Senate Democrats are taking aim at carry-on baggage fees after Spirit Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to propose charging passengers to store luggage in overhead bins.
On Wednesday, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., introduced a bill that would amend the tax code to eliminate a loophole that he and four other Senators say allows airlines to avoid taxes on certain fees.
"This latest fee crosses the line and is a slap in the face to travelers," Schumer said in a statement. "Our legislation will rein in the airlines and keep air travelers from being gouged every time they board a plane."
That effort comes one day after two other Senators put forward a bill that would change how the Federal Aviation Administration regulates carry-on baggage fees.
All the legislators were motivated by Spirit Airlines announcing a plan to charge passengers up to $45 to stow luggage in overhead bins, making it the first airline to charge for carry-on bags.
Spirit argues that the fee, which applies to flights booked for Aug. 1 or later, is part of a strategy to make boarding an aircraft faster and easier. The low-cost airline, which has advertised 1 cent ticket prices on some short-haul routes, said it plans to offset the increase by reducing fees for checked luggage and some fares.