During Senate Hearing, Rosen Presses Southwest Executive on December Cancellations, Highlights Impacts to Nevada

In Her Questioning Of Southwest Executive, Senator Rosen Highlights Constituent Stories From Las Vegas and Reno

Watch Senator Rosen’s Remarks Here.

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, during a hearing in the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) pressed Andrew Watterson, Chief Operating Officer of Southwest Airlines, on the impact that the December flight cancellations had on Nevadans, tourists, the travel and tourism workforce, and the local economy. Senator Rosen asked Watterson about what Southwest is doing to improve consumer protections and modernize airline software and operations. 

“And like every other state, these cancellations had a devastating impact on families across Nevada. I received messages from all around the state – people who were affected by this unmitigated disaster. One gentleman wrote to me about spending all of Christmas Day at the Reno-Tahoe Airport after multiple flight cancellations – going back to 4 a.m. on Christmas Eve morning. Another constituent emailed about cancellations stranding his family on the way home to Las Vegas [which] cost him more than $3,000 in alternate transportation and lodging,” said Senator Rosen. “Besides all this impact to travelers, the cancellations also hurt the workers in my state. They are the backbone of Nevada’s travel, tourism, and hospitality industry. It hurt our airports, which are the gateways to Nevada’s economy. And it will hurt the future of travel to my state if we don’t fix the problems that caused this calamity right away.”

As Chair of the Senate’s Tourism, Trade, and Export Promotion Subcommittee, Senator Rosen has been a leader in fighting to strengthen the travel and tourism industry – which directly employs nearly 350,000 Nevadans. Senator Rosen’s bipartisan Omnibus Travel and Tourism Act, which was signed into law last year, will strengthen the U.S. travel and tourism industry by creating the first-ever position of an Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Travel and Tourism tasked with developing and coordinating a national tourism strategy across the federal government.