Category: Las Vegas

JSX Review: The Private Jet Experience

You only live once, and sometimes you have to cross an item off of your bucket list. That’s why last month, I flew on a private jet to Las Vegas for the weekend.

JSX is a revolutionary product in the air-travel market offering a “private jet” experience for 30 customers at a time. With service between a dozen cities including Seattle, Oakland, Las Vegas and Phoenix, you can take your next flight without setting foot in a major airport.

JSX’s Promotional Advertisement

The Perks

The benefits of a private jet experience over a major carrier may seem obvious, but here’s how JSX will summarize them:

  • Comfortable leather seats
  • Business class legroom
  • Power outlets at every row
  • Full flight attendant service
  • Complimentary gourmet snacks, beer, wine and spirits
  • No overhead storage bins for a more spacious cabin
  • When you arrive, simply grab your bags and get going!

The Airports

  • (BFI) Seattle – Boeing Field 
  • (BUR) Burbank Bob Hope Airport 
  • (CCR) Concord Buchanan Field Airport 
  • (LAS) Las Vegas McCarran Int’l Airport 
  • (OAK) Oakland Int’l Airport 
  • (PHX) Phoenix-Sky Harbor Int’l Airport 
  • (SNA) John Wayne Airport, Orange County 
As shown in the JSX advertisement above, rates are far lower than you might expect when you can be flexible with travel dates and destinations.

The Process

Because you’re not flying out of a major airport, you will use rideshare or your neighbor to get dropped off at the smaller airport just 20 minutes before your departure time. That’s right – JSX doesn’t ask that you arrive until 20 minutes before your departure time! Because the boarding process is simple, intimate, and doesn’t include TSA, you’ll quickly settle into a lounge while you wait to board where complimentary snacks and drinks are available.

My Experience

Arriving was simple. The OAK airport had a jet departing every ten minutes on average, which made for a quick throughput in the terminal. I arrived with my suitcase, and checked in with the front desk. Similar to checking into a hotel, they looked at my ID, and then took my bag for me and invited me to relax in the lounge just beyond the counter until my flight departed.

The lounge was comfortable, but simple. There was a machine that made freshly ground coffee by the cup and bar nuts in case you needed a small snack. There were also restrooms available. It is notable that no food or alcohol was available for purchase in the space, so you would want to ensure you arrived well nourished.

Ten minutes before your flight’s scheduled departure, you’ll hear an announcement overhead made from someone within the lounge to board your flight. Using your boarding pass, you exit through the rear of the terminal and walk directly onto your jet. Your baggage, that you previously checked upon arrival, is already on the plane.

The jets are seated 2×1 across ten rows which makes for comfortable travel regardless of if you have a partner along with you or not. Since I was flying solo, I booked the single seat. Without overhead luggage bins, there is plenty of room as you enter and find your seat. With a maximum of 30 passengers on the flight, the plane is boarded in minutes and you’re ready to go.

No matter where you’re seated, you’ll enjoy ample leg room, a large tray table, and AC charging at your seat. You may also bring a small bag to stow under the seat in front of you. While on board, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cocktail, box of water (no plastic here) and a snack such as chips or graham crackers. Again, I recommend arriving well nourished.

Upon landing, there’s no need to wait for a gate. Instead, the staff will pull the luggage from the plane before you leave your seat, and line up the bags next to each other. Since they’re located between the plane’s exit, and the terminal’s exit, you will literally grab your bag on the way to your next destination. Without having to navigate a major airport, you can be driving to your final destination within five minutes of landing on the runway.

My Arrival into Las Vegas

I highly recommend arriving to Las Vegas on JSX. We practically landed on the Strip; it was so close. I paid $6 for a ride share that I hailed from the plane upon landing, and was checked into my hotel ten minutes later. Above all, JSX offers convenience and a no-nonsense travel experience that you cannot get with a major airline. To fly without TSA or the rest of the airport experience, was miraculous.

Takeaways

JSX offers convenience, rather than luxury. I would absolutely fly this way again if I valued efficiency above all else, but I would not fly in this manner if I wanted to impress someone with a lounge or inflight experience. It is also notable that WiFi is unavailable inflight which makes this a no-go for remote work. In addition, without a loyalty or elite status program, there is no incentive to book often with JSX. Additionally, it’s worth noting that American Express doesn’t recognize JSX as an airline purchase, so you will not receive the 10% back on your purchase as you would with a major carrier. However, if the airport locations are proximate to your home base, I’d highly recommend booking with JSX the next time you’re headed to one of their destinations. It is a unique and special plane travel experience, and with rates that are often as competitive as traditional airfare, there’s no reason not to try it out.

Referral Booking Link

Interested in learning more, or booking a flight? Please visit JSX through my referral link.

A Weekend in Vegas

Ever since I added the Hilton Aspire card to my wallet, I knew I’d be using it to go to Las Vegas. Vegas, and all that comes with it, is undoubtedly my favorite vacation spot. As ridiculous as that sounds, it is an adult playground and I will never get enough of it. To celebrate a milestone birthday later this year, I took advantage of some perks in my arsenal to develop a quick weekend with flair.

Airfare

Because I have MVP Gold status with Alaska Airlines, I have the ability to complete same day flight changes for free. I also am awarded some first-class advance-award tickets on select flights each year. For my departure, I found a great mile redemption of just 7,500 miles for the one-way ticket. I booked it, and even though the flight departs at an ungodly evening time (arriving after midnight), I have no intention of taking the flight. Instead, I will fly space-available on one of the earlier flights that day for free. What’s a trip to Vegas if it doesn’t start with a gamble, am I right?

On the return trip, I elected to book the first flight out on Monday morning. Though it is very early, it happens to be eligible for one of my free advanced-confirmation first class upgrades. This not only allows me to reduce my time out of the office and make the most of my weekend, it allows me to count on a luxurious return trip and free breakfast in-flight; even if I lose my shirt the day before.

Out the door, I confirmed round-trip airfare (including a guaranteed segment in first class) for just $147 and 7,500 miles. Because of my elite status, I am placed on a wait-list for a free first class upgrade for the first segment as well.

Hotel

Because I have the Hilton Aspire card from American Express, I not only receive one free weekend night a year, I also receive $250 in resort credits (good for room charges) each year. In Las Vegas, these credits can be used at one of six properties including the Elara, Tropicana and Flamingo. For my two night stay, I took full advantage of each of these perks:

Night One

After a quick set of queries, I determined that my first night in Vegas was going to be more expensive than the second. Accordingly, I aimed to redeem my free night for night one. I booked a room at the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas. The standard room cost for this evening was over $600 including resort fees and taxes. Instead, I booked it for free.

Night Two

For my second night in Vegas, I was intent on booking a stay at one of Hilton’s six resorts to take advantage of the $250 credit. I found a King City View room in the Paradise Tower (preferred) of the Tropicana overlooking the Strip for a total of $245.45 including taxes and fees. After my $250 credit is applied towards the room charges, my stay will be free!

Summary

Because of my status with Alaska Airlines, and my credit card with Hilton, I will enjoy a weekend trip in Las Vegas, flying first class (at least on the way home), and spending the night in two premium rooms on the Strip for a total of $147. If I wanted to book the trip without using status, the same trip would have cost $1,069.51 (86% off). In addition, I was able to use some American Express Platinum membership reward points to have my wife join me from Nashville (a redemption worth $400).

Now to go make back that $147 at the Sports Book.