The senator's legislation blocks a private letter ruling issued by the Treasury Department in January that allows airlines to receive preferential tax treatment for fees on services that are not deemed necessary for air transportation. The bill declares carry-on bags are necessary for air travel, which makes the carry-on fee subject to taxation.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Ma.) introduced legislation that bans the fee without fiddling with the tax code. Schumer supports his bill.
"We're going to get this done one way or the other," he said.
Schumer and Cardin said banning the fee as soon as possible is critical to stopping other airlines from charging similar fees.
"If Spirit implementation of this fee for carry-on baggage doesn't raise much of an outcry, they [other airlines] will do the same if the past is any indication," Schumer said, adding, "Saying you have to pay for carry-on baggage is a step too far."