US lawmaker introduces 'Baggage Fee Fairness Act'

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Legislation that would require airlines to refund baggage fees to passengers if the luggage is lost, damaged or delayed in reaching its destination has been tabled by a US lawmaker.

Congressman Mike Capuano has introduced the 'Baggage Fee Fairness Act', which aims to make it easier for travellers to comparison shop by requiring inclusion of baggage fees when getting a quote over the phone or online, either through online comparison sites or through the carrier's own web site.

"Many airlines now charge a fee for checked luggage. It is a simple matter of fairness to refund that fee to consumers if the airline has not fulfilled its commitment to transport the luggage to its intended destination in a timely fashion and without damage," says congressman Capuano, a member of the House transportation committee, which will review the bill.

Passengers would receive a refund no later than 30 days after the arrival of his or her flight.

House aviation subcommittee Jerry Costello supports the Baggage Fee Fairness Act. "There is a basic fairness issue here with so many consumers feeling nickel and dimed by arbitrary airline fees, including baggage fees," says Costello.

"This legislation helps bring more equity and transparency to the process, and I am proud to support it."