Semi-private airline service touting commercial prices launches in Reno | TheUnion.com

Semi-private airline service touting commercial prices launches in Reno

Claire Cudahy
Tahoe Daily Tribune

RENO, Nev. — A new semi-private airline service has landed in Reno and hopes to lure travelers over from commercial with promises of no lines, cramped seats or baggage fees — and a free cocktail.

JetSuiteX began flying out of Reno's Atlantic Aviation this June. The startup airline, an offshoot of the private charter jet company JetSuite, launched in 2016 under the guide of former JetBlue executive Alex Wilcox.

Targeting fliers weary from the frustrating realities of modern air travel, JetSuiteX's charter-style service offers rates that are on average $40 more than standard commercial flights.

JetSuiteX passengers show up 15 minutes before the flight at a private terminal and board the 30-person aircraft, boasting seats with 36-inches of legroom, where they receive a free drink and snack.

The ticket price covers two bags per passenger. No long security lines or crowded baggage claim areas in sight.

"We have a private ground experience, but we do it for the price of commercial," said Rachel Porges, vice president of marketing, sales and product development at JetSuiteX. "It's taking all of the bad experiences out of travel and restoring people's faith in flying again."

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JetSuiteX operates out of a handful of California and Nevada cities, including Burbank, Oakland, Concord, San Jose, Orange County, Las Vegas and now Reno.

"Reno is a really interesting up-and-coming market," noted Porges. "With the tech community being lured over and with the growth and activities of the visitors bureau and the tourism authority and the economic development going on there, I think it's become a really great market for innovative products and services to come in and out of."

JetSuiteX has six flights a week out of Reno to Oakland. Though fares vary by season and sale, they start around $129 one way.

The timing of the flights during the week — taking off from Reno at 9 a.m. and returning at 5:45 p.m. — is geared toward businesspeople headed out on day trips.

"It's a really customer-focused experience," added Porges.

And while JetSuiteX has offered pop-up service to Thermal Aviation for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival the last two years, Burning Man attendees shouldn't expect to see any of their jets landing on the playa.

"Our jets are 30 feet and they don't really like dirt runways so much," said Porges with a laugh.

To find out more about JetSuiteX, visit http://www.jetsuitex.com.

Claire Cudahy is a reporter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister paper of The Union based in South Lake Tahoe.