Sen. Charles E. Schumer joined with five other Democratic lawmakers Wednesday to propose a legal ban on airlines charging passengers for even a single carry-on bag.

The Block Airlines' Gratuitous Fees Act, or the BAG Fees Act, was filed in response to an announcement last week by Spirit Airlines that it would start charging customers $45 per bag - beginning with the first piece of luggage - starting Aug. 1.

Two of the six senators supporting the ban - Ben Cardin of Maryland and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana - said Tuesday they had introduced a separate bill that would designate carry-on baggage as a necessity for air travelers and force airlines to pay a tax on that fee revenue.

Schumer, representing New York, said in a news release that he was concerned that other airlines would follow Spirit's lead.

"Airline passengers have always had the right to bring a carry-on bag without having to worry about getting nickel-and-dimed by an airline company," Schumer said in a news release. "This latest fee crosses the line and is a slap in the face to travelers. Our legislation will rein in the airlines and keep New York air travelers from being gouged every time they board a plane."

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) will introduce the same bill in the House, Schumer said.

Misty Pinson, a Spirit spokeswoman, said Wednesday the airline is "reaching out" to Senate offices to "clarify information that has been misrepresented in the media." With AP

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