The 7 Best Semi-private Airlines to Live the Private Jet Life at Commercial Prices


Courtesy of Surf Air

In between the over-the-top luxury of private jet travel and the cattle-like experience of commercial flying lies something of a Goldilocks sweet spot: semi-private air travel. 

Air carriers that offer this type of service typically sell individual seats on smaller aircraft, bookable online or through a mobile app. These semi-private jets fit up to 30 passengers, offering a much more intimate (and premium) flying experience than the 200-plus seats on a major airline. While a fully private jet or individual charter can cost several thousand dollars (or more) per flying hour, the semi-private experience isn’t nearly as cost prohibitive 

Here are seven companies that offer the semi-private jet life at commercial prices (or close to it).

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Courtesy of JSX

Introduced in 2016 (originally called JetSuiteX), JSX has a coast-to-coast network serving 43 routes across 22 North American markets, including international service to Los Cabos, Mexico, and newly established networks in Colorado and Florida. Forthcoming routes later this year include Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Portland, Maine.

JSX is one of the most affordable options for semi-private travel with one-way fares starting at $119 on 30-seat planes (Embraer E135 and E145 regional jets). That fare includes up to two checked bags, snacks and drinks, and incredibly fast Starlink Wi-Fi. Like other semi-private companies, JSX primarily operates out of private jet terminals, making it super convenient for passengers.

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Philip Cheung/Courtesy of Aero

Aero is a relative newcomer to the semi-private jet space. It first launched its service in Europe in 2020 before arriving stateside in 2021. The airline offers premium seats on direct flights between private terminals using custom-designed aircraft, 16-seat Embraer E135s, or 13-seat Legacy 600s, all in a sleek black livery. 

Aero’s route network includes Los Angeles to Los Cabos, Aspen, and Idaho’s Sun Valley; San Francisco to Los Cabos; and London to Geneva, the Spanish island of Ibiza, and Nice, France. Starting this spring, a new service launches from Dallas to Aspen and Los Cabos. With fewer seats and a more luxury-focused image, expect one-way fares to be steeper than, say, JSX. One-way flights on the upcoming Dallas to Aspen route start at around $1,000, for instance.

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Perhaps most well-known for its airport helicopter service, Blade also has a semi-private jet option, called BLADEone, with seasonal service between New York’s Westchester County Airport and Miami or Palm Beach, Florida. 

BLADEone is a commercial-sized jet (either a Bombardier CRJ 200 or Bombardier Challenger 850) with reduced seat density, accommodating only 16 passengers. Onboard amenities include pre-loaded iPads with first-run movies, an in-flight dining and caviar service from Pearl Street Caviar, and fully stocked amenity kits for the nearly three-hour journey. 

Prices start at $1,775 each way, including a helicopter transfer between Blade’s lounge on the West Side of Manhattan and Westchester.

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Tradewind Aviation

Chad Slattery/Courtesy of Tradewind

Family-owned and operated over the last two decades, Tradewind Aviation operates a range of charter and scheduled flights throughout the Northeast U.S. and Caribbean.

In the Northeast, Tradewind flies seasonally between New York’s Westchester County Airport, and New England vacation spots like Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island. Tradewind also offers scheduled service between Caribbean destinations including Anguilla; Antigua; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas; and St. Bart’s, with what the company calls “first-class island hopping.” 

Pricing starts at $200 one-way for the Caribbean flights and $865 one-way for Northeast service, with additional discounts if tickets are purchased in bulk.

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Courtesy of XO

While primarily a charter-based company, XO has a growing number of regularly scheduled flights, as well as crowdsourced flights based on demand. In 2023, XO expanded its scheduled service between New York and South Florida, with up to four daily flights on refurbished Bombardier CRJ-200 planes with 18 seats. XO members are given priority seat selection in advance of the flight and the remaining seats are assigned by XO prior to departure. Prices start at $1,500 each way.

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Surf Air

Courtesy of Surf Air

Launched in 2013, Surf Air was one of the pioneers of the all-you-can-fly concept. Surf Air currently offers both a charter and scheduled service, though the latter is only for members. Membership starts at $199 per month for a “Pay-As-You-Fly Access” and $2,499 per month for an ”All-You-Can-Fly Freedom” membership. Scheduled service is limited to California destinations: the San Francisco Bay Area, the Los Angeles area, Truckee in Lake Tahoe, and Santa Barbara.

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Courtesy of Set Jet

SetJet operates a members-only jet program for travelers on the West Coast. For $99.95 per month (plus a one-time $99.95 security check fee) members can book seats on private jet flights for $750 each way — around the cost of a commercial first-class ticket. 

However, instead of scheduled service, flight times are actually determined by the first person to request the flight. Those flights are operated on Bombardier Challenger 850 aircraft with 13 to 16 seats. SetJet currently offers flights between Scottsdale, Arizona; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Orange County, California; Salt Lake City; San Diego; San Francisco; and Los Cabos.

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