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Watch Live: Airline Execs Testify Before Congress; Will Promise To Stop Beating Passengers

By now pretty much everyone has seen the shocking video of the 69-year-old Vietnamese-American doctor, David Dao, who was infamously hospitalized after Chicago aviation police dragged him from a United Airlines flight to make space for four crew members flying from O'Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky, sparking international outrage (if not, you can take a look here).  But Dao got the last laugh after he reached a settlement with United on April 27th which undoubtedly left him several million dollars richer.

Now, Oscar Munoz, CEO of United, and several other airline executives, are set to get their stern rebuke from our elected officials as they all go before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure for a day of political theater.  For Munoz, who was heavily criticized for his initial handling of the Dao incident, this will be his first public appearance since police police dragged the bloodied doctor off one of his flights.

As the Wall Street Journal notes today, blowback over the Dao incident has led lawmakers in Washington D.C. to call for a revamped passenger bill of rights which, among other things, would bar airlines from removing passengers from a plane once they've been seated.

But lawmakers have lined up with calls for a revamped passenger bill of rights or proposed legislation to tackle issues raised by the United incident and wider consumer concerns about crowded planes and mounting fees for checked luggage and ticket changes. For example, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D, Md.) introduced the proposed Customers Not Cargo Act, designed to bar passengers from being removed after boarding to free up seats for others, policies already addressed by United and American Airlines Group Inc. in the past month.

 

President Donald Trump has called the incident “horrible” and called for airlines to offer more money to get passengers to voluntarily accept alternative flights. The U.S. Department of Transportation launched a review of United’s booking policies in the wake of the incident.

The witness list for the day will include the following airline executives and will be open to the public, which should make for some good outbursts from the audience.

  • Mr. Oscar Munoz, Chief Executive Officer, United Airlines; accompanied by Mr. Scott Kirby, President, United Airlines
  • Mr. Joseph Sprague, Senior Vice President of External Relations, Alaska Airlines
  • Mr. Bob Jordan, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Southwest Airlines
  • Ms. Kerry Philipovitch, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, American Airlines
  • Mr. William J. McGee, Aviation Consultant, Consumers Union

With that intro, here is a live feed of the circus: