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Apr 21, 2010 9:12 AM by Associated Press

Spirit Airlines chief defends carry-on baggage fee

The president of Spirit Airlines says there's been no significant fallout from his new charge for carry-on bags.

Ben Baldanza defends his business model in a nationally broadcast interview while acknowledging it didn't sit well in some quarters. He joked that he'd never consider charging for bathroom use.

Appearing with Baldanza on NBC's "Today" show, Sen. Charles Schumer said Spirit set a bad precedent by charging up to $45 for carry-on bags and said he hopes competitors don't follow suit. The New York Democrat said there might be legislation if the trend continues.

Baldanza said carry-on fees "can cause some outrage," but said Spirit simultaneously lowered its air fare and its passengers aren't paying appreciably more than before.

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