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Begich Sponsors Bill Opposing Airline Carry-on Fees


“What’s next, pay toilets?” Senator asks

In an effort to protect Alaskans from another burdensome fee associated with commercial airlines, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich is an original co-sponsor of the Block Airlines’ Gratuitous Fees (BAG) Act of 2010.  The legislation was prompted by an airline’s announcement last week that it would charge passengers up to $45 for carry-on baggage.

“What’s next, pay toilets on airplanes?” Begich asked in announcing his support for the bill. “We really need to be looking for ways to ease the financial burden for Alaskans and others who fly frequently – not piggyback more and more fees on them each time they travel.”

The BAG Fees Act essentially ends a tax break for airlines on overhead baggage fees. Currently airlines get to keep an entire fee charged for carry-on bags, paying no taxes on services considered “unnecessary” for travelThe bill would designate carry-on baggage as a necessity for air travelers. By closing the tax loophole, airlines would be less likely to want to charge the fee.

“We’re trying to stop this fee before it becomes attractive and popular with many airlines. We know from past experience that once one airline starts to charge a baggage fee, others generally follow suit,” Begich added. “Charging passengers for carry-on baggage really is excessive.”
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