April 18, 2010

Why should it be illegal for airlines to charge a fee for carry-on bags when they can charge a fee for checking bags?

I don't get it. No one likes to pay more for anything, but why should one particular way of collecting money from passengers be forbidden? If I'm getting on a plane with a bag and I could either check my bag or not, why should the cheaper option be the one that slows down other passengers in 3 separate places (the security line, getting on the plane, and getting off the plane)? Right now, the checked baggage fee has cost-conscious travelers dragging more bags on board. Why is it always the most annoying people who find champions in Congress?


Alex said...

It should be illegal to disagree with Obama. It's the same "logic" behind it. Basically creeping fascism and you helped elect it Ann!

Hagar said...

Birds of a feather flock together.

And the Congress critters are getting desperate for something to throw to their constituents.

Seven Machos said...

The problem is that charging for carrying on bags punishes everyone, not just the annoying people. People who travel light and follow the rules should not be penalized simply for bringing stuff with then when they travel.

Further, there are compartments for stuff on the plane and there is space under the seats. Charging for carrying on baggage seems to violate the general sense of fair dealing. There is no service here, like with a checked bag. There is no cost to the airline. It's basically a fee without any rationale.

A better solution -- to address your points, Althouse -- would be to charge people a high fee who bring stuff on the plane that is too much stuff. That would be fair.

eve said...

The airlines would do us all a favor by charging for carry on bags and making checked bags free. If we were charged $10 per carry on at the gate in no time at all the boarding process would be cut in half from current, excruciating levels. You have, of course, identified the problem and this is the great masses of people who only fly occasionally, cannot lift their bags into the bins, and believe that planes should land within seconds of the scheduled time. These are the same crybabies who have landed these stupid laws regarding maximum times on the tarmac which will have planes cancelling like crazy when the weather turns bad. These are, for the most part, the fat people.

Alex said...

BTW, if the Democrats don't lose the House this November I can only conclude that America has tilted full-on liberal fascism. It's really that critical. I can only hope that what we're seeing from Obama/Pelosi is just fanatical overreach and they're gonna get a monumental bitch-slap from the electorate.

Sophie said...

Why should the Federal Govt - or any state or local government - stick its nose in this in the first place? This micromanaging administration is so over the top.

I just hope when the GOP gets in in November they repeal all this crap. We have to stay on their butts to go after every little silly regulation**; we and they will forget most of them by November.

**I don't mean useful regs which actually protect people from harm or fraud, silly trolls (if you show up), just silly harmful expensive regs which expand the scope of government, of which there are MANY. Most of them, actually.

Seven Machos said...

Is Alex a Moby?

Alex said...

Seven - the solution is to let the airlines charge their fees and compete. Not to let government decide what is "stupid" or "fair". What's next - go after Apple for overcharging the iPad?

Sophie said...

The airlines would do us all a favor by charging for carry on bags and making checked bags free.

Not until their records for baggage handling are better. I'm not going to put my camera and laptop in checked baggage. And I am going to keep a change of clothes with me until I get to my destination.

Alex said...

Is Alex a moby?

Nah, I just get into these moods. I'm calmer now.

Alex said...

Sophie - if the airlines broke the baggage handler unions we'd have much better baggage tracking and no more lost/damaged luggage. ONce again, unions screwing Americans.

themightypuck said...

It is the nature of congress to react to these sorts of things. That's why we need checks and balances.

Seven Machos said...

The problem with airlines is that there are only a few of them and the opportunity to collude -- even if it's a sort of passive, tacit collusion -- is too tempting. Moreover, flying is a kind of in-your-face, vivid, memorable experience -- largely, I think, because the fear of a crash the entire time is in the recesses of people's minds.

Thus, Congress will constantly be regulating airlines in stupid ways.

eve said...

Sophie; Simple. Pay the $10 to protect your laptop and camera. Chances are that one bag would be permitted to go for free anyway. It would were I in charge. The fear of late and lost luggage is overblown and another reason for the loads of junk being carried on and a fear not generally shared by real frequent flyers. In any case, the airlines should be able to charge for whatever they please. They charge for "food" now, or at least they charge those who fly in the back.

