We know this crusade may be mostly boisterous political theater. And, yes, we understand that financially struggling airlines — faced with higher and higher fuel costs — are being forced to look under every rock for a dollar.
But we cheered for U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who championed all beleaguered air travelers when he vowed to fight a move by Spirit Airlines (and any others thinking about it) to charge a fee for carry-on bags. That's right — for carry-on bags.
Spirit announced this month that it would charge up to $45 for a carry-on, but would reduce the cost of most tickets by $40. The airline's CEO said having fewer carry-on bags will help empty the plane faster, and the fee is intended to get customers to pay for individual things they want, while keeping the base fare low.
OK, so on that first part, the airline has a point. Too many people do lug jam-packed bags on planes — many to avoid paying the checked-bag fee that can range from $25 to $50 per bag depending on the airline. But Schumer is right to point out that carry-on bags often contain medications and other necessities, particularly for families. Some people don't have a real option to check that bag.
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