Airlines’ carry-on bag plan draws ire
A proposal by an airline trade group to create a smaller standard size for carry-on bags has drawn the ire of lawmakers.
“Consumers are tired of being squeezed — physically and fiscally — by airlines,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), who introduced a bill Monday to prevent airlines from adopting the smaller size proposed by the International Air Transport Assn.
The trade group floated the idea for a carry-on standard that is roughly 21% smaller than the limit imposed by most major U.S. carriers.
The reason, according to the group, is to ensure that everyone on a plane has enough room in the overhead bins for luggage.
Airline critics say travelers are packing more in carry-on bags to avoid paying for the checked-bag fees that many carriers began adopting in 2008.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) sent a letter Tuesday, co-signed by five other senators, to 10 major U.S. airlines, urging them not to adopt the smaller size.
But if airlines do adopt the new size, Menendez and his colleagues asked the airlines to eliminate checked-baggage fees.
The letter was signed by Sens. Charles Schumer (DN.Y.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Amy Klobuchar (DMinn.), Jeffrey Merkley (D-Ore.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.). The airlines have yet to respond.