Five US airlines won’t add carry-on fees – Schumer

WASHINGTON, April 18 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. Senator Charles
Schumer said on Sunday that he has commitments from five
airlines to not follow the lead of Spirit Airlines by charging
passengers a fee for carry-on baggage.

Schumer said that in personal calls to airline top
executives he received promises from American Airlines, a unit
of AMR Corp (AMR.N: ); Delta Air Lines Inc (DAL.N: ); JetBlue
Airways (JBLU.O: ); United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp (UAUA.0: );
and US Air Airways (LCC.N: ) not to charge fees for carry-on
bags.

“We have begun to put the brakes on runaway and
out-of-control airline fees,” the New York Democrat said in a
press release. “I am pleased some of the major carriers have
responded to our efforts and have agreed not to charge for
something that has always been free.”

Schumer said he plans to continue reaching out to U.S.
airlines to urge them to make similar commitments and is
encouraging privately held Spirit to reverse its decisions to
charge up to $45 for carry-on bags that do not fit under seats
and which are stowed in overhead bins.

Schumer and other lawmakers have proposed legislation that
would block the fees by declaring carry-on bags as essential
for air travel.

Apparently a Treasury Department ruling last year opened a
loophole that encouraged airlines to charge more fees rather
than raise air fares.

Airlines pay a 7.5-cent tax to the federal government for
every dollar they collect in fares. But no tax is imposed on
fees collected for non-essential services.

Schumer said last January the Treasury Department issued a
rule calling carry-on bags non-essential for air travel,
creating an incentive to charge a fee.

Spirit’s announcement to charge for carry-on bags created
an outcry against mounting airline fees, which have been added
for checked luggage, seat assignments and snacks. One airline
is reportedly considering charges to use the lavatory.

United Airlines spokeswoman Robin Urbanski confirmed the
airline would not be charging fees for carry-ons, although it
does charge as much as $35 for checked luggage.

“We have no plans to do it,” Urbanski said of adding
carry-on fees.

JetBlue Airways spokesman Morgan Johnston said not only
would that airline continue to allow a free carry-on bag and a
personal item, but would also continue to carry the first
checked bag free.

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(Reporting by Donna Smith and Carey Gillam; Editing by Eric
Walsh)

Five US airlines won’t add carry-on fees – Schumer