Monday, March 09, 2009

Airlines fight new Baggage Rules

Gee, here's a surprise. From Aviation Week.

Airlines Oppose Baggage Proposal

Mar 9, 2009

Airlines are concerned by strong signals from House lawmakers that they want to institute new penalties to compensate passengers for delayed bags.

Language was added to the House reauthorization bill requiring the Government Accountability Office to study the issue of baggage delays, and report back within 180 days. GAO would be directed to “make recommendations for establishing minimum standards to compensate a passenger in the case of an unreasonable delay in the delivery of checked baggage.”

The bill says GAO should “take into account the additional fees for checked baggage” introduced by many airlines, and how these fees “should improve an air carrier’s baggage performance.”

The Air Transport Association said it opposes the baggage compensation language. “It is unreasonable to expect an airline to incur costs for delayed bags when the vast majority of delays are driven by factors beyond the airline’s control…Imposing penalties on baggage delivery performance will increase the cost of handling checked baggage,” ATA says. Bag delays can be caused by weather delays, congested ramps and “limitations on baggage claim area capacity.”

ATA believes it is “impractical” to try to establish a uniform standard for baggage delivery. The group notes that ramp and terminal configurations “vary widely” at different airports, and this is a big factor in the time it takes to get bags from the aircraft to the terminal.

I'll tell you this. It's a bunch of bs that we have to pay $15-$25 to check a freaking bag. I'm all for an airline going a la carte for their charges. But the airlines implemented the baggage charges when oil went to $140/bbl. And they prohibit you from carrying these bags it's crap that they make you check a bag and then charge for it.

I have over 2.5 million miles on Delta, so I travel a little bit. I'm tired of paying this stupid fee. But if the airline is going to charge us for checking and delivering the bag, the least they could do is pay some penalties out of that free money they're getting. Or maybe they could just deliver the damn bag on time.

H/T Aviation News