Lawmaker Urges Airlines To Drop Holiday Baggage Surcharges

With two airlines set to show their bah humbug by increasing baggage fees just in time for the holidays, one lawmaker is asking them to rethink that plan, you know, in the spirit of the season and all. 

Florida Senator Bill Nelson urged Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and other U.S. carriers to put aside any plans to increase checked-bag fees during the peak holiday travel time.

Earlier this week, Consumerist reported that both Spirit and Frontier planned to add surcharges to checked and, in Frontier’s case, carry-on bag fees.

For Spirit the increase will be $2 for both legs of a flight, while Frontier’s extra charge varies between an additional $5 to $10.

“These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families,” Nelson wrote. “If your company does plan to impose holiday surcharges, I request that you rescind those plans immediately.”

In the letter, Nelson points to a Commerce Committee report released in August that found ancillary fees, such as change, cancellation and baggage fees, often keep consumers in the dark about the true cost of air travel.

“The report made a number of recommendations, including one requiring ancillary fees to have a clear connection between the cost incurred by the airline and the fee charged,” he writes.

Nelson says he hopes to include the fee recommendations in legislation reauthorizing the Federal Aviation Administration next year.

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