Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Senator Cardin vs Spirit Airlines

Cardin testifying before the U.S. House Ways a...Image via Wikipedia
A day or so ago, Spirit Airlines announced that they were going to start charging passengers for carry on bags.  Today, one of my Senators (I use the term my Senator only in that he is from my state, I did not vote for him), Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced legislation with Mary Landrieu of the Lousianna Purchase that would prohibit airlines from charging for carry on bags.  The Senators argue that many passengers carry life essential items in their carry on bags and should not have to pay to bring those items on board.

Ever since the airlines started charging passengers for checked baggage, more and more people are using carry on bags in lieu of checking bags. As such, it is harder and harder to find space in the overhead compartments of the aircraft.  This is the logic that Spirit is using in implementing this new policy.  Personally I have always tried to pack light and bring a carry on bag rather than checking a bag.

I agree with Senator Landrieu that people should not have to pay a fee to carry on items that are vital to their personal health and well being.  In addition, I would not want to have to pay for bringing a carry on bag aboard.  Having said that, I am not sure how I feel about the Senate taking up this type of legislation.  Is this really what we want our federal government involved in?  I usually prefer to let people vote with their wallets and let the marketplace decide the outcome. A case in point would be to look at the success of Southwest Airlines and their no bag fees compared to all the other airlines. The market can work.    
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