Landrieu introduces bill to stop fees for carry-on bags

The following is a news release from the office of Senator Mary Landrieu:

WASHINGTON – United States Senators Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., have introduced a bill (S. 3195) that would effectively prohibit airlines from charging fees for carry-on luggage and would require advanced disclosure of often higher fees for specialty checked items, such as firearms.

The bill is based on an amendment the two senators proposed last month to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization bill. However, that amendment was blocked by Republicans from becoming part of the legislation that ultimately passed the Senate.

"Airlines' insistence on nickel-and-diming the traveling public must be stopped short of imposing fees for carry-on luggage," Senator Landrieu said. "Most air travelers carry on the most essential items like baby formula, medication, or food and water for long flights. While I understand the airline industry's need to generate new revenue during this economic recession, charging for carry-on bags is over the line."

The Free of Fees for Carry-On Act preserves the airlines' right to determine what is classified as carry-on baggage and maintains their right to enforce carry-on baggage rules on weight, size, and number of carry-on bags per passenger.

The bill:

(1) prohibits each air carrier operating in the United States from charging any fees for carry-on baggage that falls within the restrictions imposed by the air carrier with respect to the weight, size, or number of bags;

(2) requires each such air carrier to make detailed information about restrictions with respect to the weight, size, and number of carry-on baggage available to passengers before they arrive at the airport for a scheduled departure on the air carrier; and

(3) requires each such air carrier to make available to the public and to the Secretary a list of all passenger fees and charges (other than airfare) that may be imposed by the air carrier, including fees for—

  • checked baggage or oversized or heavy baggage, including specialty items such as bicycles, skis, and firearms;
  • meals, beverages, or other refreshments;
  • seats in exit rows, seats with additional space, or other preferred seats in any given class of travel; and
  • purchasing tickets from an airline ticket agent or a travel agency.