One United States senator became a probable ally with holiday travelers when she introduced new legislation that would force airlines to check at least one piece of luggage without additional fees.
"Many airlines consider checking a bag not to be a right, but a privilege—and one with a hefty fee attached," said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, who introduced legislation that "guarantees passengers one checked bag without the financial burden of paying a fee, or the headache of trying to fit everything into a carry-on."
The bill would allow passengers to check one bag for free and prohibit fees for regular-size carry-on bags.
Airlines began charging for luggage when rising fuel prices continued to eat away at their profits. The fees drew the ire of many passengers, while Southwest Airlines took advantage of the frustration with an ad campaign touting its policy of not charging for checked bags.