Flying to/from Las Vegas
on Semi-Private Airline JSX
I remember hearing about Jet Suite X when it first launched in 2016. Flying from Las Vegas on semi-private airline JSX sounded interesting but it only flew to a few west coast cities. Since I don’t travel around the west coast often it slipped my mind.
Recently, a few friends have been raving about JSX on twitter and Instagram so it was on my mind when a trip to Los Angeles came up. Since I loathe Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), I was looking at options that fly into Burbank or Long Beach. I narrowed the options down to JetBlue and JSX. The price to fly with JSX was about $75 more than JetBlue. Since it wasn’t much I thought I’d go for a new experience.
I’m so glad I chose JSX. The experience was one that makes me want to travel again. I only wish they flew all the way to the east coast.
“Hop easily around the Bay Area, LA Basin, Las Vegas, Seattle, Phoenix, Portland and our seasonal or pop-up destinations. We offer daily flights from private terminals so you can escape the lines and get where you need to go. Now book flights through April 30th. Coming soon: book Portland up to 5 round trips daily to and from Seattle-Boeing Field, flights begin April 2nd.”JSX Website
The JSX Pitch
Las Vegas on Semi-Private Airline
JSX flies out of a private terminal at McCarran Airport. There’s no dealing with traffic, people, and potentially long security lines of the main terminals. The airline sells itself as having “no lines, no crowds, no hassles.” Here are some of the selling points:
- Business class legroom (36 inches)
- Leather seats
- Private terminals
- “not-so-private fares”
- Power outlets in every row
- Quick boarding (arrive 30 minutes before the flight)
- Complimentary drinks and snacks
- Two free bags
I typically wear a button down shirt and shorts but the thought of flying semi-private seemed a bit fancy for that. I wore slacks on an airplane for the first time in years. This was the right attire for me even though there were a few people wearing shorts.
Before The Flight Las Vegas
Wow. The flight to LA is amazing. I started writing this while in the air on the way to Burbank. Unfortunately, there’s no WiFi available on the airplane so I couldn’t share pictures and videos in real-time. I had to wait a whole hour before getting into an Uber on the way to the hotel. That’s sarcasm. (Note: Coming later in 2020—free high-speed WiFi on board.)
Let’s rewind. Even though JSX says to arrive 30 minutes before the flight, I got to the hangar a little earlier so I could check the scene. For comparison, I would arrive more than 2 hours before a flight at McCarran. I’m always nervous about getting stuck in a long security line.
There were two people ahead of me to check into the flight. It only took about 5 minutes to check-in for the flight. Since there was no walk to a gate I had 40 minutes before the flight. The waiting area in Las Vegas has free WiFi, a Starbucks coffee machine and plenty of seating.
Arrived Early – Relaxing Vibe
Since I arrived early there were people waiting on multiple flights so it was a bit crowded. Most of the people waiting were working on laptops or talking on the phone. There were a few leisure travelers reading books.
I enjoyed a half-caf Pike Place brew and podcasts. Even though people were on the phone everyone was respectful of their volume and it was a relaxing vibe. This set the tone for the JSX experience. The atmosphere is so relaxing and unlike most pre-flight waiting periods.
Leaving Las Vegas
My flight was supposed to depart at 10:30 am but we didn’t board until then. Since there are only 30 people on the flight we boarded in 5 minutes and took off 10 minutes later. Unlike most flights today, the JSX plane only taxied for about 3 minutes before we took off.
The plane flew low – about 22,000 feet above the ground. They say this was an effort to save time on the flight. We mostly flew just above the clouds. The flight was quick and smooth. I enjoyed a delicious Bulleit bourbon since it was already 10:45 and free. Like most up and down flights, I barely had enough time to finish my bourbon. This was perfect.
Each seat has 36” of business class legroom and it’s impressive. It was nice not to worry about someone leaning back and shoving the tray table into my gut. My 6’1” friend appreciated the legroom a bit more than I did.
While the extra legroom was nice, the seats were normal width. I was expecting a wider seat like first class. This wasn’t a big deal but wider people always enjoy a wider seat.
