Political donor payback?  I report, you decide.  Unnecessary Baggage

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) thinks that your carry-on bags are a threat to national security. To address this grave threat, he has introduced the Securing Cabin Baggage Act (H.R. 2870). It would set a maximums size for all carry-on luggage at 22″ x 18″ x 10″. Airlines would be allowed to set lower maximums if they wished to do so.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would enforce the limit by setting up measuring templates at airport security checkpoints. If your bag doesn’t fit, you’ll have to check it.

Would any of this make airplane cabins more secure? Doubtful. As Cato Institute security expert Jim Harper says, the only way to prevent terrorism is to make terrorism difficult. With this law, all that any would-be terrorists would need to do is buy smaller luggage. Rep. Lipinski’s bill doesn’t make it any harder to sneak a weapon on board.

OK, scratch national security concerns.  What about the inconvenience of passengers trying to fit oversized luggage into overhead racks?

There’s only one problem with this reasoning: United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Midwest Airlines, and other carriers already have size restrictions smaller than what Rep. Lipinski has proposed.

…Then consider the added inconvenience. If your bag doesn’t fit through TSA’s template, you will need to go back to the airline’s service counter to check your bag, pay for the privilege, get back in the long security line, and hope you don’t miss your flight. This is not convenient. It is, in fact, most decidedly inconvenient.

And all for what? Non-regulatory solutions already exist. If your carry-on is too big, then the airline can check your bag at the gate. It’s not that big a deal.

Ah.  What’s left?

…But it could be a very big deal to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a union that represents airline baggage handlers. Strictly enforced carry-on size restrictions could steer a lot of business their way — almost certainly more than enough to recoup the $10,000 they gave Rep. Lipinski last election cycle.

United Airlines also gave money to Rep. Lipinski. Now that they are charging for checked luggage, they could also see a windfall. Yes, they could strictly screen carry-on size themselves. But with the TSA doing it for them, United can deflect customers’ ire away from itself.

Your call.

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