Airlines are adding extra fees for many services that used to be included in the price of an airfare, and one senator has had enough.
United Airlines' upcoming “Basic Economy” fares, announced last month, offer flight service without the use of the overhead bin (and also without pre-assigned seating). Customers who purchase a Basic Economy fare will only be allowed one carry-on item that can fit under the seat in front of them. Larger bags will need to be checked in for a fee.
Senator Chuck Schumer is urging the airline to drop the policy.
“The overhead bin is one of the last sacred conveniences of air travel and the fact that United Airlines—and potentially others—plan to take that convenience away unless you pay up is really troubling,” Schumer said in a statement. “Already, airlines charge extra for checked luggage, pillows, peanuts, and headphones, and now you’ll have nowhere to store them.”
Although United will also sell more premium economy airfares that include overhead bin space and assigned seats, the senator said travelers are tired of having to pay fees for each bag they bring on.
Airlines are already making “sky-high profits,” according to Schumer, adding: “United Airlines should reverse this plan and allow the free use of the overhead bin for all.”
United's profits are estimated to increase by $4.8 billion between now and 2020.