PHOTO: Now Congress wants to know what happened regarding United Airlines’ incident on Sunday night. (photo via Flickr/Tomas Del Coro)
It was inevitable but, this time, it was a most-likely welcomed government intervention in the public sector.
District of Columbia Democratic delegate to Congress Eleanor Holmes Norton has asked for an official Congressional hearing into the United Airlines incident in which was a man was forcibly removed from his seat and dragged off the plane after refusing to be re-booked.
United needed four passengers to give up their seats to accommodate four employees on the last Chicago to Louisville flight on Sunday in order for the workers to be repositioned for assignments.
“I deplore the violent removal of a passenger from a United Airlines flight this weekend,” she said in a statement. “Airline passengers must have protections against such abusive treatment. I am asking our committee for a hearing, which will allow us to question airport police, United Airlines personnel, and airport officials, among others, about whether appropriate procedures were in place in Chicago and are in place across the United States when passengers are asked to leave a flight.”
Norton said she is sending a letter to both Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), chairman of the aviation subcommittee, requesting a committee hearing.
READ MORE: United CEO Gives First Interview Since Incident
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said it might be time to revise the U.S. Passenger Bill of Rights.
More than two dozen Senators sent a letter to United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, asking for a series of questions to be answered by April 24.
“At a time when the airline industry is earning record profits, it is our hope that the industry can make great strides to improve customer service and implement best practices,” the senators wrote. “Consumer trust and confidence are critical to ensure this industry continues to thrive, and we hope United Airlines will work diligently to immediately address this incident and make necessary improvements to ensure it does not occur again.”
Among the series of questions the legislators want answered are:
—What is United’s standard operating procedure for removing a passenger?
—How many times in the last has United removed a passenger who has already boarded the plane due to overbooking?
—And does United provide written statements to re-booked passengers describing their rights?