Week in Review

On Tuesday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on U.S. airline customer service featuring representatives from United, Alaska, Southwest, American and the Consumers Union.

According to Skift, members of Congress urged executives to improve their customer service and questioned airlines’ overbooking practices.

GBTA released a statement on the hearing, sharing results from a poll in which 64 percent of travel buyer members felt the “Passenger Bill of Rights” does not adequately protect the business traveler.

According to The Hill, a Senate subcommittee held a similar hearing on airline customer service on Thursday. Senators raised questions about ancillary fees, overbooking procedures, and legroom on planes.

Buying Business Travel reports Lufthansa has introduced direct sales links with two TMCs, cutting out the €16 GDS booking charge.

According to 4Hoteliers, Sabre is investigating a breach in their reservations system that serves over 32,000 hotels and other properties.

Business Traveller notes automated TSA screening lanes are coming to New York’s JFK. Head of security at Newark, JFK and LaGuardia airports says the automated lanes improve passenger-screening efficiency by nearly 30 percent.

According to Skift, the European Union has decided not to suspend visa-free travel arrangements with the United States and Canada.

Business Traveller reports mishandled bag rates reached a record low last year. A new report estimates an average of 5.73 bags per thousand passengers were mishandled in 2016, compared to 6.53 in 2015.

According to Business Traveller, Qatar Airways now offers free stopovers in Doha. The promotion enables transit passengers to enjoy a free one-night stay in the city.

USA TODAY reports American Airlines plans to take away more legroom from economy passengers. The airline plans to reduce legroom by up to two inches in the economy cabin of its new jets arriving this year.

According to 4Hoteliers, the Australian government will develop a second airport for Sydney after a decades-long debate.

USA TODAY states Southwest will end its practice of overbooking. CEO Gary Kelly announced the company’s decision to cease overbooking on Thursday morning.

Business Insider reports that Airbnb added a search filter allowing business travelers to look for “Business Travel Ready” listings.