Senator calls on airlines to drop baggage fees during summer months

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is one of two lawmakers who are calling on the airlines to do away with their baggage fees during the summer months.

Sen. Blumenthal sent a letter to executives at 12 airlines, requesting they consider the move.

“We write in the wake of reports of staggeringly-long lines expected this summer at Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening checkpoints in airports across the country,”  the senator said.

In recent years several U.S. airlines have reported record profits. The baggage fees adding up to billions of extra dollars as well. Passengers at Bradley Airport wish the fees would go away all together, especially since they add up quickly.

“We only have two bags we check. That’s $50 one way. Then it’s another $50 coming back just for them to take your bag,” said Leonard Correia of Watertown, who was flying with his wife to Punta Cana Wednesday morning.

American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United all charge between $20-$25 for the first checked bag. That price goes up significantly for the second and third. The fees have forced many people to put everything in their carry-on bag to bring on board the plane. That in turn can slow down security screenings and the boarding process. Southwest is one of the only airlines that does not charge passengers for the first checked bag.

“Airlines should help solve these issues, putting passengers before profits, beginning with checked baggage fees. Screening congestion is solvable – and this step will help. Please do not stand idly as travelers stand in endless lines,” said Blumenthal in a statement.

There’s no word as to whether any of the airlines have responded to Blumenthal’s request.

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