Lawmakers on Capitol Hill Address Recent Airline Issues | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Lawmakers on Capitol Hill Address Recent Airline Issues

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     The airlines have been hearing a lot from ticked off customers lately. Today, they heard it from lawmakers as well. Executives from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines took a grilling on Capitol Hill, but will it actually lead to a better traveling experience for you?

    (Published Wednesday, May 3, 2017)

    Lawmakers faced off with airline executives about the customer experience on U.S. Airlines Tuesday afternoon.

    Fort Worth based American Airlines, Dallas based Southwest Airlines, and the executives from Alaska Airlines and United Airlines told Congress they're working to do better.

    This comes after videos went viral of a man being dragged off a United flight and an American flight attendent got into a confrontation with passengers on a flight to DFW.

    Dallas attorney Kent Krause often represents passengers who sue airlines. He says these types of hearings have worked before in getting the consumer more rights.

    "I mean that's the purpose of our system [to] keep that check and balance on these airlines to keep that going," says Krause.

    On the hill, they looked at the long contracts airlines use and how you have few rights if you're late to the airport. On the other hand, airlines have pages of protections if they're running behind.

    But when the people writing the laws fly a lot themselves, things can happen.

    "Some charge fees, some charge for baggage, some for oxygen who knows. If you wanna keep treating us this way fine, but there may come a day Congress won't stand for it anymore," says Rep. Michael Capuano of Massachusetts.

    And it's still unclear at this point what all of this conversation on Capitol Hill will actually do, if it will lead to anything.

    But based on past experience, it's certainly possible for change.


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