DOT Secretary: New Carry-On Fee “Outrageous”
I’m not the only one who’s upset with the bizarre new airline fees. Spirit Air’s $45 carry-on charge and Ryanair’s proposed pay-to-potty fee have gotten the attention of Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
The DOT Secretary told travel writer Christopher Elliot what he thinks about it: “I think it’s outrageous that an airline is going to charge someone to carry on a bag and put it in the overhead. And I’ve told our people to try and figure out a way to mitigate that. I think it’s ridiculous… I don’t think they care about their customers. That’s what I think. And I think when you charge somebody to use the bathroom, you don’t care about your customers. I mean, it’s pretty clear.”
Airlines are looking at charging new fees to make more money. They started charging for checked bags, so passengers started rushing to be first on the plane so they can cram more of their stuff in the overhead bins. I’m guilty of that, I admit. My wife laughs at the sight of me trying to fit her carry-on in the overhead. So now at least one airline, and probably more to follow, sees that as a revenue maker.
That will only force passengers to come up with other ways to save money. I’ve heard one say he’ll stuff as much as possible (even shoes) in his pockets. A comment on a CNN blog on the topic said, “There’s only one thing we can do now… CARGO PANTS!” Not me. I’ve always taken too many clothes on my trips, and never wear half of them. This is my opportunity to change my ways. From now on, I’m traveling light. And I’ll also try to avoid any airline that forces me to dig for quarters to pay for the potty.