Seven Machos said...

I do think there is a case to be made for buying a kind of license for carrying on. That's the way airlines should present it.

I will bill all of them later.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

The airlines would do us all a favor by charging for carry on bags and making checked bags free.

What Sophie said.

I'm carrying on my jewelry, camera, computer etc. because I don't want to have my irreplaceable jewelry stolen by the union thugs they have checking the baggage. I don't want to be inconvenienced by having my laptop with business and personal information taken.

There is no handling for carry on items. I'm the one doing the work, why should the airline get a fee.

I can see charging a fee if your carry on stuff is too big or too heavy. But reasonable amounts of personal items, purses etc should be free.

Alex said...

DBQ - I agree small items shouldn't be charged - but that's not the call of the government. Remember stick to the Constitution!

PatHMV said...

I would pay more for jetway checked luggage. Right now, that only happens with regional jets when I have a large carry-on bag. But if I could check it right there at the gate and pick it up at the gate immediately upon landing, I'd happily pay a premium.

Seven... if you don't like the way the airline charges you, fly a different carrier, don't seek legislative control over airline rates.

campy said...

The more government control, the better off we all are.

AJ Lynch said...

The govt has done such a swell job with the CIA intel on Iraq, managing the home mortgage industry, keeping an eye on Wall Street, securing our borders, and guarding our social security money so I say sure let a brilliant guy like Sen.Shumer poke his nose into the airline business.

Seven Machos said...

Nothing unconstitutional about this. It's definitely interstate commerce.

The Constitution does not prevent dumb law and very often enables it.

Lem said...

Is Alex a Moby? Yes.

For the most part business travellers use carry on. Additional fees to businesses are just passed on to consumers.

Block the carry on fees.

edutcher said...

Keep in mind Chuckie is an attention whore. This is just one more way of getting his face in front of the cameras. Problem is, one way or another, it's another intrusion by your friendly Imperial Government in something that's none of their business.

WV "menemi" Gloria Steinbrenner's view of the human race.

Jim Howard said...

Ms Ann, I am astonished that you (a law Professor!) would frame a question in such away as to even admit the possibility of a legitimate law regulating how airlines charge for bags!

The correct question would along the lines of 'What could possibly make even an idiot Senator think that Congress could or should be micromanaging the economy to the extend of fixing baggage pricing policies?'

Ok, take two points off my grade for the redundancy 'idiot Senator'.

Joe said...

Leave the free market be. If airlines charge for baggage, some competitor won't. This is not the responsibility of Congress. In fact, the constant meddling by Congress has driven up prices for just about everything.

But, let's return to econ 101. If airlines can't charge for excessive carry on baggage (most proposals will still allow you to bring on anything that can be put under the seat) they'll raise the prices for everyone.

Someone earlier said carry-ons cost the airline nothing. They do in weight, discomfort to passengers and in moving people on and off the plane allowing it to turn around quicker.

Having said all this, before they start charging fees, I'd suggest that the airlines start enforcing their own damn rules on how big carry ons can be and how many a single person can take on. (I've seen people haul an amazing amount of crap onto planes with businessmen being the worse damn offenders.)

Alex said...

Whatever happened to Maxine Waters' "we're gonna nationalize the oil companies"? Any takers?

Hagar said...

It is interstate commerce, but not connected to any general interest or welfare considerations; it is just poor daily management decisions which is none of Congress' beeswax to interfere with.

Flexo said...

It's called deceptive trade practices.

It's called saying that you are charging one price, but then, when the customer has stopped paying attention, tacking on a bunch of extra fees, jacking up the price far higher than one agreed to at the beginning of the transaction.

It's called double-charging for the same service. The price of the extra weight is already factored into the ticket price.

It's called just another way for those who have a de facto monopoly on long-range travel, such that travelers are at their arbitrary mercy, nickel-and-diming those travelers to death.

David said...

"Why is it always the most annoying people who find champions in Congress?"

Kindred spirits.

Joan said...

There is no cost to the airline.

