Spirit Airlines’ $45 carry-on fees and our government at work again
In a recent blog posting, I recounted my issues with the carry-on bag rules for exiting Canada. In case you missed it, I was forced to check a bag that I have carried on for years because the U.S. government reduced the size of an allowable carry on by two inches, making many previously acceptable bags oversized.
In the last few days there has been considerable discussion about Spirit Airlines announcement that they plan to charge $45 for a carry-on bag, and today I read that Congress is considering legislation to restrict Spirit from doing so. Ben Cardin and Mary Landrieu said carry-ons often contain personal items that are “important for the safety and health” of travelers. These may include medication, personal care products and eyewear. Additionally, Chuck Schumer (he’s our senior senator here in NY), pressed the Treasury Department Monday for administrative action to block carry-on charges, calling them a “slap in the face to travelers.”
When you read the Spirit rule a bit closer however, they will allow you to take a bag on free of charge provided it fits under the seat in front of you (dimensions 16”x14”x12”), and will also allow canes, walkers and other medically related devices to be carried on without a charge. Now I haven’t done the complete analysis on this one yet, but I’m guessing that if your bag fits under the seat that would probably provide enough room for whatever medicine you are taking, unless you’re The King (that would be Elvis), who during his waning years was known to medicate quite extensively.
Since Chuck Schumer represents those who live in a state that borders Canada, maybe he should check the rules the TSA created there, because they seem to be quite similar. I was prevented from taking on my bag because, while it surely fit in the overhead bin, it did not fit with their new dimension restrictions.
In my opinion, if an airline wants to charge for something like this, they should have that right. As long as I have the right to freely choose which airlines I fly, I still have the ultimate power here. So I say, let the free market and a person’s right to choose determine if this initiative is successful or not.
But that said, given the name of this blog is “Carrying On”; I would like to offer some free advice to our elected representatives. Why don’t you just pass a law that names Spirit as the only airline that is allowed to fly from Canada to the US? Given they have the same baggage policy that the TSA has enacted over that routing, this would seem to create a perfect alignment.
Let us know what you think.
Entry filed under: Ancillary Fees, Business Travel, Security, TAP, Tony's thoughts. Tags: Ancillary Fees, Ben Cardin, carry on, Chuck Schumer, Congress, Department of Transportation, DOT, Elvis, Mary Landrieu, senator, Spirit Airlines, The King, TSA.