April 12th, 2010
03:36 PM ET
12 years ago

Senator vows to block carry-on fee

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed Monday to offer legislation that would prohibit airlines from charging passengers a fee to carry on luggage.

Spirit Airlines recently announced a carry on fee ranging from $30 to $45 per bag, becoming the first U.S carrier to charge for carry on luggage.

The New York Democrat said in an interview on CNN that the new fees "step over the line" and if the Treasury Department does not answer his plea to prevent the fees from being implemented he is certain that the legislation will go through the Senate and the House "like a hot knife through butter."

Filed under: Charles Schumer • Popular Posts
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Tom, St Paul

    Normally I tend liberal, but I think Sen Schumer is wrong on this one. Don't know why passengers should necessarily be entitled to free shipping. If the airlines are operating in a competitive market, let the airlines charge what they will and suffer any consequences.

    April 12, 2010 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Sandy

    I personally think, and have thought for some time that airlines should charge for "carry on" bags, not stowed bags. As a person who travels frequently, the whole carry on thing has gotten way out of control. Carry on mess not only delays boarding, but delays going through security as well.

    April 12, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Amen!

    Good! These airlines are getting out of hand! what are we supposed to travel empty handed? what the hell!? but this is the mentality of a corporate giant and their republican cronies..."Raise prices but cut taxes"..makes no sense does it? raise prices, taxes are higher on that new price....people fall for that crap all the time!

    April 12, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  4. It has begun-

    What a moron! Typical Socialist Schummer, that wants Govt to run everything. Hey Schmuck head, how about u let the market dictates the carry on fees. If u don't like it go to another carrier (SW).

    This guy must represent the most uneducated bunch of constituents to keep getting re-elected. What a shame he is a member of Congress.

    April 12, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Brink

    Would you still be charged a fee if you put on all of the clothes that would have been been in a carry on bag and where them on the plane?

    April 12, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. conniesz

    I actually like the idea of charging to use the overhead bin – if this was standard, planes would load and empty a lot faster. If it doesn't fit under the seat in front of you, you have the option to pay to check it or pay to stash it in the overhead bin. The basic ticket price will be a little lower for those of us who can travel light – for others, they will pay the full cost of transporting themselves and whatever they choose to bring with them. Exempting child car seats and strollers, etc., makes sense as does exempting walkers and other aids – but for an extra computer, suitcase, or just plain "stuff" – if you want to bring it, pay for it.

    April 12, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. J Russ

    Sounds like we think we own the airlines too.............maybe Barry's getting ready to buy up some more private industry.

    April 12, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They shut down the Palin story for comments:

    We are watching a consistent, strategic,and systematic effort from the GOP TO FACTION THE COUNTRY. Republicans, underneath all the 'NO' votes and the other side-bar distractions have been steadily creating an ever-increasing atmosphere of DIVISIVENESS. I truly believe that they are trying to show the country that the election of the first African-American President has onkly served to DIVIDE us as a nation versus UNITE us. This is what they are really banking on come 2012: to run a campaign where they will be able to show 'Americuns' how much civil unrest grew after Obama was elected President.

    Look at what's been going on: states talking about seceding; the whole Confederacy Celebration; States Rights Month; Tea Party; armed marches on Washington and elsewhere; Sarah Palin inciting people at her rallies; congressmen being spat on and called the 'N' and 'F' word; encouraging the disrepect of the President on a nationally televised State of the Union address; consitently referring and trying to portrya the President as a Muslim, Socialist, Nazi: the hateful and unfactual diatribe of Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, Plain; I mean the list goes on and on.

    Yes I do believe in my heart that this things have been orchestrated and encouraged. While we're caught up in the 'happennings' of the moment, the GOP has been sticking to it's master plan of dividing our nation with lies and fears, and inciting their unstable right fringe with it's accompanying militant groups to come out into the open.....with their blessings.

    God save America

    April 12, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Edna

    Spirit Airlines can charge whatever they wish for carry-on bags. I will not fly their airlines as long as they charge for carry-ons.. Customers must learn that they carry the power. Boycott!!!!

    April 12, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  10. Dutch

    Thank you Sen. Schumer.

    April 12, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. patNY

    I don't know if it can get passed through the Senate that fast...you know there's a bunch of repukes there who will fillibuster this to death, on the ground this is gov't intrusion in private business, regulation of the economy, and the pathway to socialism.

    April 12, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. Steph

    For the record, I'm a fairly loyal democrat, but I don't think the government has to get involved in this. We will take care of this one ourselves by not flying Spirit. Jet Blue already has an ad with the funniest, and most brilliant, responses to these crazy fees.