Not true. Every extra pound adds to the fuel requirements.

I'm sure the bean counters assume an average amount of passenger + luggage (including carry-on) weight for every ticket. To be really "fair", we should know what that is, and be refunded when we're under, and have to pay when we're over. For example, for the past 9 years I've been buying tickets for each of my three children. My 13-year-old is the size of an adult now, but my 9 & 11 year olds only weigh about 65 pounds each. When the four of us travel, we only check 3 bags, each well below the 50 pound limit. We're paying for the seat space, but we're also saving the airlines fuel. I can easily imagine a cargo/weight exchange system being developed by airline passengers, wherein we could sell off some of our weight allowance to passengers who really need it.

Never gonna happen.

themightypuck said...

@Joe. I wonder why it is so hard for airlines to enforce their rules about carryon size. They can also be pretty capricious. Being forced to check a bag that you use precisely because it fits under the seat in front of you is annoying.

Still, this is an area where the market is going to do better than congress. All the airlines are doing is experimenting with different ways to incentivize behavior. Some fees (like many bank fees) don't really feed into peoples price calculations but carryon fees surely would. Statements like "it had always been free" exhibit a massive misunderstanding of what free means.

Darcy said...

They should be able to charge whatever they want.

I was kind of happy when I heard this. I usually take a carry on bag, but if charging will reduce the number of people taking forever to board and then get off the plane, I'll be grateful. It's always annoying.

I'll bet it's the people who act like no one is waiting for them while taking forever to stow their carry on items or retrieve them afterward who are looking to Congress to put a stop to this. Creeps. ;-)

rhhardin said...

Bag sharing ought to take off.

That's where unrelated passengers combine carry-ons into one bag.

campy said...

When the government sets the rules, everything's always fair for everybody.

lucid said...

Absolutely AMAZING!!

The Congress of the United States is going to become involved in the details of how a private company charges for their services, outlawing some charges and permitting others.

This is the problem when you shift from a free market to a centralized plotical authority. All decisions become political and it is just a matter of who has the most political clout.

This is the same route that everything takes in a society that chooses centralized government control and an authoritarian central planner over free markets and the mechanisms of individual choice.

Joe said...

One more thing: you want deceptive practices, how about all the damn fees that keep getting added by the government? I'm not opposed to them--quite to the contrary; if you can't pay for your damn airport with fees then the government shouldn't be ponying up extra money--but despise how they nickle and dime the fees like with your phone and other utility bills (and it's not just the feds; I "love" how my gas bill has two city fees and sales tax.)

AJ Lynch said...


paul a'barge said...

Right now, the checked baggage fee has cost-conscious travelers dragging more bags on board.

oh yes. what stupidity.

vnjagvet said...

This activity reminds me of the old CAB, which, until the late seventies, microregulated fares and schedules of the AL industry. It resulted a cost plus fare system which was extremely expensive to the consume

If you don't believe me, check the history of the CAB. You will find the more the government interferes with the market, the worse it gets for the traveling public.

WV -trums -- "for the trummy?"

campy said...

Of course, the government only makes things fair when Democrats are running it. When Rethuglicans run things, they tilt the playing field to favor rich white males like themselves.

american girl in italy said...

"Why is it always the most annoying people who find champions in Congress?"

Because the people in Congress are those annoying people.

Shahid said...

As Flexo suggests, this is really about fair dealing, and appropriate incentives.

On the fair dealing side, the real mess you have with checked baggage fees and weight limits makes it a harder for consumers to do apples to apples comparisons if they want to price compare, and if they happened to forget the price structure for a particular carrier, it's an additional $25 to $50 for them to get on the plane.

Airlines of course would prefer consumers not to price compare at all, so this works for them.

On the appropriate incentives side, the tax structure encourages the airlines to do this. These fees should not be taxed preferentially with respect to the actual fares to avoid giving airlines an additional incentive to hide the fees until later.

While I do have a problem with Congress telling airlines whether they can charge the fees in the first place, I do believe Congress/FAA does have a role in ensuring transparent pricing as well as consistent taxation.

