Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Congress hasn't been very popular lately, but a bill just introduced by Senator Mary Landrieu that would require every US airline to accept a single checked bag and a carry-on free of charge will surely have a lot of air travelers smiling. "When an airline advertises a flight, that is how much it should cost, plain and simple," said Landrieu. "Passengers have been nickeled and dimed for far too long and something has to be done about it. Air carriers should be required to provide a minimum standard of service to their passengers." Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says if passengers could check one bag for free it could speed the screening process and reduce the screening cost of carry-ons nationwide by $260 million a year. As it stands now, every major carrier except Southwest and JetBlue charges a baggage fee for the first checked bag, with the fee ranging from $20 to as much as $35 each way. Expect the airlines to fight tooth and nail to defeat the bill. "Making choices and paying for services you use and value is common practice across industry because it is fair and equitable," says Nicholas E. Calio, President of the Air Transport Association. "The government imposing its judgment about competitive services will not improve wait times.""
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