It’s not every day that you arrive at your destination an hour early. Given how great Mint Class was, you could have easily had another few hours onboard, it was that good. I would refute anyone who says that you can’t have a first-class experience on a narrow-bodied aircraft across the Atlantic and there are actually benefits (like being quick off the plane) which come with only having under 140 passengers onboard.

Arriving on a clear day in Boston, with a gentle haze shimmering over the tarmac, it gave the illusion of it being warmer than it was. There was a definite chill in the air getting off the aircraft.

I have been to America many times, but never have I seen a customs and immigration hall empty on arrival. When I say empty, given travelling in Mint we were the first off the aircraft, there was nobody in front of us. Yes, there were the usual quick questions as well as taking a photo and fingerprints, but interestingly they no longer stamp your passport (in contrast to what they are currently doing in Europe). The whole process took minutes.

As soon as we got through, we then just had to wait a couple of minutes for our bags. Having such a small number of passengers it was really easy and we were out of the airport within 15 minutes.

Instead of having a transfer to the hotel, there is a free bus which takes you into the city. Unlike many cities, the airport in Boston is extremely close to the city, which makes using public transport a whole lot easier.

Our hotel, the Yotel located in the Seaport district was adjacent to the bus stop, unusually of which is underground. Much of this area has only been developed in the last decade and does have a distinctly modern feel to it. The hotel is similar, with a small lobby area, rooftop terrace and interestingly designed rooms, where the bed slides out into the room. It also had a window right by the shower looking over the street and neighbouring apartments, which was also interesting! Still, the beds were comfortable and the place was spotlessly clean throughout.

Seaport, Towards Boston

Seaport, Towards Boston

Thanks to the fact we were an hour early, it allowed us to go out and have a bit of an exploration of the local area. Next door to the hotel was a Trader Joe’s (which I later found out is operated by the same group as Aldi), where we stocked up on water. We had a good look around the Seaport area, including the marina and harbourside near the Tea Party Museum (more on that tomorrow).

It was decided that we would walk into Boston, allowing us to see the centre of town to Boston Common to meet our guide for the afternoon. Julia would take us around the highlights of the history of Boston, including the stories of rebels, gangs, the Boston Tea Party, midnight Riders and a touch of innovation in the invention of the telephone. We also walked past the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s grave, the first road in Boston and she gave a real sense of what it was like to live in colonial America.

Guide Julia on The Freedom Trail

Guide Julia on The Freedom Trail

The end of the tour brought us to Faneuil Hall, where we would have a quick bite to eat – essentially something very similar you would find at Covent Garden or Borough Market. What we didn’t realise was that Boston is officially the windiest city in the UK (although I thought that was Chicago), and by late afternoon it was getting rather chilly.

It was a short walk back to the hotel, to get ready for the evening entertainment – a night at basketball. A fellow passenger, England footballer Saka was also going to the basketball to see Boston Celtics play the Phoenix Suns at the TD Garden stadium, in the heart of Boston.

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns at TD Garden in Boston

Boston Celtics v Phoenix Suns at TD Garden in Boston

There were so many people heading for the stadium, it was like a river of green in the centre of the city. Something to note if you wanted to go there, is they only let you take very small bags in, not that much bigger than a large smartphone. It is also worth noting that you also need to take your passport if you want to get a drink, any drink, not just alcoholic.

The match is as much a show as it’s a game. Split into quarters, there are regular breaks for entertainment and adverts, with a show during the interval. Everything you would expect from an American sporting evening. There is a halftime singer, and the national anthem is sung beforehand, as well as the usual chanting and cheering.


Each day of our trip with JetBlue and Jetset will be an individual journal post, all will be released this week…

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