    April 12, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  13. Accountability In American Society

    Where is the law that prevents corporations from funding political campaigns?

    We are suppose to have a Government by the People ... For the People.

    That can't occur when the money comes from Corporations.

    The Democratic Representative that fixes this will make a national name for themselves.

    April 12, 2010 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. Lemont Kranston

    The good Senator doesn't give a hoot about passengers charging a fee for overhead bin space, but loosing the passenger tax revenue $3.35 per bag that the government will loose if Spirit loweres its passenger fee by 40 bucks and charges an overhead bin fee. Now thats the Spirit

    April 12, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Baby Boomer

    Thank you Senator. Someone has to help stop the madness. How is it fare to pay to check bags and now pay to carry bags on. What are we as human being supposed to do? Travel with nothing? No change of clothing, no toiletries, etc. Really? Really??? Like I said, please stop the madness.

    April 12, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Darnell

    Let me see if I have this straight...forcing people to pay to add weight to an aircraft, which in turn causes the aircraft to need more fuel is going to be deemed illegal. But forcing Americans that can't afford health insurance to buy Obama-care is not illegal?

    April 12, 2010 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Accountability In American Society

    Where is the law that reforms Wall Street? If Democrats do the following, they will be the Party-of-The-People. This will contrast nicely against the Party-of-No, especially in the upcoming 2010 and 2012 elections.

    1.) Treat all hedge fund salaries as income rather than "capital gains". Tax them at the appropriate level instead of allowing the loophole that exists today.

    2.) Raise tax rates on all income above $5M per year. It is not healthy for America to promote the thievery that can falsely inflate earnings in one year ... make an executive take a $25M salary over five years so that he has to demonstrate that LONG TERM VALUE is being created.

    3.) No More TWO BIG TO FAIL. True capitalism REQUIRES a PENALTY for FAILURE. Right now, there is no downside for these guys. Break up any financial institution that has more than $1B in assets.

    4.) Have the SEC require all publically traded companies to list the cash salary & bonus, the stock options, the shares of stock, and all other non-cash perks / compensation given to it's TOP 50 executives in a table, right behind their letter to shareholders. Require that these values be divided by the profit dollars for the year so that people can clearly see which executives are delivering the biggest bang for the buck. This will promote pay for performance ... those not pulling their weight will be revealed.

    April 12, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. andrew

    so now that people are fed up with paying for checked bags and not checking anymore, they are going to try this route? At some point the gov really needs to stop this.

    April 12, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  19. CF

    As usual, it is a Democrat who is on the side of everyday people, and not a Republican in sight.

    April 12, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. JoJo

    Maybe one of these days someone will carry a porto-potty with their carryone luggage since the airline was talking about charging passengers to use their on board restrooms. Might not be a wining situation for the Senator. When you got to go you got to go.

    April 12, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. Jan

    The airlines like all capitalist enterprises are too greedy.

    I traveled recently and was charged $20.00 because I checked in a suitcase. Unfortunately the suitcase was overweight and was charged an additional $50.00 for the extra weight for a total of $70.00.

    Now they want to charge for carry on. Gives us a break.

    We are human beings and we are not able to grow wings or walk on water. The airlines need the traveling public as much as we need them.

    Please consider that not all travelers are millionaires.

    April 12, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Jay

    What makes the government think they can tell and independant company what they can or can't charge for?

    If you don't like an airline's policies, boycott them. If nobody flies with their airline anymore, you can bet your butt they'll change their policies. If people keep flying with them regardless, then they must be doing something to make it worth it.

    April 12, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  23. Four and The Door

    I think it may be a poor business decision to charge a fee for carry-on luggage, but it's definately not a matter for government regulation. This is just political grandstanding by Senator Schumer and show me that he does not understand the role of the Federal Government.

    April 12, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Josh

    Thank you Senator Schumer for trying to help those of us who are being raped by the airlines. We need your help to put a stop to all these added charges by the airlines in this tough economic environment that we are in today. Someone has to speak for the people who are not wealthy.

    April 12, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. GG

    This article also fails to mention that the airline is lowering their base cost on the flight by nearly the same amount as the carry on fee. I think being able to get a cheaper flight if I don't have a carry on is a pretty good trade off.
    Also, Senator Schumer has no idea what's going on with this issue as I'm sure he flies in first class and doesn't even handle his own bags. Just last week I flew from Florida to Minnesota and a couple ahead of me both had large carry on suitcases and "handbags", though these were more like good sized gym bags. The overhead compartments get so full on every flight that it's usually impossible for everyone to store their carry on items and it's a mad scramble for the stewardesses to find room.
    Another ridiculous case of Chuck schumer 's populist nonsense and of government interference in the marketplace.

    April 12, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
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