The Friendly Skies: Semiprivate jets offer new options to North Texans
By Jenny B. Davis
Dr. Asad Dean loves to travel. He has explored the world through museum trips and medical association tours, and he’s a frequent speaker at pharmaceutical conferences and hospital meetings across the country.
So it was only natural that Dean would decide to celebrate his birthday last July with a family trip. But the Fort Worth-based oncologist wanted something different from the hectic and highly scheduled excursions that usually pack his calendar. Instead, he rented a stunning mountain retreat in Crested Butte, Colo. Here, he was able to relax and unplug with his parents and sister while enjoying the majesty of the high country summer.
And, to ensure everyone’s flights were as luxe and relaxing as the rest of the vacation, he bypassed booking first class on a commercial carrier in favor of seats on the semiprivate jet service JSX.
“I appreciate the first-class amenities offered by major carriers, but with JSX and other semiprivate jet services, you experience a smaller and more efficient scale of travel,” Dean says. That means security is swift — no TSA lines — and all checked bags appear promptly when passengers deplane. Even better is the ability to arrive at the designated terminal approximately 20 minutes before takeoff — “a tremendous difference from conventional airlines,” he says.
Dean isn’t alone in choosing to pair a special vacation with a more relaxing flight experience. Demand for private and semiprivate jet services has surged globally, according to industry reports. Of course, this type of travel isn’t for everyone, mainly because of the price.
There’s a reason private jet travel is synonymous with celebs and CEOs: it means chartering an entire plane for the traveler’s exclusive use. In contrast, semiprivate jet services sell individual spots on small planes that typically have 15 to 30 seats.
A recent article on Forbes.com called semiprivate jet service the “Goldilocks Option,” a just-right middle ground between private and first-class commercial, with a convenience level closer to the former and a price closer to the latter. One such service, Aero, expanded this spring to Dallas Love Field.
Efficiency and ease are definitely major motivators for those chartering private jets, says Tia Minzoni, owner of Stella Jets, a Southlake-based private jet service.
But her typical client also values something more, she says: the ability to travel safely in seclusion and luxury. That’s huge for families traveling with young children, grandparents and even pets, she says.
“Families can start enjoying their vacations the minute they board,” she says. Not only does everyone have ample room to move around — the whole aircraft, in fact — but children can make noise and play onboard, and even Fido is free to move about the cabin, she says.
For Karen M. Dawson, owner of Southlake Travel, the ability to book private and semiprivate jets gives her another layer of luxury to add to the memorable family experiences she creates for clients.
“Since the pandemic, travel has come roaring back, which is great, but my clients want to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and graduations without standing in lines with hundreds of people or having to wait in the hot sun on a tarmac,” she says. “Because private and semiprivate jet services combine timesaving with exclusivity, they can make a vacation even more special.”
SEMIPRIVATE JET SERVICES
Aero | aero.com
In April, this California-based carrier expanded to Dallas — specifically to the private jet terminal adjacent to Love Field — following popular demand for its semiprivate service.
Most popular destinations: Currently, Aero only flies its 16-seat jets out of Dallas to Aspen, Colo., and Los Cabos, Mexico.
Favorite perk: Aero aligns with local purveyors to customize every aspect of a traveler’s experience, from the lounge to the jet. Refreshment options include cocktails from Dallas-based On the Rocks and that classic crowd-pleaser, Veuve Clicquot. Snacks come from Sadelle’s in Highland Park Village, and there are tasty options for kids and pets. Aero also offers concierge service to arrange transportation and more.
JSX | jsx.com
Based out of the private jet terminal at Love Field, this semiprivate carrier’s name represents its goal — a joyful, simple experience.
Most popular destinations: Miami; Destin, Florida; Las Vegas; and its newest destination, Nashville, Tennessee.
Favorite perk: Each 30-seat jet boasts free high-speed in-flight Starlink Wi-Fi. JSX also offers free digital tools designed for passengers who have neuroprocessing differences such as autism, giving them the ability to digitally experience a JSX flight in advance of the actual flight.