Airline Fees None of Schumer's Business
It's a free market, so politicians should butt out
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2010 12:10 PM CDT
Passengers wait to check in at Logan International Airport in Boston.   (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

(Newser) – Spirit Airlines imposes a fee for carry-on bags, and suddenly it's Public Enemy No. 1 on Capitol Hill. Amid the outrage, Jeff Jacoby would like to remind the government (and he's looking at you Chuck Schumer and Ray LaHood) that Spirit is a private company fighting for its life in a fiercely competitive market. "Airlines should be able to charge what they think the market will bear, free of governmental meddling," he writes at the Boston Globe.

If Schumer is worried about air travelers getting ripped off, he should look at the countless federal taxes and fees on plane tickets. And LaHood has held government jobs all his life, precisely why he shouldn't be dictating business plans for the private sector. Spirit’s fee "may well strike people as outrageous,'" writes Jacoby. "But for Washington to bully the airline into rescinding its fee for no better reason than that some passengers don’t like it would be a greater outrage by far."