Air­lines’ carry-on bag plan draws ire

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - By Hugo Martin hugo.martin@latimes.com

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.

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