Senator Schumer: 5 Airlines Commit To No Carry-On Fees

In the aftermath of Spirit Airlines’ announcement that they’ll be charging up to $45 for carry-on bags, five airlines have pledged that they won’t jump on the fee bandwagon. New York Sen. Charles Schumer said today that American, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, US Airways and JetBlue have told him they won’t start charging for carry-ons.

That’s a big deal, especially as those airlines will most likely report first-quarter losses. Cash flow from add-on fees like food and checked bags counts for about 6.9 percent of total operating revenue for 26 U.S. airlines in 2009.

“We believe it is something that’s important to our customers and they value, and we will continue making that available to them at no charge,” American Airlines spokesman Roger Frizzell said.

As for how long the moratorium on carry-on fees will last, that’s still up in the air. (Ha, get it?)

Schumer also wants to get his hooks into Spirit Airlines this week. However Ben Baldanza, Spirit’s CEO and president, loves justifying the carry-on fee, and seems pretty set on it.

“Our plan was never predicated on anyone matching us,” Baldanza said. “The fact that other people are saying they won’t has never changed our view that this is right.”

5 airlines won’t charge for carryons, senator says [Associated Press]