Senator Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) — who was indicted in April on federal corruption charges alleging he took rides in a private jet in exchange for political favours — wants to help out those of us stuck flying coach.
New recommendations from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), known as “Cabin OK” would establish a new classification of carry-on sizes, designed to unify baggage rules and help ensure all travellers can store their luggage on board.
In a perfect world, these size restraints would mean that all passengers on an aircraft could stash their bags, with no one being forced to check or pay excess fees. The recommendations also ensure that passengers travelling on multiple carriers won’t be blindsided by unknown baggage rules.
But this smaller carry-on size, if adopted by US carriers, could be used by airlines to make even more money on the backs of consumers, says Menendez.
“I’m obviously concerned this proposal to cut the size of allowable carry-ons is a gimmick so airlines can keep padding those bag profits,” Sen. Menendez said. “I’m telling U.S. airlines that if our luggage has to go on a diet, the result cannot be another airline-industry profit binge. We already have less seat-space, less leg-room, fewer options and higher costs — we have to stand up for consumers and say ‘no’ to the airline industry.”
Montreal-based IATA stresses that this new system doesn’t mean a smaller limit on carry on bags.
“For passengers travelling with bags that don’t have the Cabin OK logo, there’s no need to worry. If it was accepted for travel before, it will be acceptable for travel now, but with the same uncertainty that if the flight is full it may eventually have to travel in the hold,” said Thomas Windmuller, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.
Menendez voiced his concern at a familiar locale: Newark Liberty International Airport, where he has previously announced bills aimed at protecting the flying public from airline price gouging.
The Senator’s trial is set to begin soon. Meanwhile, he remains active in his lawmaking duties.
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