Would you jump on the opportunity to fly “private” for the price of a normal airline seat? That’s the experience JetSuiteX promised when it launched in 2016. Now known as simply JSX, the public charter airline has since expanded to dozens of routes along the West Coast and is expanding eastward.
But what does flying semiprivate actually mean? Is JSX worth the additional cost? I booked a flight on JSX from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to check out the experience. Here’s an overview of my experience and what you need to know about flying JSX.
JSX is still primarily a West Coast airline focused in California, Nevada and Arizona. However, it has been incrementally expanding eastward. In 2020, JSX launched routes in and around Texas. And in November 2021, JSX added Miami flights to Dallas and Westchester County near New York City.
However, between pandemic cutbacks and rapid expansion, the JSX route map is constantly changing. So, make sure to check out JSX’s Where We Fly page for the latest route map.
JSX fares, fees and bag policies
JSX offers two types of fares: Hop On and All In. Hop On is JSX’s cheaper fare type — with fees for changes, cancellations and seat assignments. Upgrade to an All In fare to gain the flexibility to change or cancel your ticket for no fees.
However, the price difference can be steep. On some routes and dates, Hop On fares can be just $109 each way while All In fares are $499 each.
Change fees: JSX charges a $50 fee to change or cancel Hop On fares for travel credit. All In fares have no change or cancellation fees. Either way, you’ll need to change or cancel at least an hour before departure to avoid forfeiting your ticket.
Bags: Hop On fares include two checked bags of up to 50 pounds each plus a small personal item, such as a purse or backpack. All In fares get a third free checked bag up to 50 pounds. For both fare types, additional and overweight bags cost $50 each.
Seat assignments: Travelers on Hop On fares need to pay $10 to $30 to book a seat assignment ahead of check-in. All In flyers get free seat selection.
Other fees: JSX charges a $20 fee per passenger for flights booked over the phone. Besides this, there are no other fees to note. JSX doesn’t charge a pet fee, and drinks and snacks are complimentary.
Other things to know about JSX
Pets fly free: JSX allows small dogs and cats to fly free of charge, as long as they stay in a small (13″ x 11″ x 17″) pet carrier under the seat in front of you for the flight.
Unaccompanied minors: Travelers under 14 years old aren’t able to travel alone on JSX. Travelers ages 14 to 18 can travel alone but cannot accompany someone under 14.
JSX aircraft and seating
JSX flies Embraer ERJ-135 and ERJ-145 aircraft. These are smaller aircraft that are typically used by larger airlines to operate regional flights in smaller markets.
JSX’s FAA certification limits JSX to 30 seats on each aircraft. That means there can be awkwardly large gaps at the front and back of some aircraft.
The onboard experience will depend on where you’re flying. On most JSX flights, aircraft are arranged with 10 rows of seats in a 1-2 arrangement — meaning one seat on one side and two seats on the other side. Because of this, you might rub elbows with another passenger on full flights.
However, JSX’s Texas-based ERJ-145 aircraft are arranged in 15 rows with one seat on either side of the aisle. That means you won’t have to worry about having a neighbor on these flights.
Seats are arranged with 35 to 36 inches of pitch. That’s enough for most passengers to have enough legroom. However, it’s less pitch than you’ll find in business or first class on many airlines.
Earn miles when flying JSX
JSX doesn’t have its own loyalty program. Instead, JSX partners with JetBlue’s TrueBlue program for mileage earnings on flights. The earning rate is simple. You’ll earn 150 TrueBlue points on Hop On fares and 250 TrueBlue points on All In fares.
JSX onboard experience
To check out the JSX experience for myself, I “hopped on” a JSX flight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. I booked the one-way flight for just $109 one-way eight days before departure.
When I flew in November 2021, JSX was remodeling its Las Vegas lounge. So the JSX check-in desk and the departure lounge were temporarily inside the nearby 5 Star Helicopter Tours building. JSX had ample signage to point travelers in the right direction.
Check-in agents were friendly and quickly issued my boarding pass — assigning me a window seat without me even having to ask. The entirety of the security measures consisted of the check-in agent asking if I had any prohibited items and swabbing my driver’s license and backpack for explosives.
The departure lounge offered coffee, tea and a variety of seating options. The JSX lounge Wi-Fi speeds aren’t going to win any awards — 4.66 mbps download, 5.23 mbps upload — but it was free and had very low lag.
Boarding was announced 15 minutes before departure. It would’ve been a bit of a walk to the airplane from the temporary lounge. So, JSX drove passengers to the plane via a private bus — which felt a bit excessive for the five passengers on our flight. Passengers were asked to drop their checked bags at the luggage cart next to the bus.
The solo flight attendant welcomed passengers on board. Our flight left the JSX hangar a few minutes early. After a short taxi, we took off before we even hit the scheduled departure time.
The flight attendant served drinks and snacks during the 43-minute flight. The plastic cups and packaged snacks from a snack basket felt a bit short of what you might expect when flying private. But, for the price I paid, it was perfectly fine. No additional drinks or snacks were offered.
Arrival was just as seamless as departure. It took just minutes from touchdown to arriving at the Signature flight services parking spot. Then it only took a couple of minutes to deplane, pick up bags from the back of the aircraft and walk through the Signature terminal to the pickup area.
Benefits of flying JSX
There are a lot of perks to flying semiprivate, but the aspect that stood out the most to me was the time savings. JSX requires that you arrive at the airport only 20 minutes before departure. And even that isn’t strictly enforced. On my flight from Vegas to Los Angeles, a passenger arrived at the terminal within 20 minutes of departure and still made the flight.
You’ll also save time on arrival. It took only 10 minutes from when we landed at LAX for me to get curbside for my ride. On a commercial flight, you’re lucky if you’re off the plane in 10 minutes. Then, you still have to get through the terminal, wait for checked bags and potentially need to take a shuttle to get to the rideshare pickup spot.
Also, depending on where you’re flying, the JSX terminals could also get you where you want to go faster than the commercial airport terminal. For example, in Las Vegas, the JSX terminal is located much closer to The Strip than the commercial airport terminal.
Flying on JSX also reduces a lot of the hassle of flying. The passenger who checked in late for my flight had limited mobility due to recent spinal surgery. For him, flying JSX meant getting dropped off at the front of the JSX terminal and only needing to walk a few hundred feet to check-in, then get to the transfer bus and get on the plane. To fly commercial between Las Vegas and Los Angeles would have required a lot more hassle and transfers throughout the process.
If you’re considering flying JSX
On most routes and dates, you’re likely to find cheaper airfare on a commercial airline. But it’s hard to beat the convenience of flying JSX. Between the private terminals, spacious seats, friendly service, and free snacks and drinks, the price difference should be worth it for many travelers.
Plus, with money-saving perks like two free checked bags and no pet fees, it might actually be cheaper for some travelers to fly JSX than a conventional airline.
Top photo courtesy of JSX.
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