Should congress ban airlines from charging for carry-on luggage?

@Taskr36 (13928)
United States
April 12, 2010 12:49pm CST
As you may have heard, Spirit Airlines will begin charging passengers $30-$45 for each bag of carry-on luggage. Checked bags currently cost $20 for the first and $25 for the second (a third costs $100). Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has vowed to push legislation that would bad airlines from charging for carry-on luggage. What are your opinions on this? Obviously none of us want more charges for what are already overpriced flights, but is it congress's job to prevent this? I'm a bit on the fence for this one. On a side note I despise Spirit Airlines. They do have the absolute worst customer service and will nickel and dime you for everything with separate charges that often lead to my credit card being declined because the bank flags it after too many internet transactions at once. So what are your opinions? Should congress ban airlines from doing this?
4 people like this
21 responses
@gewcew23 (8012)
• United States
12 Apr 10
This is going to sound bad but I have not even heard of Spirit Airline. If Spirit wants to charge their customers for their carry on bag, then customer should stop using Spirit for another airline. Alright another problem solved.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Apr 10
You are so right! I agree with you 100% - well, aside from the fact that I have heard of Spirit Airlines. :P
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17927)
• United States
12 Apr 10
I have to add a great big "NO WAY" to all of the other objections, and for the very same reasons, too. Let the consumers use their power to let Spirit know how foolish this is. When my daughter flew up north this past summer I was comparing flights as I always do and Southwest beat the competition because, unlike some others, they didn't charge for the second checked bag. My daughter always needs two large suitcases and one carry on. We've used Spirit in the past....but we don't HAVE to use them.
@ClassyCat (1214)
• United States
13 Apr 10
No - government needs to tay out of this. The American consumer can deal with these things, but flying a different airline. I'm thinking of looking into finding the corporate exects online and emailing them "thanking them" for keeping extra charges from being added by them as well, and letting them know that if they get on the band wagon (so to speak) - I'll be finding another airline to fly with. You think airlines are pricey - I checked with Amtrak for the cost of going from Oklahoma city to Columbus, Wis. (11 mi. from my hometown.) With a sleeper car, it's close to (or over - I forgot) $700 ! And one has to stay in a hotel overnight in Chicago going up and returning - talk about an expense !!!!
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
12 Apr 10
Sure, why not, they have taken over damn near every other industry in this country..why not airlines too. Sarcasm aside....NO, they shouldn't, they can't and they had better no try.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Apr 10
Well you know I'm not crazy about government interference in private business. What I really want is for PEOPLE to prevent this practice by not flying Spirit Airlines. A boycott would also be nice, but I don't have the time for such a thing. To me carry-on luggage is far more important than checked bags as it is the only guarantee that my luggage will arrive at the intended destination with me. I just know that once the government gets its claws into an industry, they never let go and I fear what they could do to air travel as a whole if this is allowed.
• United States
12 Apr 10
No, congress should not ban airlines from doing this. The government has too much control over our lives already, they don't need any more. If people don't want to pay extra for bringing carry-ons than they should either stop bringing carry-ons or else stop using that particular airline.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Apr 10
Absolutely not. Taking on problems like this just takes up time they should be using for more important things. Plus I don't think it's their responsibility to be deciding how businesses operate.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Apr 10
Yes. It is already expensive enough as it is to travel, and I do not want to pay $45 more for carry on. Also, I usually have two bags when I travel. I don't want to have to pay $45 on top of everything else that I already have to pay when I go somewhere.
@xfahctor (14111)
• Lancaster, New Hampshire
12 Apr 10
*tip toes up veeeeeery carefully..... *tap tap As tempting as it is to agree with this (and it is), we should be very carefull when we over look propper propper government authority of things. As satisfying as it may sound to allow this to go through as law, they really don't have the authority to dictate this and if we let them do it, simply because it is a cause we agree with, it opens the door for more down the road we may not agree with. We already have more laws in this country than any person can reasonably live with in as it is anyways. Passing more just because we want to stick it to someone we think is sticking it to us only leads to a perpetual cycle of ever growing government power, and these people have more than enough power already. I would say the best way to handle this one instead is not fly with this airline, let the crooked bastarrds go out of business.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Apr 10
I don't want to pay an extra fee for a carry-on either, but do you really think the government interfering would fix the problem? Spirit is famous for nickel and diming people and if you let the government ban this tactic, don't you think they'd just come up with something else? Wouldn't avoiding Spirit like the plague be the best tactic both for ending this practice and showing other airlines that we will not tolerate it? Remember, this isn't a situation like we've had with phone companies or utility companies that abuse us thanks to their monopolies. With airlines we have many choices and just avoiding the one airline that does this might be all it takes.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Apr 10
No, I don't agree with government control over travel prices, but I also don't agree with paying more than I have to when traveling.
