Washington erupts over airline carry-on fee

It looks like Spirit Airlines' plan for a new up to $45 fee to put luggage in overhead bins is backfiring.

No, it's not yet clear if any passengers are avoiding the airline. The fee doesn't start until Aug. 1. It is in where the fee is backfiring. The fee has infuriated some senators. It's also put some urgency into the U.S. Department of Transportation's plans to reexamine how airlines treat additional fees when advertising fares, especially fees likely to be charged most passengers.

Last week a group of seven senators led by Charles Schumer, (D-NY), introduced the Block Airlines' Gratuitous Fees Act. It would force any airline charging for carry on space to pay the same tax on the fee it pays on fares, a move the senators' hope would remove a big incentive for a separate charge.

"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 statement. "This latest fee crosses the line and is a slap in the face to travelers."