Schumer Calls For Airline Carry On Baggage Fee Legislation
April 13, 2010 - Spirit Airlines has reported it will soon charge passengers a fee for carry on bags. Passengers will only be allowed to carry onboard one free carry on and that carry on must fit under the passenger seat. If the carry on does not fit under the seat or if passengers require to use the overhead bins passengers will be required to pay an additional charge.
States Senator Charles E. Schumer called on Treasury Secretary Timothy
Geithner to close a loophole in current airline regulations that have
airlines charging customers for bringing aboard even one piece of
Schumer is calling
on Secretary Geithner to issue a new administrative rule that would
define carry-on baggage for air travelers as a “reasonable necessity” in
order to help keep carry-on baggage free for fliers and keep other
airlines at bay from passing similarly outrageous fees.
Last week, a prominent airline broke long-standing airline practices by
announcing it would begin charging customers a whopping $45 for carry-on
luggage. The decision could spur other airlines to impose similar fees.
Schumer’s efforts are designed to rein in this outrageous practice and
restore basic fairness for air travelers.
“Airline passengers have always had the right to bring a carry-on bag
without having to worry about getting nickel and dimed by an airline
company,” Schumer said. “The Treasury Department needs to close the
loophole that encourages this abusive practice and rein in these fees.”
For years, the airline industry has struggled to confront declining
profits as consumers in a tough economy seek the most cost effective way
to travel. During this tough economic time, the airline industry has
sought to keep ticket prices low while maintaining their bottom line. In
order to do so, the airline industry has continued to add supplemental
fees to airline travel—fees which consumers have begrudgingly tolerated
In the last few years, airlines have added fees for checked baggage, seat assignments in the coach cabin, in-flight entertainment headsets, peanuts, and even pillows. The latest fee that the airline industry is seeking to impose is pushing travelers to the tipping point.
the inception of commercial air travel, customers have always been given
the opportunity to bring one carry-on bag with them to store in the
overhead compartment without fear of being slapped with an additional
fee, but that’s now beginning to change. Carry-on luggage is
particularly essential for weekend travelers, day trippers, and
These fees will
have a heavy burden on middle-class families trying to take their family
on a summer vacation. Families with children almost always need a piece
of carry-on luggage in order to ensure that they have everything they
need, like medicine and other emergency supplies, readily accessible.
These new fees will not only impact family budgets, but will also
increase the costs of doing business. Business travelers, who often only
stay a night or two at their destination before heading home, almost
always use carry-on baggage.
passengers have absorbed fees upon new fees over the last several years
and they are hitting the boiling point,” continued Schumer. “This latest
fee is a slap in the face to travelers and has crossed the line of
acceptable practices. I will fight to see it reversed and make sure no
other airlines follow suit.”
to Secretary Geithner should serve as a sign to the entire airline
industry that consumers have had enough with unnecessary fees that don’t
improve the quality of air travel. Fortunately, this fee is one which
the government can address by closing a loophole that currently exists
in airline regulations.
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