Charlie Martin said...

This question, at least, is easy: by objecting to it and promising hearings, Chuck Shumer gets on TV again. That's all that's wrong with it from a legal point of view.

Now, practically, this is just a way of raising ticket prices without having it show up to Travelocity and the like; I suspect, however, that the price-finding algorithms will rapidly adapt if they haven't already.

The other interesting effect will be that it will get to be much cheaper and easier to go by Walmart after arrival, and buy socks, underwear, a clean shirt, and toiletries, instead of dealing with the luggage issue at all. For longer trips, people will simply FedEx a suitcase to the destination.

Golden West said...

I may be mistaken, but I believe that Congress is involving itself because tickets are taxed, whereas fees on baggage are not. If the airlines are able to keep their ticket prices down and collect more in fees, less tax money goes Washington.

k*thy said...

Specific to the topic of luggage fees, I'd side with Joan. Charge us by weight.

Check-in procedures cost, yeah, I guess the fees should be there. I'll always pay to take my computer, toothbrush and underwear...

As for the "Why is it always the most annoying people". Funny that. Stupid, stupid people, mumble, mumble. Rassafrassa...(lol)

Adam said...

I like the idea of a fee for carry-on bags, for several reasons. 1) Because I hate the pre-boarding jockeying for position that is precipitated by the scarcity of space in the overhead bins when everyone's trying to carry on all their stuff. 2) Because I'd rather carry my horn than check it, and I'm willing to pay to make sure that there's cabin space for it. 3) Passengers who are waiting for their bags in the claim area aren't delaying the departure of the flight the way that people trying to squeeze all their stuff into the overhead bins do.

Now if the airlines could only find a way to charge people for incessant gabbing with seatmates who want some quiet time....

Tony & Cindy said...

At first, I thought this was a terrible idea. Then, I thought about my last flying experience.

We were flying to Vegas (via Dallas), and our flight to Dallas was late. We brought only carry-ons, and had to rush to the other gate where they held the plane for us for an extra 15 minutes. By the time we got on the plane, there was very little space left in the overheads.

Four rows down from our seats, I found just enough room to put our two bags, but I had to remove a giant cowboy hat from the overhead to do it. The woman who owned the hat (and wasn't wearing any other hat to begin with) actually got an attitude with me because I dared ask her to either wear or hold on to her hat (it was a lousy 2 hour flight to Vegas).

If a $45 fee keeps people from stealing extra space in the overheads for vanity items such as cowboy hats, it will have been worth it.

tw: Dignesse - digressing from finesse? (Kinda how I felt I'd be dealing with that woman with the hat).

Paddy O. said...

The funniest thing to me about all these added charges and loss of services over the last many years is that Southwest has gone from being the no-frills airline to being the most frills airline, all while not changing in the least.

Paddy O. said...

I think someone should start an unregulated airline called Riskit.

No security. No frills. No flight attendants. No seats.

You just walk on and hold in your lap anything you want.

They can't land at airports so they buy a strip of land near every major city and land there. If weather is bad they just land anyhow or fly to wherever the weather isn't bad.

Bruce Hayden said...

I travel a bit, 50-75 segments a year. And check bags about half the time. I use the opposite logic that my parents did - they wouldn't check if there were more than one segment in a trip, whereas that is where I will most likely check my bags. But they were mostly flying international, and I fly mostly in the western end of this country.

I will admit that I am checking bags less on airlines that charge for it. Southwest doesn't, and does have good baggage handling, so I often check my bags there, but rarely when they are charging for it. I have a trip on United to D.C. this week, and am going to check baggage for the first time there in over a year.

Keep that in mind, that Southwest does not charge for checking baggage. If they fly where you want to go, with only a hop or two, I think they are the best bet. Compared to most other airlines, they just don't gouge.

The hilarity of this whole thing is that one big reason that so many people try to take their bags on-board is because of the charge for checking baggage.

I should add that as a fairly frequent flier, I rarely have problems getting two bags with rollers on-board as carry-on luggage. Even SWA provides priority, after you hit 32 flights (not segments, but destination to destination) a year. Or, you can buy it, usually for $15 a flight over their full fares (plus you get extra credits and a drink for that $15).

