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Airlines agree to no carry-on fees

Five major airlines have agreed not to follow Spirit Airlines in instituting fees for carry-on luggage, and New York Sen. Charles Schumer said he was hopeful other carriers would follow suit.

Schumer said Sunday that he had received commitments from American, Delta, JetBlue, United and US Air. He had reached out to the companies' CEOs after Spirit Airlines recently announced it would start charging up to $45 each way for passengers who bring a bag on board and put it in the overhead compartment.

"This is a giant step forward in our effort to make sure you can take a carry-on bag when you fly without being charged," Schumer said.

Since 2008, fliers have had to deal with charges for everything from food to checked luggage. But the carry-on fee, Schumer said, "was a step over the line." The senator said he hoped other carriers would follow suit, and he planned to meet with Spirit Airlines leadership in the coming week.

The CEOs he did speak to were responsive to his concerns, Schumer said.

"It was not a hard conversation," he said. "They understood this would be a very bad move." Schumer and five other Democratic senators -- Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey -- are supporting legislation that would tax airlines if they charged carry-on fees.

Schumer said the legislation would move forward until it becomes clear that no airline will institute the charges.

-- Associated Press

What do you think about charging for carry-ons? E-mail us at

By Michael Bolden  |  April 19, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Advisories , Airports  
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The airlines should just raise the cost of a ticket instead of tacking on a fee for this and that. I wouldn't mind paying a bit more for a return to the age of customer service, rather than be jammed in like cattle with every Tom ,Dick and Harry and their screaming kids.Let the market decide which airlines stay afloat.

Posted by: lsf07 | April 19, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, returning to the customer service age of air travel (i.e. before deregulation), it would make flying prohibitively expensive for middle class people. You make it seem like bringing the screaming kids on the plane is a bad thing...but when you are a young middle class family and grandma lives 2,000 miles away, or you want to go to Disney world, cheap air travel is a good thing.

And the problem with just raising fares is that research has shown that people choose which airline/itinerary based on the ticket price, and do not take the add-on fees into account. So if your prices are higher, you are at a competative disadvantage, even if you have less fees. Saavy travelers will factor into account the baggage fees, but the not-so saavy account for most of the traveling public.

I think the market has already solved the carry-on bag fee problem. The other airlines realize how rediculous the idea is and how badly Spirit has ailenated their customers that they won't try it.

Posted by: thetan | April 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The only reason these politicians are going after the airlines is because it affects THEM. THEY want to be able to bring their carry-on bags onto their flight so they can jockey and jostle to be first off the plane like most of the carry-on bag jerks. I am especially tired of the woman who can't lift her own bag into the overhead bin...WOMAN, YOU PACKED IT!!!

I say charge for carry-ons. I always check my bag and haven't any issues with doing so whatsoever...

Posted by: sigmagrrl | April 19, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I say charge for carry-ons. I always check my bag and haven't any issues with doing so whatsoever...
Absolutely. The amount of carry-on crap passengers take on planes is ridiculous.

Posted by: checkered1 | April 19, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I would LOVE it if all airlines would start charging passengers for carry-ons. I'm sick of getting on board and not finding any overhead space. Charging for carry-ons will get people to cut back, which means there will actually be enough space.

Posted by: robwilli | April 19, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I say charge for carry on bags, but also limit them regardless. People on flights should have a chance to store whatever it is that they don't want at their feet, in the bin above their own seats.

Posted by: Sharon_59 | April 20, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

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