JSX planes have StarLink internet which I’ve found to be crazy fast, with low latency. That’s not just great for checking email and web browsing. It also works for video conferencing. And they’re the first carrier certified by FAA to allow it.
So when you fly JSX you can use Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, or your other app of choice – to participate in a meeting at work, call home at dinner time or bed time, and to… annoy your fellow passengers?
JSX sells scheduled flights that depart from and arrive at private terminals, so you can show up 20 minutes prior to departure and don’t have TSA hassles. They have 37 planes currently flying and are adding a new aircraft every six weeks. United, JetBlue, and Qatar Airways are investors in the premium carrier that offers comfortable seats, free drinks and snacks, and free high speed internet.
In fact their inflight internet works better than any other I’ve experienced on the three flights I’ve tried it so far. I’ve seen download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 10 Mbps, and most importantly very low latency. There’s just not been any pauses or delays while I’ve used it. Here’s the first speed test I did:
It's like working in my office at home… while airlines generally don't even put internet on their ERJ-145s at all. pic.twitter.com/BlAF6UKRIG
— gary leff (@garyleff) March 7, 2023
The carrier hasn’t publicly rolled out the ability to make video calls yet, and says they are a few weeks from doing so. And on one of my recent JSX flights the flight attendant actually announced that this wasn’t permitted. JSX’s CEO tells me, however, that it’s already allowed.
Passengers frequently react negatively to the idea of inflight calling, but it seems like JSX is uniquely positioned to execute this well,
- Ambient noise on their fleet of Embraer regional jets effectively cancels noise. Even if you’re not wearing noise-cancelling headsets this aircraft tends to be louder and does it for you.
- Passengers aren’t right next to each other – most of their planes have 1-1 seating (one passenger at each window, no one next to you).
- There are only 30 passengers per aircraft, what other passengers are doing matters more in a denser configuration.
Most importantly since this is the only carrier on which you can do it you very much have choice, if it’s actually important to you to avoid the possibility of zooming inflight you can fly a scheduled commercial airline.
In their testing they say they’ve “found that people are quieter on this than they are when speaking with other people on the flight” and they will “have etiquette rules” around inflight calling as part of their roll out.
If you’re worried about choice going away, that this is merely the first, remember that major U.S. airlines have already said that they won’t allow inflight cell phone use even if the FAA permits it as it is, in order to accommodate what they see as customer preference. They have passengers crammed in next to each other where this might not work as well.
I’ve actually been positive on the idea for a decade. Numerous airlines around the world allow inflight cell phone use on board, and the parade of horribles many worry about never happened. And calls can be really important.
Amtrak lets people use cell phones with passengers confined closely together. People talk to each other on planes now and those around them hear it! Sometimes the conversations you hear are even interesting. Meanwhile conversations can be truly important for instance the woman who might have been able to stop a suicide if she could have used her phone inflight.
StarLink internet is free on board JSX. It works better than even ViaSat in the three flights on which I’ve used it. And now you can use it for internet voice and video calling. You won’t be able to escape work, just because you’re in the air. And you won’t be able to use flying as an excuse not to talk to your family, either. Personally I think it’s great to have this option. Do you agree or disagree?