JetSuite, a leading private jet operator, this month will kick off a new flight service between San Francisco’s East Bay Area and Los Angeles designed to skim off business class traffic, offering small jets with upscale interiors and the added benefit of uncrowded private jet terminals. And decent fares to boot.
The new operation is called JetSuiteX (why do these companies always try to sound like Uber?) It will initially connect Bob Hope Airport in Burbank with Buchanan Field in Concord, California – an airport in Contra Costa County that hasn’t had any commercial flights since PSA flew away more than 20 years ago. Google Maps shows Concord as about 32 miles east of downtown San Francisco, with a drive time of 53 minutes (depending on traffic). But it’s much closer to tony East Bay suburbs like Walnut Creek, Alamo and Danville as well as Wine Country.
JetSuiteX promises “a private jet-style experience for the price of an airline seat.” It is offering introductory fares on its first route as low as $109 one-way (note: the lowest fares require a two-week advance purchase; standard fares run $295 each way) on flights that are technically operated as public charters, with an initial schedule of one or two flights a day on weekdays. There are no subscription fees (a la SurfAir).
As for the private jet-style experience, JetSuiteX will operate Embraer E135s configured with 30 seats; they’ll provide a minimum of 36 inches of pitch, 1×2 seating, free Gogo Wi-Fi and streaming entertainment.
Related: It’s getting easier to fly private
As an added bonus, passengers will be able to earn points in JetBlue’s True Blue loyalty program. (That’s because the firm is now own partially owned by JetBlue founder David Neeleman.)
JetSuite said it will eventually build up to a fleet of 10 E135s by next year. The Concord-Burbank service starts April 19, and JetSuiteX will operate weekend service from Concord to Las Vegas (Friday night eastbound, Sunday afternoon westbound) beginning April 22.
On June 30, it plans to add a limited schedule between San Jose Mineta Airport and Bozeman, Montana. Future plans include expansion to additional markets like San Diego, Santa Barbara and Phoenix.
So whaddya think? Would you fly JetSuite from San Francisco’s East Bay to Burbank or Las Vegas? Or would you stick with the majors, or more established players like SurfAir? Leave your comments below.
NOTE: Be sure to click here to see all recent TravelSkills posts about: United’s newest, longest flight + Tipping Uber drivers + Qantas 747 Trip Report + Confusion over PreCheck policies + No-fee earlier flights