When he’s not busy calling flight attendants bitches because they want him to follow the federally mandated regulations, Senator Chuck Schumer seems to be on a crusade to stop fees for carry-on bags. Part of the reason for this seems to be that airlines like Spirit are basically getting a tax “break,” because they’re not taxed on items that aren’t a “necessary” part of air travel. Fine, declare it a necessary part of air travel, but that won’t stop the airlines, at least in theory.
But instead of legislation, Senator Schumer is going around asking for a pledge from the airlines not to charge for carry-on bags. Now, I don’t know about you guys, but this sounds to me like a “pledge” that’s as significant as the one you make in your high school cafeteria not to ever drink or do drugs, mostly so you can get that nifty free pen you get for signing. Or for that matter, it sounds about as sincere as Briston Palin’s pledge of abstinence till marriage.
Let me be clear, I don’t want airlines to charge for carry-on bags, but not because it shouldn’t be allowed. I just don’t think it’s a smart business decision. And Chuck Schumer is obviously doing all of this to look like the good guy. There’s just no substance behind what he’s saying.
“I am pleased some of the major carriers have responded to our efforts and have agreed not to charge for something that has always been free.”
And how exactly do you decide what should or shouldn’t be charged for? The airlines didn’t used to charge for checked bags. Or standby. Or snacks. Or pillows. Or blankets. Or headsets. Or aisle seats. Or… well, you get the point.
Either way, I don’t see any other airlines matching. And if they did, some stupid pledge isn’t going to change that. I guess my main issue is that Continental and Southwest are absent from the list of airlines that have “pledged.” They’re basically being painted as the bad guys, when I’m betting they have no intention of charging for carry-on bags.