LAS VEGAS (KSNV NEWS3LV) — Meet frequent flier, Dean Heller.
“I picked up the phone and talked to the chairman of the Commerce Committee, itself, and asking him if they're taking a look at it,” Heller told News 3 moments after he finished an event in North Las Vegas.
This frequent flier is also our Republican U.S. senator.
“I will tell you this much: there will be hearings in front of my committee as we discuss the possibility of moving forward,” Heller said.
Heller sits on the Senate Commerce Committee.
Bill Perdue sits in coach. He just landed from Detroit.
“Does Congress need to crack down?” I asked him in baggage claim at McCarran.
“Yeah, things need to change. And hopefully, the Trump Administration can do something about it,” Perdue said.
Perdue says he’s a frequent flyer who’s grown numb to airline behavior.
“Not surprised anymore,” he told me. “Today, anything’s possible. I mean, it’s crazy. That’s completely unacceptable. Stuff got out of hand.”
They took away your legroom. They took away your food. Now, they take you away ... by force.
For Congress, it's easy outrage at a very tempting target.
“What happened on that airline is 100-percent unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, the new Democrat representing Nevada’s Congressional District 3.
“I want to find where there's the sweet spot where business can do what they need to do and customers are protected,” Rosen said.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nevada, says she's demanding answers. Cortez Masto joined 19 other Democratic senators Tuesday in a joint letter to United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz asking for a fuller explanation of the incident.
“We hope United Airlines will work diligently to immediately address this incident and make the necessary improvements to ensure it does not occur again,” the senators said.
“No customer deserves to be treated the way this man was treated,” said Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nevada. “There needs to be a review of the airline’s actions and those of the security personnel as well as the overbooking policy.”
Airlines say they overbook because people don't show up. One passenger I met says to cut United some slack.
“My thought is if they're not overbooking the flights then the planes aren't going to be full because a lot of people would cancel, and that means my flight costs would go up because of that,” said frequent flyer Sandy Roos.
The cost to United: its stock tumbled Tuesday from the fallout ... wiping out $255 million in corporate value.