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I Flew On a (Semi) Private Jet. It Was…Disappointing.

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I recently took a flight between Orange County and Oakland. And rather than fly a normal airline, I decided to give #JSX a shot. JSX is a semi-private airline that promotes a "private jet like experience at normal economy prices". Unfortunately, my experience wasn't quite as advertised. Let me explain…

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    1. AIRdomination

      @largol33t1 Haha it’s really nothing special. However, since my last posting, JSX now has some of their 135s in completely first class seats (one for each window) which look pretty sweet on their website. Haven’t run into one yet.

  1. David Dempkosky

    You flew a scheduled commercial charter flight, there was nothing at all private about it. If the pilots don’t depart when you tell them to you haven’t flown private. In my opinion, $89 was a very good price for what you experienced.

    1. David Dempkosky

      @D 349. Napoleon complex? Thank you for the psychobabble from afar. It was worth exactly what I paid. The author knows nothing about what it is like to fly on a private charter and I stand by that statement. What is your name and for whom do you work? When I look at next year’s list of Pulitzer winners I’d like to have your name in mind.

    2. D 349

      @David Dempkosky You are so laser-focused on expressing your wannabe elitism that you missed the point. The reason he titled this piece the way he did was because that is how JSX describes itself. That, frankly, is the entire point of this video, which you missed. Something tells me you’re suffering from, perhaps, a Napoleon complex. I’ve flown private myself which is a bit of a requirement in my line of work (media/journalism), but I don’t go lecturing people on the internet about it.

  2. speaks3703

    It looks like you made it onto an E145 that had not yet gone through interior refurbishment. They were very unusual birds for a few months, but I believe they have all since been either refurbished or removed from service to undergo refurbishment, so none of them are flying in that configuration anymore. The entire active fleet has no overhead bins, new carpet and upholstery, and a minimum of 36″ of pitch at every seat. The E145s also recently underwent a seat realignment to standardize the exit at row 7 across the whole fleet (it was previously row 8 on the 145s), which has provided even more seat pitch for each row on these aircraft while reducing the giant empty gap at the back of the cabin.

    As another commenter pointed out, there are 30 seats because that is what FAA Part 135 permits. At 31 seats they would have to operate under Part 121, and that would force them to use standard passenger terminals, which would eliminate a large part of their competitive advantage. It is not, however, a question of flight attendants. Aircraft with 20-50 seats only require one flight attendant. And a ratio of 30:1 is significantly better than what you get on other carriers, who are generally trying to get as close to 50:1 as possible.

    Finally, there are two errors here. JSX does not advertise WiFi currently available onboard because it isn’t. WiFi is provided free of charge in the lounges, not onboard the aircraft. They previously offered inflight SMS messaging, but that product didn’t work well and was slated for replacement with true WiFi. That project has hit a couple of roadblocks, including one change of vendor, but it’s finally getting off the ground, and the first aircraft has now received onboard WiFi equipment for testing. If all goes well, additional aircraft will begin to follow later this summer, and the website says it will be available in 2020 (presumably fleet-wide). The other is that JSX stopped using the “semi-private” verbiage when they rebranded from JetSuiteX to JSX last year. Customers found it confusing, particularly with sister company JetSuite offering actual private jet service. It’s currently described as a “hop on jet service,” and based on your impressions of check-in and boarding, I’d say that’s pretty accurate. The biggest value add here is time which, when coupled with space, makes for a pretty compelling product.

  3. California Aviation 2015

    I’ll say this, I work with jsx, I’m a line service technician at KCCR, it’s the smallest airport that jsx operates too, I can definitely agree with some of the things you said, a lot of the planes are old and were ex American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express E135s. I’ve never actually flown on it but I have been in and out of the planes a lot and they are fairly nice. I think it’s unfortunate that you had to experience that aircraft, before COVID hit jsx had just received many new aircraft and due to Phoenix opening up and new routes starting up, they didn’t really have the time to refurbish new aircraft to meet the demand of flights, I can tell you that pretty much every aircraft has no overhead bins and in this video that is the first time I’ve ever seen a plane of theirs have overhead bins and I’ve worked with them for over a year and half. Also the aircraft you flew on was a E145, jsx is majority E135s but they do have a fair amount of E145s and that was one of them and that extra space in the back is only in the E145s, I would definitely recommend trying them again, just because I think it was really down to that one plane and not overall

  4. dave smith

    I’ve flown them a few times and honestly, if they are even somewhere in the ballpark of a WN fare it’s a no brainer, just not having to deal with the crowds and airport security is a major win for me, also having the ability to earn miles etc on B6 is a nice bonus. The only thing I would ask for is LAX flights.

  5. Sebastian Partida

    Based on the fact that you consider Starbucks a premium coffee I don’t get why you would complain about flying in an old regional Embraer jet. S**tty coffee, great jet.
    Hope at least the coffee was not as old as the jet though.

    1. wickedcabinboy

      @Milos M – know how to make a Starbucks substitute coffee at home at pennies per cup? use three times the usual quantity of coffee grounds. It’ll strip the taste buds off your tongue just like the original Starbucks.

  6. poder brasil

    It is always a frustrating experience for the customer when faced with something other than what is propagated by the company. JSX should only operate the aircraft that have already been refurbished, the Embraer 135 / 145 jets, are not known for their comfort since they are small aircraft designed for regional operation.
    JSX does not hide that it is a low-cost operator and uses old aircraft. The attraction of JSX is precisely the gain of overtime to the passenger, yes it is worth paying a little more if you have. I believe JSX could improve the comfort and look of the reception and waiting facilities for the customer. I do not know if it is feasible, but I could offer a transfer service for “JSX executive” vehicles in partnership, through the collection of an additional fee for those who are interested.

  7. Daniel Gross

    Given the damn crazy-dangerous pandemic, the fact that there’s only a handful of people around you is a HUGE bonus, compared to the mass of infected humanity at airport checkin, security checkpoints, and then the terminals

  8. Dee Anna

    I love airports, checking in, and sitting at gates (yes really!) so the fast check-in would not hold any real appeal. If this is basically just a regular RJ, there would be no reason for me to try it.

  9. largol33t1

    4:14- What you’re talking about is what pilots call “short field takeoff”. It’s an interesting experience. United did this with an A319 during Xmas season 2003. Although that’s a MUCH larger plane, I was amazed how quickly we were aloft. Everyone should fly out of a tiny airport like John Wayne at least once in their lifetime to experience it. It’s not like anything you’ve ever felt or witnessed. I was shocked how loud the engines could get when the pilot held the brakes and opened up the throttle. That tiny plane leaped off the ground like a scalded cat! The one tradeoff is that this being California, you are likely to run into nasty storms as you head for SFO. The storm was brutal and tossed the A319 around like a toy. Fortunately for me, growing up with a love for roller coasters helped prep my stomach for this.

  10. olternaut

    Regardless of your particular experience overall, I think this type of flight experience is a win for passengers especially at that price point and I hope they expand to the east coast soon.

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