2 Senators Call for Congress to Limit Airline Baggage Fees

Sep 1, 2018

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‘Tis the season for airlines to increase their checked baggage fees. Who knew?

Since the end of August, four airlines — including United and JetBlue — have increased the cost to check a bag to about $30. Now, two US senators are calling on Congress to crack down on airlines implementing what the senators consider to be exorbitant fees.

US senators Edward Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) have filed legislation that they say would address the problem of airlines raising fees for passengers. According to The Associated Press, the bill would direct the Federal Aviation Administration to set standards for whether baggage, seat selection, same-day changes and other fees are reasonable and proportional to the cost of services provided.

Markey and Blumenthal filed the legislation just days after several airlines increased the amount they’re charging for passengers to check bags. And, in JetBlue’s case, not only is the airline increasing the amount you’ll have to pay to check your bags (from $25 to $30 for the first bag), but it’s also raising fees in a number of other areas. For example, it’s raising the pet fee from $100 to $125, as well as the change and cancellation fees — from $75 to $200, depending on the type of ticket.

Most recently, on Friday, United Airlines became the first legacy US carrier to follow JetBlue’s lead and increase the amount it charges passengers to check their first bag to $30. It remains yet to be seen if other US airlines, such as American and Delta, will follow suit.

In 2016, Markey and Blumenthal asked 12 airlines to drop their checked-bag fees in summer 2016, when long security lines plagued airports across the country. The reasoning being that checked-bag fees were slowing down security lines.

Both Markey and Blumenthal sit on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The duo says that higher fees for checking bags could come as a shock to passengers traveling this Labor Day weekend.

Featured image by Thomas Barwick / Getty Images.

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