Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sunday blasted the "dysfunctional" airline practices that caused 69-year-old David Dao to be brutally dragged off a United Airlines flight, igniting national furor.
In an interview on "State of the Union," Sanders condemned the "inappropriate practices on the part of the airlines," saying the United incident was part of a broader pattern of airlines mistreating customers.
"This overbooking, which caused this particular problem, is not unique," Sanders said. "I have been on airlines many, many times where people have been asked to leave."
"What we do need is to take a hard look at the airlines in this country and make them much more responsive to the consumers than they currently are."
The Vermont senator also suggested that part of the problems confronting consumers could be the result of airline consolidation.
"You can have two people on an airline, one is spending twice as much as another person," Sanders said. "So the idea of taking a hard look at airline travel and, by the way, the consolidation of ownership in the airline industry is something that I think would be a very useful effort."
Sanders was hardly the only lawmaker to slam United over last week's incident. Congressional Democrats said they were considering legislation that would prevent similar problems.
Violence towards paying customers is a crap business strategy. https://t.co/ytAAq9PmBE— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) April 11, 2017
Absurd: ”UA is not liable for its…removal of any passenger….The passenger’s sole and exclusive remedy shall be [a refund].” #RipOffClause— Sen. Patrick Leahy (@SenatorLeahy) April 11, 2017
For his part, President Donald Trump also voiced displeasure with Dao's treatment.
"They should have gone up higher," Trump said, referring to United's offer to compensate passengers willing to give up their seats. "But to just randomly say, 'You're getting off the plane,' that was terrible."
Watch the clip, via CNN:
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