If you can buy a business class seat on an airline for the price of a coach seat, you should do it. So when I saw that I could buy a one-way ticket on the semi-private airline JSX for the same price as a ticket on Southwest for a flight to Dallas, I had to try this airline. 

And it was simply lovely. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

JSX is a startup airline that provides a “public charter” service; essentially they run short-distance point-to-point charter jets that allow passengers to book a seat on each flight. The airline got its wings in 2016 when it was founded by Alex Wilcox, an original founder of Jet Blue. The entire leadership team has tons of experience with other airlines, from American to Delta, United, Southwest, and beyond. 

Here’s what you need to know about this fun, posh airline.

Flights Fly From Executive or Private Airports 

The JSX lounge at Dallas Love Field (1)

This is where the VIP feeling starts: You skip the large airport terminal and instead head to airports where private jets fly from. Some are “executive airports” that exclusively serve private aircraft, small charters and small regional airlines. Others are private hangars at larger airports, including the hangar at Dallas Love Field, where JSX is headquartered. JSX terminals offer valet parking, too, so you can simply hand over your keys and go right to check -in.

The JSX lounge feels more like an office than an airline gate. Once you arrive, check in with the agent, show your ID and boarding pass, and check your bag. JSX only allows small carryons, such as a handbag or a tote so all luggage must be checked. 

Do You Have to Go Through TSA? Yes, There Is SecurityPassengers are screened before boarding the JSX flight

Your luggage, as well as you and your carry-on, will be screened for security just like at any airport. JSX has metal detectors and screening equipment to ensure everyone is safe and the airline complies with federal regulations. 

I wasn’t asked to remove my shoes or the liquids from my bag, but I did have to remove my computer and phone from my bag as I was screened. JSX allows passengers to bring two checked bags per person and returns them to you plane side when you land. 

JSX Provides Business Class-Only Service

A complimentary glass of bubbly made the experience perfect

A complimentary glass of bubbly made the experience perfect

The minute you board, you feel the VIP treatment: All seats are oversized leather seats configured like a business class cabin: they are large, comfortable, and have plenty of legroom. Our plane was configured with a single row of seats on one side and a double row on the other side, with about 30 seats in total. 

On board, I had plenty of room for my carry-on beneath my seat, but there are no overhead bins, so everything had to go under the seat in front of me. Once seated, the flight attendant served complimentary drinks and snacks; of course, I had to have Prosecco! 

You Have to Purchase Your Seat on the Plane — In addition To Your TicketLarge comfortable business class seats are JSX's hallmark

My ticket was $160 with taxes and I chose the cheaper “Hop On” option; I could have opted for an “All In” ticket which is fully refundable and allows 3 checked bags but is significantly more expensive. To be fair, most JSX seats are more expensive than what I paid, though still competitive with business or first-class commercial prices. Right now, Dallas to Houston flights are about $229. An American Airlines flight at the same time is $179 for coach and first class is $255. 

The cheaper Hop On ticket, which can be changed for $50, required me to pay for a seat, which I used the app to do. I booked a $15 seat in the single aisle of seats, though I could have booked a $20 seat across the aisle; these have cocktail tables on some flights. Seats typically cost between $10 and $30, and compared to the price of the All In fare, it seemed reasonable.

And then there’s this: if you buy a ticket and decide not to use it, you can change the name of the passenger on your ticket up to an hour before departure. What a novel and cool detail. 

Starlink Wifi Is Free, Fast and Awesome

Once on board, I was easily able to connect to Starlink wifi. And it was pretty good. Starlink is direct satellite-based wifi network owned by Elon Musk, and it works anywhere in the world. 

The JSX setup is really simple. Just log on to the “Free JSX Starlink Wifi” and you’re connected. No sign-in pages or hoops to jump through, and it works in the gate, so you can log in while you’re waiting and your devices will still be logged in on board. 

JSX Doesn’t Fly Everywhere, and Some Routes Are Seasonal

Look at that legroom

Look at that legroom

As a point-to-point airline, JSX flies direct from certain cities to other cities, some all year long and others by the season. I flew from Austin to Dallas, a route that is no longer offered, sadly, but the airline said they are working on bringing that route back. 

Dallas has the most routes and flies to places like Burbank, Las Vegas, Orange County, and Houston. Other destinations include Destin, FL, Oakland, Denver, and San Diego. There are also seasonal flights from Westchester County, NY and Morristown, NJ to Boca Raton and Miami, and the airline continues to add routes and flights every week.

Yes, You Can Bring a Pet

There’s great news here: You can book a seat for your mid-size to large dog! JSX’s pet policy is similar to other airlines in that you can bring a small dog or cat in a carrier that fits under your seat for $100 each way. For larger pets, they allow you to buy the seat next to you and for your dog to lay on the floor during the flight — so no, he can’t ride on the seat, but at least he can fly! 

Best Dog Backpacks

You’ll get Jet Blue or United Airlines Miles

If you don’t have a United or Jet Blue frequent flier account, sign up and add your membership number to your JSX profile and those miles or points will accrue for flights on United or Jet Blue. Jet Blue TrueBlue members will get bonus points for more expensive All In fares, too.

Is JSX a Safe Airline?

This is the best news: Airlines long ago gave up safety as a competitive point: They are all equally safe. That’s due in part to FAA regulations, safety standards set by the industry and their suppliers, airport regulations, standards set by unions that represent pilots, mechanics, and others, and then, the experience of the airline’s leadership.

My flight was as comfortable and professionally run as any commercial airline and had the added feel of a VIP experience. Not just the aircraft and the seat, but personal attention from the crew, the smaller group of passengers and the location of an executive airport. All of it was a huge win, and a great experience. I can’t wait to do it again. 

Guest Author: Scotty Reiss, founder of A Girls Guide to Cars.

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