Spirit Airlines sparked ire last week by announcing it would start charging $45 for carry-on luggage. And it's not just average, in-debt Americans who are angry: The wrath was felt all the way in Washington, where New York senator Chuck Schumer says he wants such airline fees outlawed. Should airlines be able to "nickle and dime" their customers' most basic on-board rights? (Watch the Spirit CEO defend the carry-on charge)
This fee is downright criminal: Charging an extra fee for a carry-on is an "abusive practice," said Schumer in an April 12 press release. For business people who rely on the convenience of carry-on, as well as families who need carry-on luggage to stow medicines and other "emergency supplies," Spirit Air's fee is an inexcusable "slap in the face."
"NY Sen. Chuck Schumer seeks federal ruling to prohibit airlines from charging fees on carry-on bags"
Don't outlaw this useful fee: It's become a problem that passengers haul hefty carry-ons onto planes in lieu of paying fees to check baggage, says Donald Marron at Wall Street Pit. "Spirit's fees are one possible answer." While this move might not be the most popular, it's a sure way to lower fares and speed boarding time.
"Ultra trouble for the ultra low cost airline?"
A fee might not be the answer — but neither is legislation: Schumer's proposition proves that "the sky's the limit for ridiculous government interventions" these days, says Patrick Ishmael at Hot Air. No matter how unsavory Spirit Air's new fee is, the idea of allowing a law to counter a free-market business move is even more "annoying." Let consumers decide whether they want to fly Spirit Air: The result will be more telling than any piece of legislation.
"Stop carrying on about our carry-ons, Senator Schumer"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The case for voting (even if America is a corrupt plutocracy rigged by the rich)
- Why the Supreme Court is allowing Texas to hold an unconstitutional election
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Paul Krugman, Amazon, and the left's backwards view of book-industry titans
Subscribe to the Week