Tired of the hustle, bustle, and general annoyance of flying? You could opt for a road trip–or fly a different way. Enter JSX (formerly JetSuiteX), a small air carrier that operates point-to-point flights in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and New York State.
By taking advantage of aviation rules to create a simpler, more peaceful experience, JSX has won a loyal base of frequent fliers among the business class and less-budget-conscious consumer who’s willing to pay to avoid TSA and almost all other people you normally encounter at the airport.
What is JSX?
JSX was founded in 2016 and serves as the antidote to the crowded, noisy, stressful airport experience we’ve all come to know and hate in the last few decades. JSX operates out of Fixed Based Operators (private hangars/terminals), so you skip the TSA lines and crowded boarding areas of the main airport.
When flying with JSX, you arrive 20-30 minutes before your flight, go through a smooth check-in process, wait in a quiet, clean lounge, and board directly onto your plane. Flights are small with a good crew-to-passenger ratio, and arrival is almost as easy as departure.
JSX flies only two types of planes, the Embraer ERJ-135 and ERJ-145 aircraft. The main difference in these planes is how many passengers they were originally designed to fly: the ERJ-145 was originally equipped to carry 50 passengers and the ERJ-135 was equipped to carry 37 passengers. However, when JSX began flying these planes, they retrofitted all ERJ-135 and ERJ-145 to carry only 30 passengers no matter the exact model.
Previous Going deals found on JSX
Flying in private jet style sounds pricey, but Going has found some great fares, especially when compared to a typical business class fare on the same routes.
- Austin to Dallas nonstop for $278 roundtrip
- Burbank nonstop to Napa Valley for $198 roundtrip
- San Diego, LA, or Oakland to Las Vegas nonstop for $198 roundtrip
Where does JSX fly?
JSX is primarily based in the American Southwest, California, and Texas–and has recently expanded to add two East Coast destinations: Miami and Westchester County.
JSX operates out of several California airports, including smaller regional airports: Burbank (BUR), Concord/Napa (CCR), Monterey (MRY), Los Angeles (LAX), Oakland/San Francisco (OAK), Orange County (SNA), and San Diego (SAN). Additionally, flights connect from these airports to Reno-Tahoe (RNO), Las Vegas (LAS), and Phoenix (PHX).
From Las Vegas, you can fly to Dallas (DAL), with onward lights to Austin (AUS), Houston (HOU), and Miami (MIA), plus seasonal legs connecting Dallas, Lajitas (T89), Houston, and Destin (DSI). Miami also connects to Westchester County (HPN). This makes it theoretically possible to fly from the Bay Area or Los Angeles to Westchester County (New York City) entirely on JSX. (This would be a four-leg flight through Las Vegas, Dallas, and Miami!)
How to book a flight on JSX
Booking a flight on JSX is easy and feels similar to other airlines. To begin, you select your departure airport from the list of all airports where JSX flies:
As JSX does not do any codeshare flights, you can’t book a single ticket including a JSX flight from other airports–you can however fly to one of these airports and transfer to the private terminal for your JSX flight.
One you’ve selected your departure airport, the arrival field populates with the only available destinations from that departure point:
This makes it easy to see where you can travel–however it means that if you want to book through Las Vegas or Dallas on JSX, you’ll need to book two separate tickets.
Next, the date calendar populates with the lowest available price on any given day:
This is handy if your dates are flexible, and gives you an initial idea about the cost of your flight.
After selecting dates, you’ll be taken to a screen with the specific fares available for different flights:
Upon selecting a flight, you’re prompted to choose which fare class you want to be in:
Once you’ve selected your flights (one-way or return) you’ll enter personal information. The next screen allows you to choose your seat (and pay for it, if necessary based on your fare class).
Finally, you enter payment information and purchase your tickets.
For anyone who has booked a flight online, the JSX booking process feels very familiar. JSX also offers a mobile app where you can book using the same process.
JSX keeps it simple: they offer only two flight classes, “Hop On” or “All In.”
“Hop On” is the basic JSX fare, which includes two checked bags, is fully refundable as JSX credit, and has a $50 change/cancellation fee.
“All In” provides more flexibility, including free advanced seat selection, no change or cancellation fees, three checked bags, and refund to your original payment method.
On the JSX route maps, all routes start from a base rate and change based on demand and how soon the flight is scheduled. For example, flights on Fridays and Saturdays generally cost more–especially so for long holiday weekends, but midweek fares are always roughly the same low price.
As mentioned, all JSX fares include at least some free checked bags–two in the case of “Hop On” fares and three bags for “All In” ticket holders. Seat selection is free for “All In” travelers too; “Hop On” travelers can pay between $10 and $30 to choose their seat or have a seat automatically assigned for free.
The only other fees to consider are the change/cancellation fees: it’s $50 for either type of fee with “Hop On” fares and those fees are waived for “All In” fares.
Review of the JSX flying experience
Historically, JSX kept check-in delightfully simple. As all JSX flights depart from the private terminal of their given airport, all you would have to do is show your ID, have your bags tagged, and be on your way to enjoy a brief rest in the boarding lounge before heading out to your flight.
