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Should airlines have the right to charge for checked baggage?

Categories: Business, Canada, Community

 Airline passengers would be entitled to one free checked bag and one free carry-on bag under new legislation introduced by a U.S. senator. (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)A U.S. senator has introduced legislation to ban airlines from charging a fee for a first checked bag on commercial flights.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, of Louisiana, says the legislation would "protect travellers from excessive fees and declining quality of service."

"When an airline advertises a flight, that is how much it should cost, plain and simple," Landrieu, a Democrat, said. "Passengers should not be charged additional fees for checked or carry-on baggage, drinkable water or other reasonable requests.

"Passengers have been nickeled and dimed for far too long and something has to be done about it."

The legislation, called Basic Airline Standards to Improve Customer Satisfaction (BASICS) would require airlines to allow passengers to check one bag and have one carry-on bag for free.

Landrieu's legislation would apply to U.S. airlines, which typically charge about $25 for a first checked bag.

In Canada, Air Canada charges a $25 fee for a first checked bag on flights to the U.S. Porter Airlines and WestJet do not charge a fee for first checked bag.

Should airlines have the right to charge for checked baggage? Why or why not? Do such fees affect your choice of airline? Share your thoughts in the field below.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: POV

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