Sign Up for Our Daily Newsletter
After a recent 10-hour international flight, crammed into an economy seat
behind a man who reclined his chair all the way back while we were still
taking off, I landed in the U.S. to find that my connection home to Los
Angeles had been delayed by three hours. This was, of course, after I had
waited in a long, slow security line because my TSA Pre-Check didn't go
At the gate, there was a dearth of outlets, as there had been on the
aircraft, and no one behind the desk to ask whether the constantly changing
departure time would, indeed, be 9, 9:35 or 10 p.m. Jet-lagged and near
tears, I resigned myself to my fate: 24 wretched hours of sleepless travel.
It's a story we're all familiar with: Long lines, delayed flights,
unhelpful airport staff, uncomfortable seats and general misery.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
JetSuiteX, a short-haul public jet charter service, allows West Coast
clients to experience the luxuries of a private jet charter for about the
price of a traditional airline seat — and with significantly less hassle.
The service was introduced in April 2016 from JetSuite, one of the largest
private jet companies in the U.S., which launched operations in 2009.
On a recent JetSuiteX flight, I had the most carefree air travel experience
of my life, from start to finish. To begin, I arrived at a private jet
terminal about 20 minutes before departure time. I then showed my ID to a
smiling staff member, who collected my bag and directed me to comfortable
seating nearby a selection of gourmet drinks and snacks (think: Tazo tea,
bottled water, Kind granola bars and dried apple and mango slices). Some
waiting areas even have magazines and games, though with a delightfully
short wait time before boarding, you probably won't want to start that game
The flight itself is also sublime. With just 30 seats and three seats per
row (a single and a double), the company's 10 Embraer E135 jets offer an
intimate experience. Free Wi-Fi access — which actually works — is
available in the leather-wrapped cabin, and each seat is equipped with an
individual power outlet.
During my flight, I nursed a bourbon on the rocks while snacking on coconut
chips and enjoying ample leg room; clients will find 36- to 40-inch seat
pitch, with no chance of being squashed when their fellow passengers
recline. And all drinks are complimentary — including alcoholic selections
such as Tito's Handmade Vodka, Sailor Jerry rum, beer and wine — as are
snacks, which range from veggie chips to fruit bars.
While services and amenities are on par with many business-class offerings,
JetSuiteX rates are quite affordable, starting from $79 one-way. Best of
all, agents earn a 10 percent commission on all bookings, and clients do
not need to sign up or pay for a monthly subscription program, as they
would with similar carriers. Additionally, in late October, JetBlue Airways
made a minority equity investment in the company, affording customers the
opportunity to earn TrueBlue loyalty points when they fly. Flights are
currently offered to and from private terminals in Burbank, Concord, San
Jose, Carlsbad and Mammoth Lakes in California; Las Vegas; and Bozeman, Mt.
Certainly, traditional air travel and its many inconveniences sometimes
cannot be avoided. But when it comes to short-haul flights on the West
Coast, agents have no excuse not to offer clients a five-star, tear-free