Portland to Seattle in 35 Minutes

Charter jet service JSX will offer short flights from Portland to Seattle starting in April.

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To anyone in the metro area who does business in Seattle, the commute can be a killer.

JSX, a public charter operator, announced it will add a Portland-Seattle circuit to its flight schedule starting in April.

A small, 30-passenger plane will depart five times a day from Portland International Airport, and will land at Boeing Field, 15 minutes from downtown Seattle.

By deploying high-tech security protocols, as well as only having to check 30 passengers for any given flight, JSX allows travelers to board planes without facing long lines or invasive security procedures.

The company’s security protocols involve smart cameras and magnetic sensors, all of which are fast and conform to Transportation Security Administration standards. The security process shaves an hour or more from the boarding process.

The flight from Portland to Seattle itself takes 35 to 40 minutes.

According to Angela Vargo, JSX vice president of marketing, the Portland-Seattle route was created due to customer feedback, pointing to the increasing economic vitality of the region.

CEO Alex Wilcox says his experience working at a private jet service, combined with bad experiences at commercial airlines, inspired his business venture. “The idea came to me out of pure frustration,” he says. “When you spend more time in the airport than actually traveling to your destination something is very wrong.”

Air travel is the quicker option when traveling from Portland to Seattle, but environmental advocates often criticize the heavier carbon footprint when compared with train travel.

Despite the ramping up of green energy solutions across the state, greenhouse gas emisisons have continued to increase, particularly in the transportation sector.

Although plans have not been finalized, Wilcox says JSX expects to one day offer travelers the option of purchasing a carbon offset during checkout, letting customers decide whether or not they want to pay extra to mitigate the damage.

The company itself will not purchase carbon offsets to mitigate its carbon footprint.

According to a report by the US Department of Transportation, despite air travel demand increasing 20% since 2000, flights less than 500 miles have decreased, with travelers citing the unpleasantness of airline travel as their biggest reason for not going to the airport.

JSX flights offer free cocktails and pet-friendly policies, which allow travelers to brings their furry friends on board. Owners of large dogs must buy a seat for their pet.

Wilcox says the service aims to compete for travelers who would normally use the freeway. The chief executive is confident the congestion between Portland and Seattle will push customers in his direction.

Unlike charter services that can cost $1,300 to $3,000 per flight hour, seats on JSX start at $49, with an average cost of $130 for a round trip.

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