JSX (JetSuiteX) review: a game changing airline, but it’s not for me

JSX (JetSuiteX) review: a game changing airline, but it’s not for me

The only way that I can think to start this JSX review is to say that it’s probably one of the most unique airline reviews that I’ve ever done.

Passengers can show up at the airport just 20 minutes prior to departure (they actually encourage it), and there are no security checks to board the plane.

As a guy who enjoys hanging out in major airports and flying on big airplanes, the JSX (JetSuite X) experience is pretty much the opposite of how I like to travel. I’m glad I tried it though, just to see what all the fuss was about.

XE621
San Diego, CA (SAN) – Las Vegas, NV (LAS)
Thursday, November 18, 2021
Aircraft: Embraer 135
Registration: N258JX
Duration: 46 minutes
Seat: 5A

JetSuiteX (JSX) Embraer 135 side view
JetSuiteX (JSX) Embraer 135 side view illustration by Norebbo.com
XE621 flight track
Our route from San Diego to Las Vegas this morning as XE621.

The video about my JetSuiteX flight to Las Vegas

Getting the pictures that I need for my trip reports isn’t all that difficult. It’s the video footage which is more challenging. Basically, it’s hard not to feel exposed and vulnerable as I’m standing motionless (and mute) trying to grab a 15 second clip of something that normal people would never get video footage of (like a check-in desk).

Since JSX flies out of the smaller executive terminals at all of the airports they serve, the vibe was completely different from a normal air travel experience. I felt like I had to be on my best behavior, and holding my phone up to get video clips of everything felt awkward.

Anyway, since this was only a 45 minute flight, this one is a bit shorter than my usual videos. FYI, the song that I used in the background for this was “Hemisphere” by Ooyy. And of course, I got it from Epidemic Sound.

A full review of JSX Airlines (flight number 128 from San Diego to Las Vegas)

Unlike any other airline travel experience that I’ve ever had, JSX emailed me the day before departure informing me that it was OK to show up at the airport just 20 minutes prior to departure. That’s an email you’ll never get from Spirit Airlines!

However, since I’m the kind of guy who actually likes to show up three hours before any flight, I pushed the envelope and decided to be there 45 minutes for departure time. I don’t like being told how to travel, basically.

Signature flight support terminal San Diego airport
Welcome to the Signature Flight Support Terminal here at SAN. This is definitely new territory for me.
JSX check in desk San Diego
The JSX check in desk. Simple, casual, and…covered with what I think were left over Halloween decorations. It was hard to tell really, with this being mid-November and all.
JSX waiting area San Diego
JSX has it’s own designated space for passengers to wait (which was nice), but…
JetSuiteX waiting area San Diego airport
…it’s basically a kitchen (stovetop and all). What do they expect us to do in here?
JSX terminal San Diego airport
For context, the waiting area is near the main entrance (away from everything else). I wonder how much I could pay those two to whip up a pan of lasagna for me before the flight?
Signature flight support terminal interior San Diego airport
The rest of the terminal was blocked off, which I assume was done to prevent JSX riff-raff from disturbing the passengers who are actually flying on real business jets.
Signature flight support terminal inside SAN
That didn’t stop me from entering enemy territory though. This is the view from the main section of the terminal, looking towards the main entrance (the JSX check in desk is near the doors to the left).
SANspotter selfie signature flight support terminal San Diego airport
With my only two options being 1). to hang out in a kitchen, or 2). a room where I’d be looked down upon by the upper class elite, I chose to go back outside to wait.

The boarding process for JSX flight number 621 to Las Vegas

The boarding process for this flight was easily the most casual (and exciting) boarding process I’ve ever experienced. There were absolutely no security checks at any point before walking out to the tarmac to board the plane. It was weird. But so very satisfying.

JetSuiteX boarding pass
JSX may operate out of high-class business jet terminals, but their boarding passes aren’t any more fancy than the receipt you’d get at the gas station when buying a carton of cigarettes and a bag of pork rinds.
JSX passengers San Diego
Are they really going to let us out on the ramp without going through a scanner of some kind?
Walking to plane business jet terminal SAN
Yes! Apparently they are. If you’ve ever Googled “do airport scanners detect drugs“, this is the airline for you I guess.
SANspotter selfie San Diego airport ramp
How do I know that none of my fellow passengers have a stick of dynamite crammed up their rectum? I don’t. And that frightens me.
JSX E135 San Diego
And now that I’ve completely derailed this JetSuiteX review with that rectum comment…that’s a good looking E135!
JetSuiteX Embraer 135 San Diego
At least it’s not a CRJ-200.

