Baca Sponsors Legislation to Waive Airline Baggage Fees for Active Duty Military Personnel
Bill Would Waive Fees on Up to 3 Checked Bags for Personnel Traveling on Military Orders
This week, Congressman Joe Baca (D-Rialto) introduced legislation to have all air carriers waive any fee imposed for up to three items of baggage checked by an active duty member of the armed forces, who is flying under military orders. H.R. 6985, the Military Air Travel Fairness Act of 2008, instructs the Secretary of Transportation to issue a regulation - to be enforced within 30 days of the bill's passage - that would waive baggage fees for active duty personnel.
"America is in debt to the brave men and women of our Armed Services for their dedication to this nation," said Rep. Baca. "These individuals, who have already sacrificed so much for country, should not be forced to pay for extra baggage when they fly - especially since many of them must frequently travel for business."
Currently all active duty military personnel travel on "military orders" that instruct personnel to take a specific amount of equipment, clothing, and other items while on travel. Because of the heightened fees many airlines carriers have introduced on luggage and checked bags, some military personnel have had to pay up front fees for their luggage. Some airline carriers have already taken pro-active steps to remedy this unfair situation and exempt fees for military personnel. The Military Air Travel Fairness Act of 2008 would mandate this, and force all airline carriers to waive fees for up to 3 checked pieces of luggage.
H.R. 6985 is a continuation of previous efforts by Rep. Baca on this issue. Last month, Rep. Baca sent letters to 8 airlines, inquiring about their fees for military personnel.
"As an Army veteran myself, I am all too aware of the hardships our military men and women and their families endure to protect our country," concluded Rep. Baca. "The least we can do is to make sure they are not forced to pay burdensome fees because of the luggage they need while traveling on military orders."
H.R. 6985 has been referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, where it awaits further congressional action.