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."

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
divetrader
Apr 19, 2010 12:05 PM CDT
I bought tickets to fly on Spirit before they announced their carry on fees. I fly in May before the fees kick in so I will be carrying on my luggage. However, my experience with this airline by way of online and phone service has been the most frustrating thing. I called them with an issue I had immediately after buying my tickets online. And even though I discovered the issue immediately, they would not let me cancel the tickets without charging me a $100.00 fee. I have not run into this type of situation with any other business. I have always been able to cancel something if I had issues or changed my mind within a certain time period. Spirit couldn't give a shit. They were only about the almighty dollar and not about working with me.
tom001
Apr 19, 2010 6:26 AM CDT
Look want to do something Mr. Schumer how about bring the cell phone industry in to the 21 Century! Almost everywhere else in the world is GSM and the phones are not provider lock!
tom001
Apr 19, 2010 4:55 AM CDT
If he wants to do anything take on the cell phone companies! In most other areas of the world you are free to choose any carrier that provides service to the area were you are at and you do not need to buy a diffrent phone either! Almost all the phones yopu buy outside of the US are GSM and all you need to do is change out the little sim card inside the phone. Your new phone number is on the card number portabilty is a joke as you have to wait for the old company to release it before your new co. can set it up on their system can take 2 to 3 weeks to get that done!