Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) have introduced a bill (S. 3195) that would effectively prohibit airlines from charging fees for carry-on luggage. It also would require advanced disclosure of special, often higher fees for specialty-checked items.
Charges for carry-on bags has drawn legislative fire in both the House and Senate.
The Senate bill is based on an amendment the two senators proposed last month to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill that was blocked by the minority from being accepted into the Manager's Amendment.
“Unlike heavy suitcases, that belong down in an aircraft's hold, carry-on luggage is where people keep items essential to their health, work, and safety like laptop computers, medications, food to eat on the plane, baby formula, eye glasses and other essentials that need to be kept close at hand. Carry-on items are important for the safety and health of the air traveling public. These are personal items that airline passengers should not be charged to keep with them in the cabin,” Cardin said in a statement.
“Last month, on the floor of the Senate, I said that while 'it may seem improbable now that airlines would charge passengers for carry-on luggage, we cannot rule out that these fees could never come about in the future.' That day in the future came sooner than most of us expected. I understand that at this point only one airline has announced plans to charge for carry-on item fees, but we cannot allow these flood gates to open,” Cardin said.