Finally, I would suspect that the reason that Congress is jumping in here is that they are mostly frequent fliers, much of it between D.C. and their home district (unless you are Speaker Pelosi, who, for at least another 7-9 months gets use of an AF jet). I would suspect that most of them routinely do not check bags. So, they are jumping on this because they would be personally affected by it.

Lucius said...

In this case, the reason is that the specific company involved is using a loophole in the tax code. The government gets a percentage of the boarding pass as tax, but has no claim on assessed fees.

So this company is charging a minimal cost for the boarding pass (under $20 in many cases) and collecting the rest of their cost + profit as fees.

Of course, the company still has to pay corperate income tax, but Uncle Sugar wants more than one bite at the apple.

kcom said...

I've voted with my pocket book and pretty much drive everywhere now. I haven't given a dime to an airline in quite awhile. I think that's the appropriate response.

And patronize airlines that give good service, i.e. those that don't try to nickel and dime their customers. Or show up naked and luggageless and ask them, "What are you going to charge me for now? The tray table is still free, right?"

Or take Greyhound or Amtrak. They don't charge you to travel with stuff you own and need while you're away from home. Honestly, isn't that part of travel? Charge the people who overdo it with luggage, but leave the rest of us alone (any trip should reasonably include one bag).

But most of all, leave the government entirely out of it.

Peter V. Bella said...

It should be illegal because politicians say so. They know best.

Effing paternal tyrants!

JAL said...

I have just flown internationally and continentally in the last month.

I saw more than one occasion where passengers were told they had too many bags and had to combine or leave something behind. They were strict about the limit -- a carry on and one other -- laptop case, briefcase, purse...

Usual suspects -- women ... they would have a roller bag, a computer, and a purse slung over their shoulders.

Now ... the directions are clear at the airport that handbags / purses are counted, but hey ... for women it's an extension of their bodies, or something.

JAL said...

It's a stupid idea to charge. It's a stupider idea for Congresss to think they should regulate it.

I really don't need the feds to take care of me like this. I can figure it out myself, what to do.

And charging me for a carry on? I'll fly the best deal I can find for what I need. I'm an adult. (More leg room in coach, $15 a bag? Mmmmmm....)

And so where is the right not to be charged in the Constitution? Or is this another perversion of the "commerce clause?"

7Machos has it -- our carry ons are our responsibility (except when they fly us in planes too small to handle them ... even then we do the hauling to the plane and off...)

But the bottom line is I am absolutely certain the the Congress of the United States of America should save their time and energy for more important tasks.

If they are so concerned about saving people money they should stay home and do nothing. They are costing us far more than the airlines' carry on bag fee.

amba said...

I just flew twice within four days and was thinking to myself that they ought to ban those big rolling carry-ons, or at least charge for them. Both boarding and disembarking are incredibly slowed down by people's struggles to hoist those things in and out of the overhead bins, and you trip over them as you attempt to get to or from your seat. You wonder why people make such a fetish of their stuff, especially when, as I do, you make a practice of traveling light. I was going to Florida for a few days. I stuffed a few pairs of shorts and T-shirts and some underwear and a book into a small backpack with my laptop. That was the extent of my luggage.

Robert said...

Somebody will just design a jacket with a bunch of enormous pockets.

The game pouches inside my Barbour coat alone could replace the average carrion bag.

(haha. see what I did there?)

amba said...

the directions are clear at the airport that handbags / purses are counted, but hey ... for women it's an extension of their bodies, or something.

LOL. So true. Now Freud would (did) say it's a womb or vagina symbol. I think something else: I think we have a collective muscle memory of our 100,000 years as gatherers with a carrying bag.

Robert said...

Also, I'm sure Mr. Unintended consequence will rear his head.

"Well, if I have to check a bag, I might as well bring the 50lb limit instead of the 20lbs I've been carrying on."

Cedarford said...

