Frequent flyers will know well that JSX is the ultimate travel hack. The airline has revolutionized the aviation industry with a unique service that provides passengers with a private-jet style experience set at a commercial price. Fares begin at just $129 each way (no hidden fees) via an intimate cabin, lounge access and breezy hop-on and off departure and arrival procedure. A concept that sounds almost too good to be true; Upscale Living tests out a short AUS to DAL journey to see for ourselves.
Short-distance flights should really be shorter than a drive, and that includes time factored in for the airport. For those flying between one of JSX’s 17 terminals, this is your best bet. The carrier serves mainly the West Coast and Texas, but there are also outposts in Phoenix, Miami, and Las Vegas. We logged on to www.jsx.com and were pleased to see multiple time options for each date between AUS and DAL. There are two types of tickets; ‘Hop On’ and ‘All In’ – the key difference being the amount of checked bags and flexibility. We selected our flights and paid, generating a confirmation email within minutes, complete with easy-to-follow instructions for the day. Note: an app is also available for booking.
Check-In and Departure
Now here is one of their key selling points. Hassle-free check-in and departure. The AUS departure was scheduled at a private terminal, located just a few minutes from the main venue. Our booking confirmation told us to arrive 20-30 minutes before the scheduled departure time, along with a valid government ID. Stuck in traffic, we arrived 15 minutes out in panic, much to the calmness of a crew that assured us that it was no problem at all. “Y’all still have time to grab a coffee and some snacks by the kitchen” they even added. The check-in process took a matter of seconds, with a high-tech, noninvasive security screening (to be honest if we weren’t watching, we wouldn’t have noticed it). We then had time to sit in the glass-encased lounge till being called for departure. The whole thing was so fast, so smooth, and the avoiding of the busy main terminal, made this part seem distinctly VIP. If you ever thought TSA pre-check was a godsend, wait till you try this. We noticed one passenger who arrived right at the boarding time, allowing her to board immediately as if swiftly catching a taxi.
The lounging isn’t over when boarding begins. Upon entering, we discovered business class legroom and no middle seats. Our flight consisted of 30 leather seats, separated in two and one along each side of the airplane. There was Wi-Fi and a power socket, as well as menu and safety information in the pockets. All guests are permitted to bring a carry-on along as well as their checked baggage, and there are no overhead bins meaning you can step to your seat, place your bag in front or next to you, and stretch out. 10 out of 10 for ease and comfort.
There isn’t a mandatory dress code, but first-timers to JSX should make a little effort. We noticed a mix of business and business casual, and most passengers seemed to fly solo (it was a weekday, off-peak). I wore a shirt, jeans, light jacket, and leather shoes, accessorized with some sleek yet understated Vincero sunglasses, and felt perfectly comfortable among the group.
Food and Beverage
At just 30 minutes, we expected little when it came to f&b, though the website did stay complimentary snacks and beverages would be served. Before take-off, a flight attendant came through the cabin to take drink orders down. Options included coffee, soft drinks, wine, beer, and liquor. We opted for a can of sparkling house wine and an Aviation gin and tonic.
Later on, she brought our drinks along with cups and napkins, followed by a selection of snacks to choose from. The box included Brownie Brittles, Harvest Snaps, and Cheese Straws. We went for the healthiest option, the Harvest Snaps green pea crisps. AUS to DAL routes on any airline seldom provide trolley service, even for business class travelers, but with forward planning, the team made a short time airborne pleasantly serviced yet calm and relaxed.
This was just as seamless as departure. At DAL we landed at yet another private terminal, and as we’d not brought luggage, were able to exit right away. Passengers with luggage, however, could collect their checked bags right there on the tarmac upon deboarding (there was plenty of assistance available on the ground). There’s not much to say here as the procedure was so fast—no waiting for a parking space, no crowds or baggage claim waits. Just land, park, and go.
JSX really is as fast, efficient, and luxurious as advertised. What we can’t get over is the price. At $139, our AUS to DAL journey was cheaper than taking the luxury bus or many a last-minute commercial flight. Not only that, but the journey time was significantly less than any other mode of transport between the two big cities. It’s only a matter of time before JSX becomes everybody’s short-flight go-to.