Dept. of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the DOT is looking into ways to "mitigate" Spirit Airlines' plan to charge passengers up to $45 to place bags in overhead bins.
In an interview presented on the Elliott blog, LaHood says: "I think it’s a bit 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."
Asked whether Spirit "crossed the line," LaHood replies: "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."
Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he would ask the Treasury Dept. to declare carry-on bags a "reasonable necessity" to bar airlines from charging fees to take them on planes.
If the Treasury Dept. doesn't act, Schumer says, he will draft a legislative fix to the problem.
A spokesman for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee told Tnooz last week that the committee may consider a hearing on the pay toilet issue to see whether U.S. airlines plan on following Ryanair's lead.