Generally, the objection is creeping spread of new prices, fees, taxes that are based on selling the 1st and second round based on pretensions that consumers and citizens would be affected much of they chamge their behaviors.
Tax on hard liquor (wine and beer are safe! So drink more good beer or nice California wines) soon are modified with a new tax on beer and wine (hey, you already pay for distilled beverages!) which then go to a new "temporary sin tax on all three" to balance the budget one year - but the new beverage tax stays. Then a new tax is proposed for "helping the innocent victims of drunk drivers" - but no such fund is ever created. Then comes a new "Green-friendly" bottle tax, which starts with booze, then goes to soda, now proposed for "environmentally unfriendly" water and juice and glass baby food containers - All headed to "general fund" repositories at the State and Fed level where no doubt the public employee unions and connected lawyers running the show will divvy it all up wisely.

Airlines are playing the same game. Advertise new fees as not onerous if people change their behavior, then close out those cost savings behaviors one by one. Ground and try to legitimize new fee increases as government-endorsed. "will make us all SAFER!" prattle.

Cedarford said...

Joe - "Leave the free market be. If airlines charge for baggage, some competitor won't. This is not the responsibility of Congress."

America has long since passed from being small self-reliant towns with multiple competitors in each goods and services area - to interstate giants that have 5-12 organizations controlling what consumers can choose.
It is too easy for small groups to create defacto procing and fee standards and impose them on consumers that have no choice but to pay...That is why we have regulation if interstate commerce - a long history of common people screwed by cabals, monopolies, trade groups doing "legal" monopoly work.

Joe - "Someone earlier said carry-ons cost the airline nothing. They do in weight, discomfort to passengers and in moving people on and off the plane allowing it to turn around quicker."

No, storage space in the cabin is a fixed design cost. Unless they wanted to allocate the space underneath the seats for paying fare babies to be stuffed into, and bodies to be packed into overhead compartments, which they can't because of safety reasons.

The design is actually based on idustry specifying a cubic foot and weight allocation for carry-on items per passanger.

Weight of carryon baggage, because it is low bulk and lightweight, relatively speaking - does not displace revenue from additional cargo items, does not add weight like multi-ton cargo items. Does not add significantly to fuel costs.
Nor does the embarkation or debarkaton of passengers over "carry-ons" cause any delay.

JAL said...

@ amba I stuffed a few pairs of shorts and T-shirts and some underwear and a book into a small backpack with my laptop.

Good for you.

What of the person who is travelling on business, has to give a presentation, or is going to be away for longer than a few pairs of shorts and some underwear?

I travel light, and try not to check baggage unless I have to, for $ and time reasons. On a trip of a couple days I can make do with a carry on "overnight" bag even when having to look professional. The backpack doesn't do it for serious life.

As for the complaint about those "big" roller bags ... You're kidding, right? The few "big" ones are those probably that wouldn't fit in the sizer (which no one uses) because they are expandable.

And if it take a few extra seconds for someone to get their bag in or out ... chill. Same thing for the Professor who grumbles about all those people who make life difficult for her as she goes through security because they have to have their bags examined. (They x-ray most of them and pull the odd one out for hand searching.) So what are you going to do on the other side? Sit in the waiting area again for another half hour?

Direct your complaints to the local al-Queda consulate.

Darcy said...

AJ!! :)

Seven Machos said...

This is an interesting thread. I think, upon reflection, that the fee for checked bags is a big problem.

I rarely, rarely check a bag, even internationally. I know when I travel in groups, there's always one or two people who do bring a lot of luggage. Like, way too much.

If these people are also trying to avoid paying all or some fees for checking bags and trying to carry a bunch of that shit onto planes, you can see how that's a problem for airlines in terms of taking off on time and customer satisfaction.

However, if my theory is right, the problem comes from the charge for bags in the first place -- a scummy, lowlife move by scummy, lowlife companies. In this case, airlines have brought congressional oversight upon themselves.

amba said...

What of the person who is travelling on business, has to give a presentation,

If they are traveling on business for a company, checking a bag or bags ought to be part of their per diem. If they are traveling for their own small business or consulting business, the bag check fee is probably a tax deductible expense.

