Sunday, May 9, 2010

"Leave the Flying to Them"

I noticed recently that New York Senator Charles Schumer is leading the crusade against airlines such as Spirit Airline who recently announced a fee for carry on luggage that doesn't fit under the seat and must be stored in the overhead bins. I'm not sure why the government thinks it has to get involved in a private enterprise such as Spirit Airline and its decisions on how it wants to operate their business. If the public doesn't want to pay this fee they are free to choose to fly another airline, take the bus, or train, drive, ride a horse,bike, hitchhike, or teleconference instead of paying this baggage fee. Part of the reason I'm sure of Senator Schumer's concern is that the federal government collects a 7.5 % fee on the cost of an airline ticket but no tax on non-essential services. Last January apparently, the Treasury department issued a ruling calling carry on luggage a non-essential item and not subject to the tax.

To me, one should consider the various factors involved such as the total price of the airplane trip, the flight times offered, and the quality of service provided by the airline and then compare this price and value with that offered by other airlines, and alternative means of transportation. We don't need the government to decide this for us. Next thing you know they will be telling us what to eat. Oh wait! Michelle Obama is already trying to do this with her "Move and eat your broccoli" campaign.

Why doesn't Senator Schumer go after the high cost of a Maybach automobile while he is at it? A 2010 Maybach 57 has a list price of $366,000.
How can a car company produce a car that just is not affordable to the masses?

I say let the free market economy decide if charging for luggage is a good idea. If people don't think it is a good idea then they will take their business somewhere else. "Leave the flying to them", Senator Schumer and maybe you would have time to consider how to reduce the cost of government.