With the surge of the sharing economy like Uber & AirBnB, it’s no surprise that private jet companies like JetSuite is pursuing different strategies to expand their market in the travel industry.
I call it, the UberX in the sky. Simply put, JetSuiteX is a boutique charter that uses private planes to fly commercially in California and Nevada.
If you go to their company website, they market themselves as a convenient way to save a lot of time in avoiding the airport madness where parking to take-off happens in minutes.
I was intrigued, so I decided to test out the SNA-LAS round-trip route to share the experience for you guys….
SNA Private Terminal: ACI Jet
The ACI Private Jet terminal at John Wayne Airport is really nice. You can literally see the plane behind you as you pull out from the valet.
And this is 15 minutes before departure!
Within 60 seconds at the front counter, you are checked in for your flight. It’s a pretty simple process.
With 14 minutes to kill, we opt to relax in their lounge that generously gives complimentary champagne and wine.
After a sip or two, it’s time to board. Not going to lie, it feels really baller walking on to a plane in a private aviation terminal.
It’s an Embraer 135 plane that fits up to 30 passengers.
Complimentary cocktails, coffee, and drinks are available to order on the flight.
Upon landing, our Rolls Royce and driver waits for us plane side to pick us up.
Ok fine, the car is not ours 😛 But it’s entertaining to see how a car can just wait plane side like that! It kinda reminds me of the Mercedes and Porsche services at Lufthansa First Class in Germany.
LAS Return Flight
So funny thing…. the flight never happened and no it’s not our fault. Let me explain.
With such a seamless experience from Orange County, we were confident that arriving 15 minutes before departure gave us plenty of time for boarding. After all, that’s what it says on the company’s Instagram.
Las Vegas works differently in that you have to board a separate shuttle to transport you to the plane after check-in.
And apparently if you miss the shuttle, you miss the flight!
Before I could even express my disappointment in the lack of communication from the company, a baller Bradley Cooper like character madly walks in with his girlfriend and sternly says this to the staff….
“Listen, I spent almost $200,000 on private planes and membership fees with JetSuite this year. You can guarantee I will cancel my business with you guys tomorrow if I don’t get on this plane TODAY.”
And just when I thought I could contribute more to this twilight conversation, another group of ballers that look like a cast straight out of a reality show storms in and yells….
“The plane hasn’t left and just because we missed the shuttle…. we missed the flight?! This is preposterous. Honey, let’s just order a plane ourselves and find a pilot to get us back to Orange County right now.”
Knowing these people are wayyyyy out of my pay grade, I humbly bust out my handy Avis Preferred Rental App (thanks to Amex Plat) and decided to do the next best thing….. road trip my way home.
From beginning to end, I found this trip to be an unconventional experience. How can something so awesome… also fail so horribly? Looking back though, I found it quite amusing that there are people out there that are so insanely wealthy that they can just pick up a phone and call a pilot on speed dial.
To note, JetSuite was apologetic about the miscommunication and issued all of us refunds & $100 credit. Oh well, maybe I’ll give this product another try one day….
Who knows, maybe I’ll have a pilot on speed dial by then 😛