On a Monday afternoon in October 2011, West Virginia Democrat Nick J. Rahall II waited at the Charleston airport for a 4:50 p.m. U.S. Airways Express flight to Washington. If the plane left on schedule, the roughly 80-minute flight would allow him to get to the Capitol in time for votes in the House of Representatives that evening.

Things did not go according to plan. The flight didn’t leave Charleston for another four hours, giving Rahall, then the top Democrat on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, plenty of time to “boil over,” as he later wrote. When he finally arrived in Washington, having missed three votes, he lambasted the airline’s handling of the delay in a statement in the Congressional Record:

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