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Sen. Schumer To Airlines: Refund Baggage Fees When Bags Are Lost

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Passengers wait to check in with their baggage at a United Airlines counter. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Passengers wait to check in with their baggage at a United Airlines counter. (credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)Sen. Charles Schumer said if airlines don’t start reimbursing their rising fees when passengers’ bags are lost, he’ll introduce a bill to force the issue.

Baggage fees are essentially for a service, but if the service isn’t provided, Schumer says you shouldn’t be charged.

“If they lose and mishandle the bags you paid extra for, it’s not right for them to simply say they’re sorry and still stick you with the bill. They ought to return the money,” he said.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reports

Under a new rule, airlines would only have to reimburse their baggage fees if the luggage is lost forever. That rule is scheduled to take effect in August.

The fees range from $25 to $100.

Schumer said airlines should voluntarily refund the fees upon request to passengers when their checked bags don’t arrive when they do.

He said only a small fraction of lost bags are never returned. Most show up days later, but if airlines don’t make the move, he says, he’ll introduce a bill to require the refunds.

Do you agree with Schumer? Sound off in our comments section below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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