This just in: Five U.S.-based airlines — American, Delta, United, US Airways and JetBlue — have all promised a certain New York senator not to charge their passengers fees for stowing carry-on baggage in the overhead bins on their airplanes.
This comes in the wake of the controversial move by Spirit Airlines to charge passengers up to $45 to bring carry-ons aboard their aircraft, an announcement that was met by something less than wild-eyed enthusiasm by the flying public.
You could argue that these five airlines are simply making a slick public relations move at Spirit’s expense. Or you could call it damage control, trying to stay in what good graces they have left with travelers just before summer comes.
Meanwhile, the cynic in me notes that all five of these airlines operate in Spirit’s air space. Coincidence? Don’t bet on it.
The senator in question, Charles Schumer, D-NY, is sponsoring a bill in Congress to stop this practice, and he’s got five other senators, so far, backing it. He’s going to try to talk Spirit into dropping the fee before the bill becomes law. As to today, though, Spirit isn’t budging.
But even if Congress grounds the carry-on fee, don’t look for the airlines to stop nickel-and-diming you…including the five who took the carry-on pledge today.
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