JetBlue Wants to Sell You a Seat on a Semi-Private Jet
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JetBlue will begin selling seats on semi-private jets beginning in May as part of a new codeshare partnership with public charter operator JetSuiteX. The seats will be available to book on JetBlue.com, the airline announced on Monday.
Starting May 1, JetBlue will place its “B6” airline code on several JetSuiteX Air-operated flights, departing out of private terminals and fixed base operators (FBOs) throughout the western US, including Burbank (BUR), Concord (CCR), Oakland (OAK) and Las Vegas (LAS) airports.
JetSuiteX, whose business model is centered on the claim that it offers the “speed and comfort” of private jet travel at the price of commercial airline seats, has been selling semi-private jet seats since April 2016. The codeshare does not yet offer connecting flights to or from New York-based JetBlue’s network. So, JetSuiteX passengers must arrive and depart from JetSuiteX’s private terminals and FBOs for their JetSuiteX-operated flights.
Passengers on the new semi-private JetBlue/JetSuiteX codeshare flights can check two bags for free, up to a combined weight of 50 lbs. JetSuiteX’s E-135 regional jets seat 30 passengers in a 1-2 configuration, and each seat has a power outlet and 36 inches of pitch. There are also complimentary cocktails and snacks offered on board each flight.
JetSuiteX customers will also be able to skip long security lines and baggage claims to arrive at the airport just 15-20 minutes before departure and board their flight within minutes. TPG Contributor J. Keith van Straaten flew one-way in economy on JetSuiteX in 2016 from Burbank (BUR) to Las Vegas (LAS). He found it to be one of the “most stress-free flying experiences” he ever had.
A search on JetBlue’s website shows tickets are going for about $430 roundtrip. Sadly, the website also states you cannot use TrueBlue points to book partner airline fares.
Offering seats on semi-private public charters is the latest move by JetBlue in an effort to offer more plush travel. The airline has been expanding its premium Mint service to additional markets, adding Mint in San Diego (SAN), Las Vegas (LAS), Seattle (SEA) and Palm Springs (PSP) in the last year.
JetBlue currently serves nine airports in California, and the carrier has also recently expanded service in markets across Southern California and in the Bay Area.
The new partnership is the first between a semi-private public charter operator and a major national carrier, and represents another expansion move for semi-private regional carrier JetSuiteX, which received a sizable financial investment from backer Qatar Airways earlier this month.
Featured photo courtesy JetSuiteX.