What are the seats like on JetSuiteX?

I’m not gonna lie. I was actually expecting the seats on this JSX aircraft to be a just a little nicer. Sure, they looked fine. However, they looked like pretty much any other premium seat you’d find on any other regional jet.

For those of you expecting plush fully-reclining business jet seats with acres of legroom, you’re going to be massively disappointed.

JSX E135 interior
No, this isn’t exactly a proper business jet, but the JSX E135 interior looks pretty good IMHO.
JetSuiteX seats
That legroom! All JetSuiteX seats are this roomy, so there’s really not a bad seat on the plane (unless you get stuck next to a guy trying to get you to buy in on his “chance of a lifetime” MLM). 
JetSuiteX Embraer 135 seats
These seats are roomy, but beware: there’s nowhere to run from MLM guy.
JetSuiteX Embraer 135 seat pitch
That moment when you realize that the in flight menu matches your shoes.
JSX faux woodgrain
Yes. You really did see woodgrain in that last pic! It may not be as nice as the woodgrain in Emirates A380 business class, but I can’t fault them for trying to be fancy.
JSX embraer 135 cabin
There’s even woodgrain on the bulkhead wall! Even Emirates didn’t go to that extreme.
JSX E135 safety card
Quite possibly the dirtiest (and stickiest) safety card I’ve ever handled. Instant regret pulling this thing out of the seat back pocket.
SANspotter selfie JetSuiteX
Does the Covid vaccine prevent herpes? Because there’s no telling what kind of disgusting (and deadly) germs were on that card…

The departure out of San Diego

This was the first time that I’ve ever flown out of the Signature Flight Support Terminal at the San Diego Airport. It’s located very near to the threshold of runway 27, so it shouldn’t be surprising to know that the departure process was refreshingly quick and easy.

They basically started up the engines, turned us around, and then immediately took off.

Business jet terminal San Diego airport
Departing from the Signature Flight Terminal here at SAN is very anti-climatic. There wasn’t much to see on the way out.
JSX embraer 135 takeoff from San Diego airport
Be sure to watch the video (embedded below) to see what this takeoff was like. The E135s sound great!

JSX e135 window
Now – with just 45 minutes of flying time to Las Vegas, it’ll be interesting to see what the in flight service is like…

What kind of food do they serve on JSX?

I say again. If you were expecting a fully-catered spread of gourmet food (like you might get on a chartered business jet), you’re going to be massively disappointed.

JetSuiteX menu
How is it that the menu is less sticky than the safety card?
JSX in flight menu drinks and food
The JSX in flight menu is rather sparse, consisting of complimentary drinks and light snacks. That’s it. No lobster. I’m sorry.
JSX drinks
Drinks were served first, and what can I say? I may have chosen the most boring option on the entire menu, but it just wouldn’t have been a proper SANspotter review without a picture of a small bottle of water.
JetSuiteX woodgrain tray tables
You mean it’s not real wood?!
JSX airlines food
I opted for Harvest Snaps to go with my woodgrain and water.
SANspotter eating on JetSuiteX
Wait. Weren’t these the very same fingers that I used to handle that filthy safety card?
SANspotter eating JetSuiteX food
Oh well. Life is too short to worry about cooties.

Is JSX a private jet?

It seems that many people have the misconception that flying on JetSuiteX is exactly like flying on a private jet. I’ll admit that I had this misconception as well, and I was surprised to see that it was just like any other airline that I’ve ever flown on.

The only difference was the preflight experience. Flying out of smaller executive terminals is extremely easy and convenient. Other than that, JSX is like pretty much any other airline IMHO.

JetSuiteX Embraer 135 inside
Saying that flying JSX is the same as flying on a private jet is like saying that driving a Civic Si is the same as driving a GT-R. It’s not the same!
SANspotter selfie JetSuiteX looking out window
I hate to say it, but this feels a lot like my recent Avelo Airlines experience. Which was good…but not “private jet” good.

The arrival into Las Vegas

Before booking this flight, I was thinking that a short 45 minute flight from San Diego to Las Vegas wouldn’t be enough time to get the full JSX experience. However, as we began the descent into Las Vegas, the lack of personalized service made it seem like it was the perfect amount of time to understand what they’re all about.

