Five major airlines have agreed not to follow Spirit Airlines in instituting fees for carry-on luggage, and New York Sen. Charles Schumer said he was hopeful other carriers would follow suit.
Schumer said Sunday that he had received commitments from American, Delta, JetBlue, United and US Air. He had reached out to the companies’ CEOs after Spirit Airlines recently announced it would start charging up to $45 each way for passengers who bring a bag on board and put it in the overhead compartment.
“This is a giant step forward in our effort to make sure you can take a carry-on bag when you fly without being charged,” Schumer told The Associated Press.
Since 2008, fliers have had to deal with charges for everything from food to checked luggage. But the carry-on fee, Schumer said, “was a step over the line.”
The senator said he hoped other carriers would follow suit, and he planned to meet with Spirit Airlines leadership in the coming week.
The CEOs he did speak to were responsive to his concerns, Schumer said.
“It was not a hard conversation,” he said. “They understood this would be a very bad move.”
Schumer and five other Democratic senators – Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Ben Cardin of Maryland, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey – are supporting legislation that would tax airlines if they charged carry-on fees.
Schumer said the legislation would move forward until it becomes clear that no airline will institute the charges.