JetBlue Just Launched Its First Flight to Dublin — and I Was One of the Lucky Passengers on Board

Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, too.

<p>Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure</p>

Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure

JetBlue has touched down in Ireland — Dublin, to be exact — and I can say firsthand the journey was just as good as the destination.

Initially announced in October, Flight B6 841 took off in the evening on Wednesday, March 13, from New York’s JFK and arrived in Dublin Thursday morning. However, celebrations for the inaugural flight started well before takeoff.

Passing by a massive balloon display spelling out "DUB" in the center of Terminal 5 on my way to Gate 14, I knew I ended up in the right place when I saw even more balloons, Irish flags, and commemorative signage, bringing buzz and excitement to what would typically be a routine evening in the airport.

Ahead of boarding, passengers were treated to Irish delicacies, including corned beef and cabbage, a sausage and potato stew dish aptly known as Dublin coddle, and shamrock-shaped sugar cookies. And to top things off, Irish step dancers performed right before remarks from executives at JetBlue and JFK, as well as a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

<p>Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure</p> Joanna Geraghty (in blue) at the gate of JetBlue's inaugural flight to Dublin.

Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure

Joanna Geraghty (in blue) at the gate of JetBlue's inaugural flight to Dublin.

"Dublin exemplifies St. Patrick’s Day — [we're] very excited to be launching [the route]," JetBlue CEO Joanna Geraghty told Travel + Leisure in an interview following the ribbon cutting. "It shows there are great routes and great opportunities for JetBlue to fly and really bring the JetBlue product and service to more markets."

Following JetBlue's recent termination of their potential merger with Spirit Airlines, Geraghty touted the new route — and the airline's upcoming inaugural flight to Edinburgh in May — as a sign of a hopeful future.

"We have a company that’s resilient and one that has outlasted the competition for 20-plus years," she said. "We’re going to redouble our efforts around what makes JetBlue special and unique. We’ve got a great brand, a great product, great service, great crew members, a great set of cities, and we're going to take full advantage of that."

The flight to Dublin — JetBlue's latest transatlantic route, with London being the first in 2021 — will operate seasonally out of JFK and Boston's Logan International Airport until Sept. 30. Since then, the airline has also headed to Paris and Amsterdam.

When it was time to board the Airbus A321neo aircraft, I took my seat in JetBlue's Mint section, the airline's business-class product, which felt like my personal living room. Even better, I was seated in the Mint Studio, complete with an extra seat in its pod for more space. All Mint options have lie-flat seats, sliding doors for privacy, a blanket and pillow by Tuft & Needle, and, for my flight, new amenity kits that, along with the Dublin route, were also making their debut.

<p>Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure</p>

Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure

The revamped amenity kits include Dr. Dennis Gross skin care products, as well as in-flight essentials like an eye mask, earplugs, socks, and a toothbrush (which came in handy as I forgot mine). The highlight, though, and Geraghty's favorite, is the fact that the kit itself — by New York City-based sport bag and accessory company Caraa — can turn into a drawstring backpack, ideal for use while traversing your destination.

Related: 20 Best Places to Visit in Ireland — From a Dark-sky Park With Milky Way Views to One of Europe's Highest Sea Cliffs

<p>Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure</p>

Christine Burroni/Travel + Leisure

As for the food, JetBlue's Mint service has meals curated by New York-based Delicious Hospitality Group (think: spots like Charlie Bird and Legacy Records), and I indulged. Thankfully, the airline crew has an "express service," offering three courses at once — mine being the kale salad, burrata, and spinach lasagna. This gives passengers the opportunity to have uninterrupted rest after eating, which, lucky for me, ensued.

Upon arriving, I headed to Anantara The Marker Dublin, a hotel situated at Grand Canal Square in the city's Docklands neighborhood. With its sleek and contemporary exterior — designed to represent the Cliffs of Moher — the property and its surroundings add a futuristic vibe to a city filled with history. The hotel's interior decor, from the lobby to the hallways, are also packed with nods to the country's past, and its rooftop boasts a 360-degree view of the city.

The hotel has 187 rooms, a spa, and multiple dining options by chef Gareth Mullins, which I plan to eat at.

<p>Courtesy of Anantara The Marker Dublin</p> Anantara The Marker Dublin

Courtesy of Anantara The Marker Dublin

Anantara The Marker Dublin

Luck continued to be on my side as one of my first to-dos was to head to the hotel's spa for a 60-minute massage. (To level up my post-flight self-care even more, I used the Dr. Dennis Gross Ultra Gentle Daily Peel treatment from JetBlue's amenity kit, which gave my skin an instant refresh.)

As for the rest of the weekend, which will culminate with prime viewing of the St. Patrick's Day parade on Sunday, I'll fill my time with activities around Dublin, including a stop at the Guinness Storehouse. My itinerary, which was curated with the help of Anantara The Marker Dublin, also includes culinary experiences such as a fishing excursion and a whiskey and Irish coffee masterclass led by Mullins.

Closing out day one of my trip, my excitement for exploring this city — after a good night's sleep — matched that of what I was met with at the airport.

As for where JetBlue may be headed next? Geraghty said, "Not sure yet, stay tuned."

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