JetBlue Faces Heavy Criticism for Imposing $5K Fee on Elderly Passengers for Seats Without Reclining Capability

JetBlue Faces Heavy Criticism for Imposing K Fee on Elderly Passengers for Seats Without Reclining Capability


By Martha Williams For Dailymail.Com

13:28 16 Mar 2024, updated 13:43 16 Mar 2024

  • An 83-year-old couple paid $5,200 to travel across the country comfortably so they could get some rest in JetBlue’s ‘Mint Class’
  • The seats they paid for were supposed to recline all the way to a seven-feet-long bed, but they were broken on both legs of the seven-hour journey
  • JetBlue only offered a $400 travel credit in compensation, only eight percent of the original cost for the luxury seats 



JetBlue is slammed for charging an elderly couple $5,200 for reclining seats that did not recline and then offering them a mere $400 travel credit in compensation.

Wally and Meredith Stevens decided to treat themselves to a trip to California for their 60th anniversary. The pair were excited to travel from New Hampshire to SoCal to visit their two sons and granddaughter.

Being 83 years old, the couple splurged on JetBlue’s ‘Mint Class,’ which boasts an ‘exclusive sleep experience,’ so they could be comfortable and get some rest for the Boston to SoCal flight – which can last up to eight hours.

The ‘Mint’ experience cost a whopping $5,200 in total – but included seats that reclined fully to offer a flat, nearly seven-foot surface that makes a comfortable bed for passengers. 

However when the couple boarded the plane on November 3, they realized that Wally’s seat was stuck halfway between upright and flat and Meredith’s was stuck completely upright.

Wally and Meredith Stevens decided to treat themselves to a trip to California for their 60th anniversary. The pair were excited to travel from New Hampshire to SoCal to visit their two sons and granddaughter
Being 83 years old, the couple splurged on JetBlue’s ‘Mint Class,’ which boasts an ‘exclusive sleep experience,’ so they could be comfortable and get some rest for the Boston to SoCal flight – which can last up to eight hours
The ‘Mint’ experience cost a whopping $5,200 in total – but included seats that were supposed to recline fully

The ‘Mint Class’ offers other perks, including pillows, blankets, eye masks and earplugs, fancy meals and complimentary drinks – but all the Stevenses wanted was a comfortable seat. 

Flight crew were able to Wally’s seat upright, but neither of the chairs were able to recline. 

On the return flight, Wally’s seat fully reclined – but Meredith’s once again did not.

The experience was not what the elderly couple had hoped for, or paid for. 

JetBlue offered no alternative seating for their passengers, saying the plane was full… both ways.

There weren’t seats available in any of the carriages, even coach.

Instead of offering reduced airfare for the inconvenience and for not providing the experience they had advertised and charged the couple for, they offered $400 in JetBlue credit.

Not only did the credit account for only eight percent of the original cost, it is useless to the Stevenses – who will never step foot on a JetBlue aircraft ever again.   

Wally was shocked at how ‘matter-of-factly’ the major airline company dealt with the problem. 

‘For us, it was upsetting and demoralizing, but apparently not for JetBlue,’ he said. 

When the couple boarded the plane on November 3, they realized that Wally’s seat was stuck halfway between the upright and laid-back position, and Meredith’s was stuck completely upright
The ‘Mint Class’ offers other perks, including pillows, blankets, eye masks and earplugs, fancy meals and complimentary drinks – but all the Stevenses wanted was a comfortable seat

Mint customers who discover their seats are broken (a ‘rare event,’ the airline says) sometimes decide to stay in the faulty seats for the other perks the experience as to off, JetBlue told the Boston Globe.

But the elderly couple didn’t decide to stay in their broken seats, they weren’t given a choice. 

JetBlue eventually upped its offer to $1,200 in travel credit, but this was still useless to the 83-year-olds who do not plan to travel on the airline ever again. 

The airline also knew the seats were faulty at least a few days in advance and did not even inform their passengers, the Boston Globe reported.

JetBlue did not immediately respond to the DailyMail.com’s request for comment. 

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