(Paul Jacob) – Poor Chuck Schumer. A vendor now charges for a service that it didn’t previously charge separately. So the senator wants to outlaw this.
“Airline passengers have always had the right to bring a carry-on bag” without separate fees, Schumer fumes. It’s a “slap in the face to travelers” that some airlines now consider charging for carry-on bags, a policy already in place at Spirit Airlines.
Horrors! The ugly spectacle of businessmen acting as if they . . . have the right to run their businesses freely, not merely as lackeys of congressional overseers.
Spirit, which is simultaneously reducing base ticket prices, says airplanes will empty faster if there’s less luggage looming overhead. I don’t like paying the fees, but airlines do have costs.
And competition. An airline that kept heaping up fees until it was charging $1,800 per ticket wouldn’t get off the ground. Not if another airline was charging far less for the same journey.
The proper response to terms of trade that one dislikes is to complain to the vendor, take one’s business elsewhere, or both — not to decry any scrap of autonomy as a “loophole” in a regulatory regime not yet exhaustively draconian.
Yes, let airlines charge for carry-ons. And let Schumer take the bus to and from DC. This will give him less time to pursue phony-baloney crusades.
(Mr. Jacob is president of Citizens in Charge)