Spirit Airlines’ carry-on fee prompts backlash

Ever since Spirit Airlines Inc. announced this month that it would add a fee of up to $45 per carry-on bag, the airline’s chief executive, Ben Baldanza, has been trying to quell the resulting outrage.

He went so far as to cram himself into an overhead compartment to argue that with fewer carry-on bags, the boarding process would move faster and the overhead bins would be less cluttered. The result, he said in the video of his stunt: “Everybody wins.”

It didn’t work.

Seven U.S. senators have backed proposed legislation concerning the Florida-based airline’s carry-on fee.

“We are going from the sublime to the ridiculous with airlines,” Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.J.) said at a news conference last week in Washington.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the fee a “slap in the face to travelers.” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) called it “skyway robbery.”

The lawmakers hope to put the kibosh on the fee by imposing a tax on all airline revenue collected from such ch

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