DALLAS (NewsNation Now) — As the first COVID-19 vaccines have made their way into the arms of Americans this past month, many are more hopeful about life returning to normal. Travel has been missed by many during the pandemic and now an air carrier out of Texas is the first to launch a new socially-distanced passenger plane.
NewsNation hopped on board a flight with JSX — short for Joyful, Simple Xperiences — to test out the plane headed from Dallas to Houston. The flight begins at a private jet terminal, also known in the aviation world as an “FBO.”
The entire check-in process is touchless. A feature that JSX CEO Alex Wilcox said puts passengers at ease, many who said they were now flying JSX for COVID-related reasons.
“Nobody wants to take off their shoes anymore. Nobody probably ever did. And no one wants to have their toiletries gone through with some blue rubber gloves. So you could say we’re custom-designed now for this COVID,” said Alex Wilcox, CEO JSX.
For JSX customers like Anna Kwan, flying is all about a comfortable experience.
“I actually didn’t travel specifically just for that reason, just to be in a confined space. But it’s good to know that is going to be spacious, very clean and very organized,” said Wilcox.
Formerly a 50 passenger plane that the company broke down and spaced out to accommodate 30 people. Seats are situated in a 1×1 layout and 6 feet apart. It’s an industry first, and there are only three of these planes in the world.
From airport arrival to taxiing down the tarmac…clocking in at just about half an hour. After touching down in Houston, NewsNation talked with some of the other travelers on board.
“We were actually surprised at how affordable it was compared to a regular airline flight,” said Jesse Hensley, JSX passenger.
Many one-way tickets coming in at $99. Some routes—similar to what you’d pay for other airline tickets leaving major hubs.
Outside of Texas, destinations currently include cities like Las Vegas, Phoenix, Burbank, Reno and Napa. JSX hopes that anyone who still has reservations about flying, might try them out.
“You know if you’re in the last row of a 737 and you pull into the gate in Houston, you might have another 10 or 15 minutes on that airplane exposed to all those crowds. Here if you’re in row 10 or 12 on a JSX airplane, you’re still going to be out the door within 90 seconds of landing,” said Wilcox.
In addition to a weekly electrostatic cleaning, the plane gets sanitized between each flight and at the end of the day. Even your personal carry-ons get disinfected. Those on board told NewsNation they are grateful to safely return to the skies.