Lawmakers Threaten Airlines With Legislative Action

If airlines don't fix their problems, lawmakers may do it for them
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2017 2:40 PM CDT
Lawmakers Threaten Airlines With Legislative Action
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore, ranking member on the House Transportation Committee holds up airline passenger rules as he questions United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz during the committee's hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“If changes aren’t made by the next hearing, I can assure you, you won’t like the outcome,” Rep. Bill Shuster told representatives from four US airlines Tuesday. The Hill reports United, Alaska, American, and Southwest were being questioned by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee following last month's incident in which a doctor was dragged from a flight. Other US airlines were invited to the hearing but didn't show. Shuster, the committee's chairman, called those that did attend the "brave few," according to Bloomberg.

Lawmakers are threatening to take legislative action against airlines if the customer experience—which one Democratic representative says is currently "terrible"—doesn't improve. Specifically at issue are airlines' policies around overbooking and bumping passengers. Rep. Elizabeth Esty says lawmakers are looking for "assurances" from airlines so that legislation isn't necessary. (Read more airline industry stories.)

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