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Hit the road, Desert Companion readers! And while you're at it, have a look around. This issue invites you to not only escape to the outdoors, but also to think about the environmental issues affecting our pursuits and our world.

Jet Dream

An illustrated woman steps onto the stairway of a private jet
Tim Bower

You, too, can travel by private plane for a reasonable price

Air travel is a downer these days — a leaden, bureaucratic process optimized for its own convenience rather than the travelers’. The romance of jetting off to somewhere else has given way to an experience more akin to a DMV visit that deposits you in another city.

But for a traveler with a more, let’s say, flexible budget, there’s an alternative: boutique aviation companies that ferry commercial passengers on private jets. JSX is the one we’ve tried.


Big selling point No. 1: No TSA! Because these companies operate out of dedicated hangars, flyers skip most of the airport’s security rigamarole. No need to arrive hours early or tram to a distant gate. Get there 20 minutes before takeoff, loiter briefly in the hangar lounge, pass through a metal detector, and you’re wheels up. It’s the same easy process when you arrive.

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These planes aren’t flying cattle cars; they have only 30 seats and no overhead bins, so you’re not crushed in sweaty humanity. And even the small detail that you stroll out onto the tarmac to reach your plane, rather than shuffle down an airless, sterile gangway, adds a jaunty note to the experience.


At press time, roundtrip airfare from Las Vegas to Burbank and back June 7-9:
Southwest: $227
JSX: $418
Almost double the cost, but still — admit it! — not as expensive as you thought. If you have the means, it’s an uplifting option.

The Unexpected

On our most recent JSX flight back from Burbank, California, we spied LeVar Burton — from Reading Rainbow and Star Trek: The Next Generation — one row back. (We resisted fanboying him.)

Scott Dickensheets is a Las Vegas writer and editor whose trenchant observations about local culture have graced the pages of publications nationwide.