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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  • didacticrogue

    Once again, does congress really have nothing better to do than interfere with the rights of companies to decide which goods and services they want to charge for and which they want to include with their core products?

    How long before statist legislators clamor for the inclusion of “essential” air conditioning in every vehicle built or sold in the US, or indoor plumbing, electrical service, and HVAC in every building?

    While we all may have come to think of these features as “essential,” there is no possible reason to require them, save to grow the size and influence of our already-bloated government and its purveyors.

    These matters are best hashed out by free markets, a concept lost on these advocates and champions of bigger and ever-more-powerful government.

  • ojfl

    Congressional action? Why not let us decide with our wallets? Get out of the way, please!