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Passenger Rights Group Blasts Airline Fee Announcement

April 19, 2010 by  

Passenger rights group blasts airline fee announcement As airlines are trying to limit their financial losses by imposing new fees, consumer advocates are loudly criticizing these ideas as examples of these businesses trampling on travelers’ rights.

Earlier this month, discount carrier Spirit Airlines stirred controversy by announcing that it would charge passengers for carry-on luggage stowed in overhead bins. This caused the organization called to demand that Congress ban such practices permanently.

Its president and founder, Kate Hanni, has sought to expose airlines’ motivations behind such decisions by saying that the United States has become known as the "Land of the Fee" when it comes to air travel. She added that this is because fees are treated differently than other revenue in terms of the taxes airlines have to pay to fund the national aviation system.

"So not only do these latest gimmicks harm passengers, they are shortchanging all of us by skirting [the airlines'] responsibility to help maintain and upgrade our nation’s aviation infrastructure," Hanni stressed.

In a related development, European carrier Ryanair said it will begin charging passengers for in-flight bathroom use, and also urged Congress to prohibit U.S. carriers from doing this same.ADNFCR-1961-ID-19726941-ADNFCR

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  • macIII

    “Rights”? Where do these “rights” come from? They have paytoilets in airports and other stations so why are you suprosed at this move. As to the baggage fees, you have the right to not pay them and take a bus or cruise ship. There are no “rights” granted you to get free anything in this country. It’s called capitalism and free enterprise. If you don’t like what a company is charging, don’t but it.

    • http://aol wiley

      I agree! Obese, or 400# and over, people sitting in the middle seat, rolling all over the 2 other seats SUCK! along with their stench. they should br made to pay for 2 seats, rather than make 2 other peoples trips misserable!

  • bbstacker

    “So not only do these latest gimmicks harm passengers, they are shortchanging all of us by skirting [the airlines'] responsibility to help maintain and upgrade our nation’s aviation infrastructure,” Hanni stressed.

    The last time I checked the airlines are private enterprise that serve the public. We make the choice of what airlines we fly on, and the free market will prevail as long as we keep the government out of business. In the bigger picture, it costs fuel to get any weight off the ground. Some passengers travel light, and others push everything to the limit, and still complain about the costs associated with getting their overweight baggage to their destination. A few years ago the airlines began calculating the fuel load to get between destinations–it costs fuel to fly the fuel, too!–and began trimming every available pound to maximize the very slim profit margin. There is no FREE LUNCH…never was, never will be.

  • bbstacker

    “So not only do these latest gimmicks harm passengers, they are shortchanging all of us by skirting [the airlines'] responsibility to help maintain and upgrade our nation’s aviation infrastructure,” Hanni stressed.

    and, I still forgot to address this nonsense! Harm? What harm is paying to get your stuff from airport A to airport B. You tried mailing/shipping something for FREE lately? You’ll be lucky to get a call to come pick up your FREE unshipped stuff. Where is there any correlation between airlines charging for lifting your stuff 30,000 feet at 500 mph and “skirting” the airlines responsibility for infrastructure? The airlines pay property taxes wherever they occupy space, landing fees, fuel taxes, payroll taxes, taxes on inventory, accommodation taxes for aircrews, and still have to put up with whiners who can’t understand that their “rights” pretty much are in the trunk of their car in remote parking when they set their entitlement-class foot on that aircraft. Get a clue people. The only “right” the flying public has, in reality, is the right to choose another mode of transportation. Show me your “right” to free gas to drive to your destination!

    • Jim Wright

      Maybe you are one of the people who has no idea how the aviation system works, but there is an Air Traffic Control system and Navigation system that cost money to establish, maintain, and modernize ans well as airport facilities such as runways act. The airlines have for years tried to evade paying for this system even though it was established for them. Military aviation pays through a government contribution, the airlines pay through a ticket tax and general aviation pays through fuel taxes. The airlines have for years tried to dump their portion of the cost on general aviation and the government.

      By the way, as long as transport of you baggage was incidental to your travel your baggage was just that baggage, now that they want a separate fee it become freight and falls under different laws when they loose, mistreat, or steal from it.

  • Michelle

    They can add fees all they want but you don’t have to pay them. Not all airlines have bought into the fees for checked luggage, so if we fly anywhere we choose those that don’t charge the fees. The same with hold true with these other fees. We have also stopped traveling and when we do we drive. The choice is yours. But that is personal travel.

    They also stated overhead bins – so what happens if I put the carry on under the seat. Are they also going to charge to bring a purse, laptop computer, diaper bag? Unfortunately many businesses will end up paying these additional fees as they must travel – and guess who ends up paying the increase costs – we do.

    When you raise prices people may choose other options. When you lose business you end up in a downward spiral – you still have costs to cover and now less business to pay those costs. So you raise prices even more and it continues – right into bankruptcy. How many airlines will the taxpayers be bailing out shortly?

  • Da Norseman

    As this became the butt of jokes on Alaska Airlines commercials back in the 1980s, no one back then predicted airlines would start charging for additional baggage or for some airlines start charging for lavatory use, Southwest Airlines took advantage of this by ridiculing their competitors on their ads who had taken such steps to add baggage fees for passengers holding economy class tickets, which is the reason why Southwest is the only U.S. air carrier thriving.

    The recent news of some air carriers planning to charge for carry on baggage may do more harm than good as they may see a significant drop in the number of passengers – even loyal passengers – who may eventually turn to Southwest Airlines, which has seen increases in the number of passengers, who does not charge for any baggage checked or carry on.

    While the airline industry is foundering due to the continuous rise in taxation imposed by an unreliable government in Washington led by a bunch of greedy politicians who are in it only for the money, increasing number of consumers are getting fed up as the noose continues to tighten up and choke the economy even further.

    Some odd thirty years ago airlines had trouble filling up first and business class seats, which today more and more passengers who frequently travel may find it better to pay extra to fill these seats for luxury rather than having to be seated in those crammed economy class seats and having to pay extra for baggage and service. I would rather pay extra for luxury!!!

    If the bad economy continues in this fashion and the big airlines continue with rising baggage fees and other services, such as in-flight meals, that was once complimentary, who knows? We may see an end to economy class in the future as airlines will struggle to fill up these seats and may end up replacing them with an expansion of first and business class seats throughout the entire aircraft!!!

  • Jim Wright

    The airlines are free to charge whatever fees they desire and the public is free to vote with their feet. I am not in favor of getting the government further involved in regulating their business. Their regulation kept airline ticket fees high enough before regulation was removed that flying was too costly for the average person to use. If you do not like the value for their price go elsewhere or find a different way to travel. I have as little to do with the airline as possible because of their poor customer service, lack of service, and TSA make believe. They are not the only game on the street.

  • James

    It’s time for air-passengers to ask themselves: “Is this trip really necessary, or am I just showing off my new alligator luggage and hair-do? Business meetings can now be conducted over the phone – with sound and picture.


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