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Allegiant chief answer Schumer’s request

Allegiant Travel Co. Chairman and CEO Maurice Gallagher formally voiced his opposition Monday to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer’s request that carry-on bag fees be included in the up-front price of a plane ticket.

Last week, Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel’s airline, Allegiant Air, set fees ranging from $10 to $35, depending on the flight and method of purchase, for any luggage stored in the overhead bins. This made Allegiant the second airline to go this route after Spirit instituted it two years ago.

Whatever a person can fit under the seat in front of him is still free.

“While I understand and agree with the need for transparency in airline pricing, Allegiant’s approach of allowing passengers to pay for only the services they desire allows passenger to pay the lowest price for air travel without being misled,” Gallagher wrote Monday in a letter to Schumer, D-N.Y.

Schumer said that 87 percent of United Continental passengers use the bins, making the practice “ubiquitous” in commercial flying. However, Gallagher said that less than a third of passengers had “expressed the need” to use a bin since the fee was imposed on Tuesday.

Passengers can book the fee online or at the airport on the day of departure.

“I can’t think of a better example than the above to illustrate why government-imposed one-size-fits-all solutions do not work,” Gallagher wrote.

Last week, Schumer asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to change its pricing rules to force the airlines to include the carry-on fee in the initial price.

Contact reporter Tim O’Reiley at
toreiley@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5290.

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