Schumer to airlines: Refund bag fees
Airline-bag fees: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York presses airlines to refund bag fees when checked luggage is lost.
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Schumer to airlines:
Refund bag fees
When an airline loses a passenger's baggage, the customer shouldn't have to pay the air carrier's rising luggage fees, said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York.
He said if airlines don't start reimbursing their rising fees when passengers' bags are lost, he'll introduce a bill to force the issue.
The Democrat says that 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 insists that airlines should voluntarily refund the fees upon request to passengers when their checked bags don't arrive when they do.
Only a fraction of lost bags are never returned. Most show up hours or days later. But if airlines don't make the move, he says, he'll introduce a bill to require the refunds. Schumer's criticism comes as the U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing airlines detail their many and growing fees for baggage, pillows and other services, so consumers can better choose between airlines. Airlines receive about $3.4 billion a year from baggage fees.
here to stay
A federal appeals court says the public should have the opportunity to tell the U.S. government what it thinks about full body imaging machines used in airports around the country.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said TSA should have given the public the chance to raise concerns before the machines were put in use. But the court said the scanners are now an essential part of the nation's security so they will remain in use while the government solicits comments.
Civil libertarians had asked the court to stop the Transportation Security Administration from using whole body imaging machines, which show an image of a person's naked body.
Bellingham International Airport ranked No. 10 in affordability among 101 U.S. airports in a survey by Cheapflights.com. The online travel site compiled the list by computing the average airfare users found on Cheapflights.com in June 2011 at various regional and big-city airports for popular domestic and international destinations. Bellingham's average fare was $311.
Destinations in the survey included Las Vegas, where Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Air compete with discounted fares from Bellingham, and Honolulu, where Alaska flies nonstop. Seattle ranked 83rd on Cheapflight's affordability list, with an average fare of $459. Bellingham ranked No. 1 in the site's 2010 survey.
Brazil's human-rights minister says the government will clamp down on child prostitution before hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Maria Nunes says she and other officials are working to end sexual tourism before hundreds of thousands of tourists arrive for the big events.
Nunes says police are working to identify places where children are being forced into prostitution, with at least 1,800 areas having been found so far.
Compiled by Seattle Times staff and news services
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