What authority does the United States Senate have to investigate the lawful operations of a private business? Running a business poorly is not illegal.
This screams kangaroo court and reflects the slouching standards of our government.
Airlines are certified by the federal government to operate..
So what? Being certified by the government does not mandate any disclosure requirements beyond those needed to obtain/maintain those certifications. What government certifications require disclosures about their IT reservation and booking systems?
Imagine if this was the Department of Justice and not Congress. The FBI can't just walk into a business and start seizing files because the business has a government certification to operate. They still need a warrant (lawful cause) to enter the premises of a private business.
If they are run poorly and that poor operation impacts safety, then the government has authority to investigate. While the most recent DL/WN incidents probably didn't have any safety impact, it is unknown to what degree future IT failures might have or if the airlines have been exposing themselves to security risks.
So the government's authority is based on safety risk, but you acknowledge there was no risk to safety. Sounds like is outside of its authority and working on the basis of speculation?
Airlines are still a unique business that affects the entire country. This isn't some small business that had a problem. These are large businesses that have huge downstream impacts when they screw up. When Delta messed up, we had employees stranded across the world. We lose money in these scenarios too just like other companies who had stranded employees or stranded cargo. The economic loss from a system wide failure goes way beyond the airline's revenue losses. In that way, this is functionally a negative externality. There are all kinds of losses associated with airline IT failures but the airline only absorbs a small portion of those losses.
That's an unremarkable observation. Every sector of the economy is unique and can claim some operational distinction that it alone faces.
Delta's terms of service and liability are well disclosed. They are not responsible for absorbing other people's costs and you knew that before you booked with them.
Also Congress can investigate whatever it wants and they can choose to bring in representatives from DL or WN to explain what happened. And frankly, I think that's an important role that Congress should play.
Sure, give Congress an infinite leash and see how well that works out for you.
Let's summarize exactly what will happen if hearings take place:
- IT experts will give a watered-down brief to management who don't understand IT details
- Management will give a watered-down version of the watered-down brief to politicians who neither understand IT nor managerial details
- Politicians will grandstand and tell us about SOB stories
- News cycle moves on, and management will solve the problem because investors - not Congress - will hold them accountable if they don't
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.