to COVID; it seems we make all of our plans with an asterisk, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. With so much up in the air (pun intended), buying a refundable airline ticket brings a lot of peace of mind. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that our JetBlue Mint tickets were fully refundable. In the event we had to cancel, we’d get back any and all cash or points spent.
Luckily, we were able to complete our trip and had a great experience. As new parents, we loved the pampering we received from the Mint service. First and foremost, it includes lay-flat seats on the LAX to NYC routes. We took a red eye, so being able to get comfortable and (try to) get some sleep was super important. Additionally, we took advantage of the alcohol, hydrating face masks, lavender hand cream, and other freebies provided to us. Despite it being our first flight with our first baby, we felt pretty darn relaxed while we were on board! We look forward to flying Mint again!