@laglen (19783)
• United States
12 Apr 10
I vote a BIG hell NO! If they want to charge for baggage, then as consumers, we can stop purchasing tickets from them. It is driving me absolutely nuts at the audacity of these people wanting to tell businesses how to run. Now, if Chuck is the owner or even a stock holder, then he may have a say but not as a Senator.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Apr 10
That's the big problem with Spirit. They suck people in by having fares that may be $20-$50 lower than their competitor, but then nickel and dime you to the point that you aren't saving a penny and may actually be paying more than you would with a competitor. It's a matter of separating costs to mislead a customer and pull them away from the competition. I do think though that consumers should control this by not using such airlines. I am tired of congress telling everyone how they should do business. People just need to be more aware of what's going on and at least this is one case where the media has been very vocal about Spirit's tactics.
1 person likes this
@laglen (19783)
• United States
13 Apr 10
I agree taskr. I took a friend to the airport and after waiting over an hour in line, they were told every body had to pony up $50 for gas! I would have thought that when offering tickets, they would have known that the plane needed gas. That airline is no longer in business. HHmm I wonder why. That is the way to combat that crap. or take a boat
@peavey (15674)
• United States
12 Apr 10
No. Why do you think the government is the answer to everything we don't like? Do we not have any power whatsoever? Can we not choose how to travel if we don't like what one way is doing? Are we so inept that we can't even do that??
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Apr 10
"Why do you think the government is the answer to everything we don't like?" Why do YOU think that's how I feel? All I did was post this issue for discussion. I didn't say that I supported this. I just asked for opinions.
@peavey (15674)
• United States
14 Apr 10
It was a rhetoric question, I didn't intend to antagonize you. Sorry for not making myself clear.
• United States
12 Apr 10
In a word...NO. It is not their responsibility to do this. It should be determined by the corporations....if the public does not like their decision...then don't get tickets on that airline. If they loose enough business they will change the policy. The government is really sticking their nose where it does not belong.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Apr 10
Yeah, the thing that bugs me is that this is preemptive. We're still months away from Spirit implementing this plan and already Schummer is jumping at the chance to get government claws into the airlines. As Spirit is the only airline planning to do this, I think that if they lose business, other airlines won't even THINK about doing the same thing.
1 person likes this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
13 Apr 10
Excellent point, Taskr! I also thought of that, but forgot to mention it. I've been hearing something about this for a day or so, & I have several questions. How are they defining "carry-on?" Size? Style? Is a purse considered a carry-on? If not, I'd find one of those enormous purses teens carried when I was in high school. They were round & barrel shaped, & girls could use them as luggage for overnight stays with friends, but you could put huuuuge amounts in them! I mean, when the floppy tops were stood upright, they actually resembled street-worthy garbage cans made of (probably faux) leather, & were nearly as big! I thought they were ugly, even as I grudgingly admitted they were practical. I used to wonder if they didn't get sore backs from hauling them around, though. The point is, I'd probably just get something like that & tell them, "This is my purse," & let them struggle with the idea. There ya go--no carry-on luggage fee! Maggiepie GO TO Open Mike CATEGORY & TALK ABOUT ANYTHING--EVEN 2 or MORE TOPICS AT ONCE!
@us2owls (1681)
• United States
12 Apr 10
Well I read in a UK newspaper about an airline that has put locks on toilet doors that you have to put a £ - one pound coin in to use the toilet. I will get to see soon what American Airlines is doing - we fly on one of their planes from UK to Chicago May 20th.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Apr 10
Now that's a practice that I would have serious issues with as people could have serious health problems and even potentially die without access to a bathroom. I think I heard that the bathroom thing was limited to flights under 2hrs, but I'd still oppose it a whole lot more than this carry-on bit.
@Destiny007 (5820)
• United States
12 Apr 10
No. Given the opportunity, the Market will take care of problems like this. When people have a choice, they will always choose the better and cheaper one. This is just another example of the government trying to intervene where they have no business doing so.
@Taskr36 (13928)
• United States
12 Apr 10
You're right. There are no shortage of airlines that were bankrupted and put out of business by pissing off their customers. The nice thing about this is we have so many alternatives. I hate what Spirit is doing, but I don't think government interference is the best way to fix it. Government interference should be an absolute LAST resort to fixing problems in private business.
@newtalent (1114)
• United States
12 Apr 10
These are high fee especially when your ticket is kind of expensive too. They need to make the money to keep the planes going to. it cost a lot to fly these planes, people forget that. some people need everything and then some for a couple days is it fair to not have the room for your luggage if some people go over board?.
