Bill would ban fees for carry-ons
U.S. airline fees for carry-on bags were deemed "a slap," "outrageous" and "skyway robbery" as six Democratic senators moved to ban the practice after Spirit Airlines said it will charge passengers as much as $45 to stow luggage in overhead airplane compartments.
"Let my briefcase go," Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) said at a news conference on Capitol Hill today. "We're going from the sublime to the ridiculous with airlines."
Lawmakers introduced legislation to ban carry-on fees after closely held Spirit said April 6 it will charge $30 in advance and $45 at the gate starting in August. Members of its
"fare club, who pay a $39.95 annual fee, will pay $20 to carry on a bag. Passengers will still be allowed a personal item that fits under the seat in front of them.
"When you charge for a carry-on bag it's a slap for anyone who flies," Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said. "It's time to draw the line."
Schumer said he also will press for legislation to tax carry-on fees unless Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner uses his power to do so.
"This is just wrong," Sen. Ben Cardin (Md.) said of the carry-on fees.
The carry-on charge is part of a broader fare and fee restructuring by Spirit, which the Miramar, Fla.-based company says will lower some passengers' costs, speed up security lines and boarding and reduce delays.
-- Bloomberg News
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