Nevada desert
Hard to believe we’re less than 20 minutes away from one of the largest cities in the US.
Landing at the Las Vegas airport
Just a few minutes later, and we’re on short final for LAS. The scenery around Las Vegas is wild!
E175 landing at LAS
Speaking of wild, that landing was quite a ride. Welcome to Vegas, I guess.
View of mandaly bay hotel from Las Vegas Airport
I wonder if there was anyone over there at the Mandaly Bay who was saying “ooh, look, it’s JSX!” as we were maneuvering into position?
JSX airlines hangar Las Vegas airport
Considering that JSX has a sizable operation here at LAS, I doubt anyone at the Mandaly Bay cared all that much about our arrival.
SANspotter blue jeans
“Nice jeans bro!”
Embraer 135 stairs
Camera in one hand, my backpack in the other…what could possibly go wrong?

What is the JSX ground experience like at the Las Vegas Airport?

JSX operates out of a separate executive / private jet terminal at LAS (separate from the main terminal). Not only that, there was no place to park our aircraft near that terminal, so we had to take a shuttle bus to reach it. 

JetSuiteX shuttle bus Las Vegas airport
If this shuttle bus wasn’t impressive enough, how about my ability to fit the entire thing into the frame? #nailedit
JSX E135 Las Vegas Airport
One last look at our aircraft from the bus window. It’s a simple livery, but I really like it.
SANspotter selfie Las Vegas Airport shuttle bus
Thinking about Planes, Trains, and Automobiles quotes (not surprising considering all the different modes of transportation I’ve experienced so far today).
JSX Las Vegas Airport shuttle bus
Thank God there was more legroom on that JSX E135 than there is on this shuttle bus. I would’ve felt gypped otherwise! 
JSX terminal Las Vegas airport
How it looks like I’m straddling this pile of baggage as I’m walking into the terminal I’ll never know.
JetSuiteX terminal Las Vegas airport
The JetSuiteX terminal here in Las Vegas looks nice, but…wow. It’s crowded!
JetSuiteX terminal interior LAS
$20 says the guy in front of me is thinking “wow it’s so crowded!” as well. Just a hunch.

Pros and cons of JetSuiteX

I’m just going to come right out and say it: JSX isn’t for everybody. Honestly, they’re a bit too niche for my more traditional travel style, and I don’t really see them fitting into any of my upcoming travel plans.

That’s not to say that they’re a bad airline. I quite enjoyed my experience, and I highly recommend them to anyone who likes the idea of a pseudo-private jet experience. Here’s a list of what was good and bad about JSX IMHO:

Pros

  • Being able to show up at the airport 20 minutes before departure is game changing for travelers on a tight schedule.
  • The smaller terminals that JSX flies out of are a quiet and refreshing change of pace from a normal airport terminal.
  • There are no security checks to fly on JSX. Simply show up, check on at the front counter, and board the plane. It’s that easy.
  • The smaller aircraft that JSX uses makes boarding and deplaning times quick and easy.
  • JSX is a better option than Southwest Airlines Business Select (which is an option on the SAN-LAS route). You’ll  get more legroom, free food, and a much better ground experience.

Cons

  • Figuring out the logistics of ground transportation to and from the terminals that JSX uses can be a bit of a bother. For example, I needed to get a rental car after arriving in Las Vegas, and the only way to do that from the JSX terminal was to call an Uber (an additional cost out of my pocket).
  • JSX aircraft interiors are not as plush as a business jet. It’s basically just like any other airline interior.
  • Along the same lines, the seats aren’t any more comfortable than a domestic / business class seat on any other airline. JSX seats are standard airline seats with some fancy coverings. That’s it.
  • If it wasn’t for the added legroom, it’s basically the same as flying on an American Eagle E145 (which sucks *** by the way).
  • The interior of the aircraft that I was on was dirty. The menus were sticky, And the wood grain laminate on the tray table with chipping off. Hardly what I’d call a premium “private jet” experience.
  • The lack of a robust flight schedule may be inconvenient for some travelers. JSX is going to have a hard time going up against other airlines who have the resources to offer multiple flights a day on competing routes.

Comments (5)

  1. Bruinsfan28

    December 18, 2021
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      December 19, 2021
  2. Dale

    July 17, 2022
    • Scott (SANspotter)

      July 17, 2022

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