• United States
13 Apr 10
Yup, I've got to agree with you that they will charge what they will charge, and the gov't should be constrained in how much they can manipulate the market. I say let them charge what they will charge and hopefully the market will help pull costs back down.
@TheCatLady (4696)
• Israel
18 Jun 10
Either they charge people who bring a suitcase extra, or they raise the price for everyone. Charging for luggage is a way to lower the base price of a ticket.
@millertime (1398)
• United States
1 May 10
I guess I'll add my 2 cents and say that while I'm against the airlines charging for carry on bags or any of the other myriad things they charge extra for now, the government has no business intruding on the free market system and telling a business what it can or can't charge money for. The free market system will take care of itself. People will book with other airlines if they don't like it. If enough people do that, they will have to stop the practice to get customers back. We don't need the idiots in federal government trying to control every little thing. That's what they do in socialist and communist countries.
• United States
16 Apr 10
im with you on the fence on this one. i mean they wont be able to control international airlines that arent american i wouldnt think and it isnt a business they own so it would be like them telling mcdonalds they cant charge X for a burger.. yet some one needs to slap some sense into these airlines! prices just keep going up and up and pretty soon it will be cheaper to just fly in the clothes on your back.. buy outfits when you land and ship them post back and fly back in the same outfit!
@andy77e (5170)
• United States
16 Apr 10
I'm neutral on this topic, since I rarely if ever fly, and I assume it will be costly from the start. So, if you wish to ban it fine. If not, fine. There is one thing you should know about that before making your choice. There is a reason airlines have fees for additional services. The reason is so that people who use more services, get charged more money. The alternative is that everyone get's charged more. A company must make a profit. They wouldn't offer you the service, if they couldn't make a profit. They will get that profit, one way or another. If you ban the ability for airlines to charge more for using overhead racks, they will simply charge everyone more. So if you bring on nothing, or one hand bag, you will be charged more, but the same as a guy who brings on 3 massive cases and bags. Is that what you want? Then ban charging fees for carry-on luggage. Don't think that's how it works? Look at credit cards. Congress prevented companies from charging fees and interest hikes on individual. Now interest rates have been hiked on everyone. Look at health insurance. Congress passed elimination of pre-existing conditions, and controls on charging high-risk people higher premiums, and now insurance premiums are being hiked on everyone. This is how the world works. So if you want to go that way, the ban fees on extra services, like carry-ons.
@K46620 (1996)
• United States
13 Apr 10
Not at all! That isn't part of a free country. Airlines could get around it anyway by increasing other costs, harming people that do not take much luggage.
• Alexandria, Virginia
13 Apr 10
The US is a free market with some regulation. The idea of congress trying to regulate carry on baggage is absurd. If you do not like it fly southwestern airlines or another airline .This is what the free market is all about. Socialism is where everything is regulated and the free market is not allowed to function. However something like the the coal mine disaster in West VA is an example where regulators were asleep at the switch. However, in China they lose 9 miners a day and do not get alarmed.Clearly priorities in regulation need to be set. The cost of carry on baggage is not one of them since it is controlled by the free market.
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
13 Apr 10
No. It's not their job. Anyway, the free-market capitalism system works just fine, left alone. I trust that the airlines which do this will find their clientele shrinking for all but necessary flights, plus I think some wise person will design some sort of luggage one can wear, in order to simply carry it on the body at all times, eliminating the need for storage. I always travel light, & I could probably design such a thing myself. It might be in the form of some kind of multi-pocketed jacket, for example. No, let's not let the government do this, too. Maggiepie GO TO Open Mike CATEGORY & TALK ABOUT ANYTHING--EVEN 2 or MORE TOPICS AT ONCE!
@Celanith (2334)
• United States
13 Apr 10
I feel the airlines make way too much money already and they belly ache about loss, cut they are going to just make people find other modes of travel and people are not going to be able to afford it after awhile. I heard they want to charge you to use the bathroom too. Hey when I gotta go I gotta go and no time to pay a quarter or 50 cents to pee. Plus that is just abusive as well to small children and people with health problems. I also think it is wrong to charge a large person for two seats. People are not always large because of over eating that is a false concept. While there are many who are over weight because of eating too much there are others with genetics, and metabolism problems, diabetes, and hypothyrodism which is a medical condition and causes weight gain and until it is diagonesed and treated properly it is not that persons fault. That is blatant hate crime and discrimination. No they should not charge for carry on luggage, going to the bath room or for a large person for extra seat. It is all wrong and greed.