Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Carry-on Bags are Now a "Right"

Senator Charles Schumer is mad, and it is generally not a good thing to make the Senator from New York angry. He is likely to use his political influence to do something about it. And that is exactly what Schumer is doing. Upset that airlines are starting to charge for carry-on bags, he has contacted the Treasury Department asking that they put an end to the practice. Last weekend he said:
Airline passengers have always had the right to bring a carry-on bag without having to worry about getting nickel and dimed by an airline company. The Treasury Department needs to close the loophole that encourages this abusive practice and rein in these fees .
This latest fee is a slap in the face to travelers and has crossed the line of acceptable practices. I will fight to see it reversed and make sure no other airlines follow suit.
Airline passengers, according to Schumer, have a right to carry a bag onto a plane, but the owner of that plane has nothing to say in the matter. Schumer's response to this "slap in the face" is to pull out a gun and shove it in the face of the airlines.

Schumer is responding to an announcement by Spirit Airlines that it will begin charging $45 for a carry-on bag. The dear Senator finds this unacceptable, because some people need to carry a bag on the plane. Never mind the fact that the same airline cut fares by $40 (a fact conveniently left out of Schumer's tyrades). In other words, all passengers will save $40 on their flight, and those who choose to carry a bag onto the plane will  wind up paying $5 more than previously. For this, Schumer literally wants to make this a federal issue. Apparently, the United States Senate doesn't have any important issues to address.

That Schumer considers this issue worthy of the attention of a United States Senator demonstrates that a firm grip on reality doesn't seem to be his strong suit. As further evidence, his announcement proclaims:
The latest fee that the airline industry is seeking to impose is pushing travelers to the tipping point.
First, at the time of his announcement only one airline had announced such a fee, so to say that it is industry wide is delusional. Second, I doubt that many businesses seek to push their customers to the "tipping point". This is generally not a good strategy for attracting or retaining customers. But for a U.S. Senator who long ago lost touch with how the real world--including the marketplace--works, this isn't surprising.

To Schumer, the only means by which men can deal with one another is force. Businesses are deceptive and conniving, seeking to manipulate consumers to purchase their products. (Not unlike the deals cut in the process of securing votes for ObamaCare.) The idea that individuals can engage in voluntary trades to mutual benefit is lost on the seemingly senile Senator.

I generally try to refrain from using terms like dickhead in reference to U.S. Senators, and I won't use it in reference to Schumer. It isn't very eloquent, and besides, it would be insulting to dickheads.

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