I'm not afraid to admit that I'm the kind of person who would love to live a bougie lifestyle, but my wallet and bank account say a major "hard pass" to dropping a ton of money on anything. Even though I'd love to stay at seriously fancy hotels, eat out all the time, and have a personal driver get me around L.A., I know it won't happen anytime soon. Luckily, the JetSuiteX semi-private plane rides are bougie, but they're affordable and won't break the bank.
According to its FAQ page, JetSuiteX is "a semi-private, public charter service" that flies small, charter-sized planes. The planes fly out of private jet hangars at airports so that you don't have to go through the hassle of regular security or fight through the massive crowds. You don't even have to check in online 24 hours before your flight or arrive at the airport two hours early. All you have to do is arrive 20 minutes prior to your flight with your ID, and they print your boarding pass right there. You get all of this for the price of a regular commercial flight.
Does this sound too good to be true? Honestly, it kind of is. I recently flew on JetSuiteX between Burbank (a smaller airport in L.A.) and Las Vegas for a quick weekend trip, and I never want to fly another way.
The booking process is exactly the same as any other airline. You go to JetSuiteX's website, choose your desired cities and your dates, and you're good to go. One thing to note is that the airline departs from small hangars outside of the main terminals of the airport, so you're not actually going to the airport (which is a great thing — trust me).
When you arrive at the hangar prior to your departure, you walk up to the check-in counter and hand airline staff your ID. They do a quick security screening, and hand you your boarding pass. Every JetSuiteX hangar has a private lounge with complimentary snacks, coffee, tea, and other beverages, as well as some games like cornhole.
The boarding process doesn't start until 10 minutes prior to departure time. You walk right up to the plane and walk up the ladder, the way all the movie stars do it in their paparazzi photos. (And it really does feel that cool.) You only bring your small carry-on baggage with you (what would be considered a "personal item" on regular commercial flights), and you check up to two roller or bigger bags for free, provided that their combined weight is 50 pounds or less.
Onboard the plane, you truly feel like a superstar. The seats are a soft, plush leather, and you have more legroom than I've experienced in business class on some flights. The seats also recline a lot more than on other planes I've been on.
There's truly not a bad seat on the plane, but I picked an exit row for my boyfriend and I so we could spread out a little more. All drinks, including alcoholic ones, are complimentary throughout the duration of the flight, and the airline offers light snacks to hold you over until you reach your destination.
If you're wondering if it's actually affordable or even remotely comparable to a regular flight, I did a little research. A roundtrip ticket between Burbank and Las Vegas the weekend of Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, to Monday, Aug. 5, 2019, starts at $278 (for the lowest priced tickets). With all the perks that come along with it — free checked and carry-on bags, free alcohol, lots of legroom, and more — this sounds like a real steal, huh?
If you're still not convinced, JetSuiteX's FAQ page is really helpful to answer any additional questions you might have about the booking process. Believe me: I had a ton because I truly thought the experience would be too good to be true — but it's totally for real, and so worth it.
Currently, JetSuiteX flies between: Burbank, Orange County, Concord, Oakland, Las Vegas, Seattle (Boeing Field), and Phoenix. It also offers seasonal flights to Coachella Valley during festival season. If you're ever in or around any of these areas and want a truly elevated flying experience with little to no hassle, I can't recommend JetSuiteX enough. It will truly change the way you fly for the better.