The only downside of the plane was the actual seat. This isn’t a soft plush chair. My butt could have been more comfortable but it was fine for the short flight. Just something I noticed but wasn’t really bothered by.
Overall, the JSX flight from Las Vegas to Burbank was better than any flight to California I’ve experienced. It was even better than my amazing Virgin America flight to San Fransisco a few years ago. RIP Virgin America, you were wonderful.
JSX To Uber In 5 Minutes
Landing at the private JSX hangar at Hollywood Burbank Airport was sweet. The plan stops just outside of the hangar where we grabbed our luggage. The walk from the airplane through the hangar to the car pickup area is about 200 steps.
Imagine landing, walking to your bags, and getting into your ride to the destination in 5 minutes. That was my experience even though I had to wait two minutes for my Uber. Not too shabby.
I later learned that ride-hail pickup at LAX is a bit more complicated than most airports. That made me even happier that I chose to fly JSX.
Legit Gamechanger – Las Vegas on Semi-Private Airline JSX
Skipping the massive airport is a gamechanger for anyone that stresses about flying as I do.
The in-flight experience was great but the pre-flight JSX experience is magical. I wish every flight could be this simple, quick, easy, comfortable, and stress-free.
Flying JSX is definitely worth a few dollars more than a short-haul flight on a legacy carrier. Frankly, I wish I could fly back east this way.
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Back To Vegas, Baby!
I had a great time in Los Angeles but could not wait to get back to Las Vegas and back to normal life. The pre-flight experience from Hollywood Burbank Airport was as smooth as it was from Las Vegas.
This time I arrived only 30 minutes before the flight since I knew what to expect. The JSX waiting area at Burbank is in a private hangar. Like literally, inside the hangar (see above) where an airplane would normally fly into. While I was checking in there was an announcement that the flight was delayed.
The incoming flight from Las Vegas had to deplane and re-board on a new plane. Well, the hourlong delay turned into about 90 minutes. Thankfully, it was a beautiful 63-degree morning in Burbank, so sitting around an airport hangar wouldn’t be too uncomfortable.
Since there’s no pre-flight stress with JSX, there’s little stress about waiting around. Some people played cornhole and foosball while others sipped on coffee chatting and working. The coffee machines were in closed-off rooms, which was a nice escape from the sometimes noisy hangar.
The flight back to Las Vegas was quick and uneventful. The “baggage claim” area was right on the tarmac outside of the plane which reminded me of flying into other small airports. Again, not having to wait around for bags just made the flight quicker. Two minutes later I was in a Lyft and on the way home.
Something interesting I realized while waiting in Burbank is that a guest can wait with a friend or significant other all the way until they board the airplane. This seems like a perk some people might enjoy. I see this as just another way to have a stress-free flight.
I’ll Definitely Fly JSX Again
I received an email mid-flight from JSX. I assumed this was just a “thanks for flying” note but it wasn’t. They sent a $100 voucher for a future flight because of the delay.
The voucher was a treat and a nice sign of appreciation. I can’t imagine an economy flight receiving a voucher because of a delay. This is almost the cost of a one-way ticket. I guess I’ll have to fly somewhere again soon.
The JSX experience lived up to the hype. Even with a delay in Burbank, both legs of the flight were stress-free. Arriving at JSX Las Vegas and checking in took about five minutes total from the second I left my Uber. Check-in time was even shorter in Burbank as it was early Sunday morning.
Since the airplanes only have a maximum of 30 people boarding is quick. Takeoff is also quick since JSX flies from private hangars. The in-flight experience was comfortable with lots of legroom. Deplaning is also quick because there are so few people.
Lastly, there are only a few minutes to wait for getting bags since there’s no real terminal. For comparison, it’s usually about 20-25 minutes from the time someone exits a flight at LAS until they exit the terminal.
The JSX experience is fantastic and easily one of the best flights I’ve had. The ticket price is slightly more than other regional flights and my mental well-being is well worth a few bucks.
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