United Airlines plans to charge extra fee for use of overhead bins

(FOX19) - United Airlines won't allow some passengers to use the overhead bins unless they pay extra.

With the introduction of airlines new "Basic Economy" seating, a zero-frills tier of tickets, United will prohibit these lowest paying customers from using the overhead bins, unless they pay for the space.

These passengers will only be able to use the space under the seat in front of them.

"Basic Economy" passengers will also not be able to choose their seats.

United said the new tier is an opportunity to give travelers "more options."

"Normal Economy" seats, which include overhead bins, will still be available to fliers.

"We are not implementing additional restrictions on our customers, or taking anything away from them," the airline told Gizmodo. "United has announced a brand new fare called Basic Economy that is an additional option for customers and that will be cheaper than our regular Economy fares."

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), however, dubs United's new plan "one of the most restrictive policies on airline passengers we have seen in a long time."

The overhead bin is one of the last sacred conveniences of air travel and the fact that United Airlines, and potentially others, plan to take that convenience away unless you pay up is really troubling,"

Schumer wrote, as reported by The Washington Post.  "It seems like each year, airlines devise a new, ill-conceived plan to hit consumers and it has simply got to stop."

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