Private regional jet service soars
Demand for air travel is soaring once again, but there is an alternative airline that some may not have considered outside the big traditional ones.
JSX, which originally was known as Jet Suite X, launched five years ago, but because of the pandemic, it has seen business grow as more passengers value their personal space and comfort.
What You Need To Know
- Air carriers such as JSX and Set Jet are seeing a surge in new passengers prioritizing comfort and convenience
- At JSX, 30 passengers fly on regional jets usually configured for 50 or more with commercial airlines
- Set Jet is a membership program that offers a more luxurious experience with no more than 16 passengers per flight
- Both airlines fly mainly to West Coast destinations out of LAX, Orange County and Burbank. Set Jet also flies out of Van Nuys
“You’re only ever flying with as many as 29 other customers onboard the aircraft. You have about 35 inches of pitch in every seat,” said Ben Kaufman, director of marketing for JSX.
Flying on JSX is roughly the equivalent of sitting in business class on a traditional airliner. The jets are configured, so there are no middle seats and no overhead bins. In the age of social distancing, that is providing some travelers peace of mind.
According to Kaufman, demand has grown, especially among passengers 55 and older and said more than half of its passengers are now first timers.
“It removes the lines. It removes the crowds. It removes the dwell time. It removes so many added layers of risk that are just unpredictable in the current environment,” Kaufman said.
Since the airline operates as a charter between private terminals, there are no long security lines or TSA pat downs. Most of the security takes place behind the scenes, allowing passengers to arrive just 20 minutes before their flight.
JSX mainly flies to Western cities out of Burbank, LAX and Orange County. Prices start at $99 one way.
If you are looking for a more exclusive, private jet experience, Set Jet is another option.
“It’s a membership program, so it’s $99 for a security check and then $99 a month and basically a flight one way, roughly an hour. It’s about $470,” said Set Jet founder and CEO, Tom Smith.
Smith launched the service out of Scottsdale, Arizona just a few months before the pandemic.
“It’s like you fly private but without having all the expense of having to buy the aircraft and pay $5,000 one way. You’re paying maybe a tenth of that,” he said. “About a year ago, we had one airplane. Today we have five.”
At LAX, they fly out of the Atlantic Private Terminal in a luxury jet with no more than 16 passengers, but the company also operates out of Orange County, Burbank and even Van Nuys.
“Once one member schedules, that plane’s gonna go. So you could be in this luxury all by yourself, if no one else has agreed to go with you,” Smith said.
That is exactly what happened to Chris Northern, who was taking his first flight with Set Jet to see his brother in Northern California. He said he frequently finds himself running late for flights.
“For them to give me the peace of mind, like ‘Hey, we’re waiting on you don’t worry about it. That was worth the whole experience,” Northern said.
He said he paid around $470 for his flight.
“It was I think two something for commercial, coach. So if I were to upgrade to first class, I mean, the price isn’t that much different,” he said.
For travelers still anxious about flying in this pandemic, these companies assure them they are just the ticket to a stress-free flight.