Also, last I heard you could hang a suit bag in the airplane's forward closet. I don't know if that's long gone.

There is an art of traveling light (albeit not so light as my few days in FL) even for "serious life." Besides, taking that little bit of respite from caregiving my helpless, neurologically ill 82-year-old husband to visit my 92- and 86-year-old parents felt serious enough to me.

wv: whingle (how appropriate)

Joe said...

Cedarford, the absolute statement was made that that carryon baggage has no cost. I pointed out that this is wrong; everything on a plane that adds to its weight adds cost. Even if that cost is small, it's still cost.

Furthermore, carrying excess baggage does increase deplaning time, decrease safety and makes it more uncomfortable for other passengers.

Finally, your weird rant about monopoly makes absolutely no sense, but then again neither do half you posts. I'm surprised you didn't blame it on the Jews. Or did you and I missed it?

Clyde said...

I won't fly on any airline that charges for carry-on bags. Period. If they want to charge me what's fair, do it in the base ticket price. Don't nickel-and-dime me for every little thing. Because, quite frankly, I'll tell any airline that does to get stuffed, and patronize one of their competitors. If they all institute it, I'll drive, and tell them to go screw themselves.

HDHouse said...

I fly Southwest 2-3 times a month between Long Island and Florida. Their baggage fee is $0 for checked or carry on. The lines in Ft. Lauderdale particularly are chocked with carry on types...just as is mentioned in the lead in here. Yet it is free to check.

Southwest is a beacon of efficiency in preboarding yet we are almost always late because someone or ten someones want to carry on their life's possessions and then go nuts when they don't fit.

I'm all for this baggage fee for carryons. The more the better. hrrrmph.

Shanna said...

I'm with you. I'd rather people check their bags then lug them everywhere.

Congress is full of idiots, who want to regulate Every. Damn. Thing.

Bryan C said...

Carry-on-baggage is a right too precious to be bartered away for a few pennies! And thus the option for cost-conscious customers to save money by checking their baggage is taken away, general fees or ticket prices will be raised instead, and everyone will pay more.

Like any good parent, if someone in the government objects to a choice you might make then that option must be removed. Choice is bad.

bagoh20 said...

Please stop mentioning Southwest. Yes, they don't charge for bags, they give great service, let you reuse money paid for flights you simply never showed up for. Give free flights for every 8 round trips and are the only airline that knows how to make a profit without taxpayers bailing them out. But I love them and don't want all the rest of you crowding me out. If I see any of you newbies on there, I will make your trip a living hell. So don't even think about flying my airline.

BTW, If you have a larger vehicle as I do (14 MPG), flying is cheaper than driving it. Not to mention the 8 to 1 savings in travel time.

raf said...

Why is it always the most annoying people who find champions in Congress?

That is what congress if for.

wv: supit. A more genteel epithet than "eat it."

jrberg3 said...

bat said: "BTW, If you have a larger vehicle as I do (14 MPG), flying is cheaper than driving it. Not to mention the 8 to 1 savings in travel time."

Naturally, that is for you and you alone. try the same argument with a family of four. Cheaper goes out the window and your estimation of travel time is way off. Maybe its 8 to 1 if you live near a major hub, are flying non-stop over a long distance, otherwise it's not as much as you think.

I like flying, but I hate airlines and airports. The extra fees now for luggage, headsets, food and etc. have pushed me to drive now more than ever.

Of course, this is not the business of Congress. Airlines should be free to charge for whatever they want, just as we are all free to choose not to fly them.

Jeremy said...

Try driving across country and see how the expense of driving versus flying stacks up.

Between gas, lodging, food, time and any unforeseen problems, flying is impossible to beat.

Flying costs less today that it did 20 years ago.

Eric said...

I have no problem with airlines charging fees for whatever they want. But they should be spelling that out up front when you buy the ticket. The government's interest here is in making sure consumers can do comparison shopping when they book a flight.

bagoh20 said...

"Flying costs less today that it did 20 years ago."

Jeremy discovers deregulation.