A New Bill Could Kill Baggage Fees Once And For All

Airport line

Photo: kalleboo via flickr

Carry-on bags may have doubled our time at the gate, but one Senator is looking to end to the madness by limiting the fees airlines can charge for checked luggage.Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has introduced legislation that “would guarantee passengers one checked bag without the financial burden of paying a fee, or the headache of trying to fit everything into a carry-on,” reports Ashley Halsey III in the Washington Post.

According to Halsey the bill would require airlines to disclose the size and weight requirements for checked bags and allow passengers to check one bag free of charge. There would also be no fees for “regular-size carry-on bags.”

Americans have long been peeved by fellow travellers’ overstuffed bags and long waits at the terminal. With travellers scrambling to avoid the check-on fees, overhead bins fill up quickly as penny-pinchers flying coach are forced to check on their bags or cram them into nonexistent space.

But the biggest target of travellers’ ire is the airline industry itself. Pat-down screenings and other security measures have turned Americans off, and as they continue to vote with their wallets, the industry has seen its profits plunge by $25 billion in the past decade.

Airlines did make a killing on checked bags fees, of course, jacking them up 87% to the tune of $3.9 billion between 2008 and 2009.

Read Halsey’s story here and don’t miss our guerrilla guide to airlines that charge the most for checked bags.  

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