Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with 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.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Patrick O says:

    The People used to have a federal government without:

    -having a income tax;
    -having government in the education of our children;
    -having to pay for undeclared wars;
    -loosing the option of choosing whether to buy insurance.

    Schumer needs to reread the Constitution and stop his fake outrage.

  2. Drik says:

    Too bad he’s not as zealous about protecting us from the government.

  3. Stephen says:

    This argument conveniently sets aside the more complicating factors, including the airlines being one of the largest per capita beneficiaries of government largess. Do the airlines pay for the air traffic control system, do they pay for the runways, the terminals, the cost mitigation fees for airport environmental impact? No, of course they don’t. Almost all of that comes out of the taxpayers pocket, either at the local or federal level. More crucially, the airlines are protected by their corporate shields, federal regulations, and international treaties that provide below-market liability limits in the event of situations as tragic as a jet coming apart in mid-air, or as minor as lost luggage. Granted, if the airlines truly did operate in a free market, and if the airlines truly did carry their own weight, it would be absolutely correct for them to be able to run their businesses in any fashion their customers would tolerate. However, they don’t. Back in the 90’s, libertarians argued for massive deregulations to set businesses free, but we didn’t simultaneously remove the government perks and protections the shield them from true market forces. Consequently, we saw the development of some of the largest corporate scandals and taxpayer funded bailouts in the history of… well, history — and “capitalism” is taking the fall for it. If we want to clean up capitalism’s reputation, this time around we’ve got to demand the businesses first be pulled from the loving arms of government protection and off the government teat before we start arguing for its independence. Otherwise, Obama and his progressive lorde, are going to continue to (justly) discredit libertarians as crony capitalist instead of serious reformers.

  4. Steven Sass says:

    The idea is certainly consistent with Schmer’s Parent / Child attitude for government, BUT the legislation was actually introduced and sponsored by Maryland’s do gooder, Ben Cardin, and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana

    Stay tuned for congress establishing that each bag of M & Ms must have at least 2 of every color, and no more that twice as many of any one color vs another!

  5. bruce stark says:

    How about leaving it up to the airlines as to whether they want to maintain their aircraft as they see fit, if at all. Maybe let the airlines decide what altitudes they want to fly at and whether their pilots should have radios or not. I don’t fear the government nearly as much as greedy corporations, such as the coal mine operators in W.Verginia.

  6. Russell Militello says:

    I usually agree with you Paul but in this instance you are wrong. I’m not worried about businessmen who travel to one or two day meetings with a carry on bag.

    I’m interested in the little guys like me who take a vacation once or twice a year (if they can afford it) usually to visit relatives or children living hundreds or even a thousand or more miles from them.

    We look for the lowest fares possible and while it is usually virtually impossible to put enough clothing in one small bag some can use two bags for two people. THat makes the cost even higher.

    When my wife and I fly we try to use one or at most two larger bagson wheels which are easier to handle and we check them to be stowed and do not even use the upper racks which are for smaller bags.

    In the future despite our ages we are considering driving to our destination for convenience and savint the charges for carrying our bags.

    I hope Southwest continues its no charge for bags and steals away travelers from the other airlines if they service the airports people want to fly to.
    First the airlines stopped serving meals and substituted sandwiches that Subway would be ashamed of and now I understand there will not even be that unless flights are longer than a certain length. THey can even get around this with the hub system by eliminating long flights and forcing a person to by food while waiting for the connecting flight if they are hungry.

    Thereis a dramatic difference in airplne travel from even 20 years ago and on top of that the difficulty of checking through due to terrorist threats makes air travel less and less convenient. It will be better to foul Obama’s and Gore’s air with auto fumes than to fly.

  7. Mary Bodily says:

    Airlines now charge for putting luggage in the plane’s belly so I carry on my luggage to save. However, I had to put one piece of luggage under last year and it cost me an extra $30. I like many others I am not a rich, first class flyer and sometimes drive 1000 miles to save the rental car and luggage fee if I am taking things to the grandchildren. For us, I feel we are being “nickle and dimed” for so many things now days our Social Security money is flying away to added “little” costs like food, fuel, and medical which has gone up 1/3 since our president decided we all must have medical.

  8. Stephen says:

    QUOTE: “Thereis a dramatic difference in airplne travel from even 20 years ago and on top of that the difficulty of checking through due to terrorist threats makes air travel less and less convenient. It will be better to foul Obama’s and Gore’s air with auto fumes than to fly.”

    This is a very good point. I suspect that at some point the public is simply going to rebel and stop flying. This could present a very interesting market opportunity for older technologies, such as rail, ship, assuming that the government doesn’t eventually interfere in their operation in the same fashion.

    As it is, many international businesses, including cruise lines, are already avoiding routing their employees or clients through the U.S. because of the increasingly xenophobic and belligerent of attitudes of U.S. customs and immigrations agents. It has not become uncommon for the Feds to randomly pull foreigners off of international flights that are merely landing to refuel without disembarking passengers. My former employer was inconvenienced in this manner of several occasions and it imposed substantial costs on the company. Such violations of basic civil liberties are not conducive to good business. It is simply easier to fly people through Canada or Mexico instead — which many are now doing.

    This loss of international business is one of the reasons that U.S. airlines (who, at this point, are operating as a de facto cartel) are trying to squeeze every last dime out of their captive customers — the American people. BTW, that is another protection that the government provides to U.S. airlines: protection from domestic competition from international competitors. It is simply illegal for an American to fly from Chicago to New York on a foreign airline whose aircraft is continuing on to Zurich. That is undoubtedly the prime reason why service on U.S. domestic flights is so much worse than on U.S. international flights. In the international marketplace, U.S. airlines have real competition.

  9. Jack Solomon says:

    What’s really pi–ing off Schumer is that this means less taxes. I think the govt can only tax the ticket sales and not vital services such as baggage charges.
    Right on Spirit!!

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