Regardless of where you fall on the Democrat/Republican/Conservative/Liberal scale, if you are going to fly in our airlines there is a name you should be aware of: Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Perhaps more than any other person in the USA, he has the power to modify the amount of pain air travel inflicts upon passengers.
Needless to say there have been high profile cases recently, Doctors being bloodied, passengers hit with strollers, families with toddlers illegally being removed from planes to accommodate oversold seats and these are just the ones we know about. How many others have suffered in silence?
"Shuster, [Chairman of the oversight committee], told The Hill
that he went into the hearings with an open mind, hoping to gain
insight into what Congress should do, if anything, to try to make flying a little more pleasant. The committee is working on a major aviation
bill, and Shuster made clear he's willing to consider customer service
components of it, if necessary."
Shuster's own words give me some hope, "I used to own a business. And one of the fundamental rules of any successful business is that the customer comes first.
So something is clearly broken when we see passengers being treated
the way some of them have been treated on recent flights. Regardless of
the contractual relationship between the airline and the ticket holder –
it’s just common decency and common sense that you don’t treat a person
that way, let alone a paying customer."
Of course, as the Washington Post reports, he is the same Shuster that said, "“I don’t believe in overburdening our businesses,” Transportation
Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) told the [airline] executives, saying only
that Congress would act “the next time” if they don’t police themselves
According to the Economist, "WHEN politicians feel they must summon industry bosses and implore them
to treat customers better, it is a sure sign that the market is not
working as it should."