BURBANK, Calif. — When it comes to air travel, Tara-Jane Flynn is a loyal JSX customer. She was recently getting ready to fly to Napa out of Burbank. JSX uses jets that typically hold 50 passengers but are configured for just 30.

“It’s a convenient way to fly, and I feel very safe when I’m flying with them,” Flynn said.

It’s often referred to as a less expensive private jet service. Flynn is a personal injury litigator from Beverly Hills and says she has flown them all over the West.

The flights typically cost more than an average commercial flight, but since JSX operates as a public charter between private terminals, there are no long security lines or TSA pat-downs, a big benefit for many passengers.

JSX says travelers can arrive just 20 minutes before their flight. The air carrier still screens bags and passengers but says they also use TSA Secure Flight to provide the same background checks as the major airlines.

“It causes less anxiety because you’re treated with the utmost respect,” said Flynn. “You’re able to get through very quickly. They’re also very good at safety checks.”

But Southwest and American Airlines contend JSX is compromising passenger safety and security by acting as a larger airline while being allowed to operate under more relaxed rules.

The major commercial airlines fly under regulations known as Part 121. Pilots must have at least 1,500 hours of flight time and have to retire at 65. Under Part 135, they can have less than 1,500 hours, and there is no mandatory age restriction, as long as they pass a medical exam. Ben Kaufman, director of marketing for JSX, says pilots who retire from Southwest and American will often continue flying with JSX.

“Our first officer average total time is actually over 3,300 hours because of the experience that we pull into JSX, and our captain time is actually over 8,000 hours,” Kaufman said.

In a statement to Spectrum News, American Airlines said in part:

“We applaud the FAA for its intent to close the loophole currently allowing certain scheduled passenger carriers, like JSX, to evade the safety and security requirements of most airlines. America’s security architecture was crafted after 9/11 to keep passengers safe, and we can’t afford to see it undermined.”

And Southwest Airlines said in a statement:

“Our expectation is that the federal government holds an operator that advertises, sells tickets and interacts with passengers like a Part 121 commercial airline to the same high standards for safety and security that all other scheduled passenger airlines are required to meet.”

Both companies and the Air Line Pilots Association are urging the FAA and Department of Transportation to bring everyone under one level of safety.

They say JSX is exploiting a loophole.

But in an age where large airlines are pulling out of smaller airports, JSX argues it’s expanding to serve those communities and points to its clean safety record, which it says the FAA has reviewed.

“They could not find any statistical evidence to suggest that there were any safety issues,” Kaufman said.

JSX says this isn’t about security but rather competition. All three companies are based in the Dallas area.

“American has over 80% market share out of Dallas, Ft. Worth. Southwest has 96% market share out of Love Field,” Kaufman said.

A record 74,000 public comments have been submitted to federal regulators at the FAA and Department of Transportation. Aviation blogger Gary Leff notes that’s more than comments regarding drones or emotional-support animals and says the vast majority of the comments are opposed to the FAA’s potential crackdown on Charter air carriers.

And Flynn is part of that majority.

“I like having a choice,” she said. “I like being able to determine how I want to travel, and I don’t want a few big corporations determining that for me.”

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