You all remember my last flight saga? The one where WN (Southwest) left us stranded on the aircraft on the tarmac for hours. The one where my “quick” 39 minute flight turned into a 4 hour extravaganza of pain? The one where I vowed not to fly WN again until they got their issues sorted out?
Since the pandemic when pretty much all travel stopped, I’ve been traveling a bit again. All of my travels are “regional” and unfortunately, the choices of airlines that go from where I am to where I need to be are limited. That fact coupled with the rather generous voucher I received from WN for stranding me led me to book another flight with them last week. Yes, that’s right. The weekend of the Southwest “meltdown”.
The flight out was okay. It was packed and a bit late, but otherwise unremarkable. I snagged a decent seat and got there without too much incident. In the morning of my return (Sunday), I was notified that my flight was cancelled (among the thousands that were) and booked for the following day. That didn’t work for me. I needed to be home on time, and I had already checked out of the hotel and had a rental car that needed to be returned. A mad scramble followed to find an alternative way home. Not wanting to fly to LAX, which I avoid like the plague whenever possible, and not wanting to fly a 5 hour connecting journey for a 1 hour flight, I managed to find a little airline called JSX.
JSX is a charter airline that flies small jets from private aviation terminals. It was, frankly, an amazing experience that was reminiscent of flying 40 years ago. I was dropped off at the terminal where I was checked in. There’s no TSA, no scanners, no hassles. From there, the jet pulled up and we boarded. About 20 passengers and one dog (they allow dogs!). The seat was standard coach width but with 36 inches of pitch and loads of recline. They also served alcohol and snacks! On landing, we went again to the private aviation terminal where my bag was waiting for me, and I walked 50 feet to the curb where there was zero traffic and Trip just drove right up. It was awesome.
I have to go to Vegas again next month. I looked into JSX, who flies there. Unfortunately, I got another WN voucher and the fare to Vegas on JSX is a lot more. So my options are Southwest, Frontier, or Spirit. Yeah, I’m on Southwest AGAIN, because it was free. I’m not really interested in flying an ultra-low cost carrier, because they charge you extra for even a carry on, and I do not fit in a 28 inch pitch seat, so it ends up costing more for less.
Clearly, my masochistic tendencies were ascendant as I hit the “book now” button. I honestly was ready to fly JSX again, if not for the several hundred dollar fare difference and that damn voucher.
Wish me luck…