In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, JSX has made it even easier to have a virtually contactless check-in process. Their mobile app allows passengers to check in and receive a boarding pass without coming into contact with a staff member. If you are checking bags, you will still need to do that upon arrival at the terminal–but the goal is to have passengers pre-checked-in and reduce contact time with staff or in the lounge before boarding.
When you fly JSX, the security process is less invasive and disruptive than the usual scan or pat-down treatment you get before every commercial flight. Because JSX operates out of private terminals, you won’t encounter TSA or wait in a long line, but you will go through a thermal screening (due to the ongoing pandemic) and your bags will be subjected to an industry-standard weapons detection protocol. Additionally, all passengers are checked against TSA’s “No Fly” list.
After check-in and a brief security screening, JSX passengers wait in a private lounge before boarding their flight. This is typically similar to a nice airport lounge, but is for JSX passengers only. You could wait in this lounge until your flight, enjoying free coffee, drinks, and snacks before boarding.
Boarding your JSX flight varies depending on the airport you’re flying out of; in some cases (such as OAK), you might walk directly across the tarmac to your plane, guided by a JSX crew member. At other airports such as LAS, you’ll board a shuttle which takes you through the private terminal and hangars to your plane, where you’ll then take the few steps from the shuttle vehicle to board your plane by stairs.
Seats on JSX
As JSX flights are all limited to 30 passengers per plane, they’re quite spacious. Most planes offer a 1-2 seat configuration, with one seat on the port side of the aircraft and two seats (one window, one aisle) on the starboard side. Similar to first-class cabins on other commercial airlines, JSX seats are comfortable and wide compared with the standard economy seat and offer business class legroom, by industry standards.
Seats on JSX flights are assigned; passengers can choose their own seat (free or for a fee depending on fare class) or be assigned one randomly.
One area where JSX falls behind commercial airlines is in the in-flight entertainment space. There is no wifi available onboard JSX flights as of early 2022, and there is no seatback entertainment. That doesn’t slow most JSX passengers down, as many ane business travelers and work on their devices throughout the flight without the interruption of new emails pinging in.
JSX also doesn’t offer meals, though they do offer complimentary drinks–including free alcohol–and snacks aboard all flights. And these aren’t the cheap options: you can choose from craft beer, standard spirits, and interesting snacks like coconut chips and healthy fruit bars. Best of all, there’s no judgment from the crew when you ask for another round or to try a second snack.
Because of their small plane sizes, JSX offers great, personalized service. Each flight has one crew member aboard, who takes care of all (maximum) 30 passengers. While that might sound like a lot, compare it to the 3-4 crew members to roughly 130 passengers on a standard domestic commercial flight and you’re getting a lot more attention on a JSX flight.
One quirk of flying JSX is that the individual crew member aboard is responsible for it all–they ensure everyone is seated and buckled in, give the safety demonstration, do all the cabin service, collect all the trash–you name it. This means there are times when the crew member is occupied and there won’t be service on demand when you might need it. However, I’ve never experienced an issue where the crew member wasn’t able to help as soon as they were able.
Upon arrival, there’s no long walk through a giant terminal to reach the crowded baggage claim; much like other aspects of a JSX flight, things are simpler on arrival.
After disembarking from the plane (and transporting to the JSX lounge), you may need to wait a few minutes for your bags to arrive from the plane by cart. Then you can collect your bags and leave the private terminal to catch transportation to your hotel or home.
It’s important to remember that all JSX flights arrive and depart from the private terminals–this means you may not be near the standard Rideshare pickup points at the main terminal. It’s important to take note of the street addresses for the terminals so you can use them for any transportation you need to arrange.
How to contact JSX
JSX Customer Service can be reached by phone at (800) 435-9579 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Customer service is available from 5am to 9pm Pacific time. As JSX offers a standard flight schedule daily, this means that customer service is available throughout the time that all passenger flights are occurring throughout their route network.
How to cancel or change a JSX flight
The best way to cancel or change your JSX flight is by contacting customer service directly. If you have purchased a “Hop On” fare, there is a $50 fee to cancel or change your flight; there is no fee for “All In” fareholders.
If you are cancelling your flight, “Hop On” passengers will receive their fare fee back as a JSX credit (less the $50 cancellation fee); “All In” passengers can receive their entire fare back to their original payment method.
If you’re changing your flight, you may need to pay the difference in fare fees if your new fare comes at a higher cost than your original one.
Like all commercial airlines in the US, there is no fee to change or cancel your flight in the first 24 hours after booking.
JSX harkens back to when flying was a pleasant—one might say delightful—experience. By taking advantage of aviation rules to create an easy check-in and arrival experience, JSX lets you skip the madness of the airport.
What we love about JSX:
- Ease of the process. JSX makes the airport experience simple
- Delicious drinks and snacks both in the JSX lounge and in-flight
- Wifi detox time. In a constantly connected world not having wifi on the relatively short flight legs offer a nice opportunity to catch up on work, read a book, or rest without the incessant ping of notifications
- Feels almost like flying private at a much reduced cost
What we dislike about JSX:
- Fares are higher than basically all competitors operating similar routes
- No onboard entertainment or meals