In a development for the space ages, Dallas-based hop-on jet service JSX will become the first air carrier to use SpaceX’s revolutionary Starlink high-speed internet service as its Wi-Fi provider — and, at no additional cost to customers.
According to a news release, JSX has placed an order to begin outfitting 100 aircraft operating across the United States with the cutting-edge new technology; the first Starlink-equipped JSX plane will take off later this year, the company says.
“Our customers have repeatedly asked us when we would offer inflight Wi-Fi, and we’ve said that we’ll do it when we find the best product in the world," says JSX CEO Alex Wilcox in the release. “Starlink’s technology will change the way JSX customers access and enjoy the Internet while inflight and demonstrates another example of how our forward-thinking model of flying delivers the most simple, joyful, and seamless air travel experience available in the skies.”
Just what is Starlink and how is it special? A helpful CNet explainer first reminds that it's Texas billionaire and SpaceX founder Elon Musk's enterprise. Starlink is described as "a venture that aims to sell internet connections to almost anyone on the planet by way of a growing network of private satellites orbiting overhead."
Starlink's recently made headlines for providing satellite terminals to Ukraine to keep internet up and running amid the Russian invasion, and it even fought off a recent Russian "jamming attack."
JSX plans to offer passengers Starlink Wi-Fi service at no charge, and it will not require logging in "or other complexities associated with legacy systems," they say.
“High-speed, low-latency internet is critical in our modern age, and during air travel is no exception,” says SpaceX vice president of Starlink commercial sales Jonathan Hofeller in the release. “With Starlink, we’re able to provide an internet experience similar to or better than what passengers experience at home. We are creating a future that when all customers walk on to the plane, the internet just works — no hassles, no logins. By being the first air carrier to adopt Starlink, JSX is setting this new standard for air travel."
JSX says it is currently working closely with SpaceX to certify, test, and outfit its growing fleet of jets.
Founded in 2016, JSX relocated its headquarters from Irvine, California to Dallas in 2018. JSX debuted service from Love Field in June 2020, with introductory flights to Las Vegas and North Carolina, then added service to Houston and Austin, the West Texas golf resort Lajitas, and special routes to Los Cabos, Mexico, Miami, and Destin, Florida.
JSX calls itself a “hop-on jet service” because customers may arrive just 20 minutes before departure at private terminals and simply “hop on” a flight, avoiding the crowds and lines. At Love Field, travelers have access to valet parking, Wi-Fi lounges, contactless security, and speedy baggage retrieval.
On board a 30-seat jet, passengers can relax in a business class-caliber seat with ample legroom and enjoy complimentary drinks, snacks, and cocktails. JSX also has a pet-friendly policy that allows small dogs and cats to fly for free.
The company's goal is to provide a luxury travel experience at competitive prices, they say. Unlike some private- and semi-private jet services, they do not charge membership fees.
The company says it's continuing expansion plans to meet growing demand for "smarter and safer" air travel options.