Sen. Nelson asks airlines to keep baggage fees low during the holidays

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NAPLES, Fla.- It could cost you more to fly home this holiday season as some airlines, like Spirit and Frontier, increase their baggage fees. Now, Florida Senator Bill Nelson is calling for a change.

“I think it’s a tremendous rip-off,” said traveler Joe Cole, as he waited for his flight back to Detroit from Southwest Florida.

With the holidays just weeks away, two airlines announced they are digging deeper into your pocket and raising baggage fees.

“There’s excessive fees, charges during the holidays of course,” said Cole.

Senator Nelson is weighing in, calling on airlines to stop the increased charges. In a letter to airline CEOs,  Nelson says, “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families.”

Barry Biffle, president of Frontier airlines, tells WINK News they don’t have holiday surcharges.

“We have value season where baggage options are cheaper, but the price per bag at Thanksgiving or Christmas is the same you’ll find in March.”

At Frontier, your first baggage fee of about $25 will increase by $5 to $10 depending on how early you pay and whether you do so online or at the check-in counter. The hike increases for additional bags.

One Frontier passenger said he doesn’t mind paying it.

“I don’t travel enough to really worry about it, but so I just think it’s part of the freight and we’re all paying these days,” said Dane Newman.

As for Spirit, the airline began raising fees for the holiday last year because they were encouraging passengers to pack lighter. This year the bag fees are going up $2 on Dec. 16.

“If the airlines are using baggage fees to control costs for travelers who say they have less luggage,” said Leonard Nuzzo, ” then I’m in favor of it. But I personally believe they’re using it as a profit setter, and we of course as travelers don’t have much of a choice.”

Biffle tells WINK News he reached out to Nelson to clear up any misconceptions. He said, “we agree with Senator Nelson that air travel should be affordable but we encourage people to look at the total prices.”

We also reached out to Spirit airlines for comment but they did not get back to us.

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