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Checked Baggage Fees Directed at Baggage Handlers?
Contact: Dr. Pat Boone, www.DrPatBoone.com, 719-884-0084, drpatboone@yahoo.com

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 4 /Christian Newswire/ -- While the new airline checked baggage fees will add to airline revenues, many wonder if these fees, which will almost certainly reduce the number of checked bags, could also be directed at reducing the number of baggage handlers that the airlines will need to employ.

Why? It was the baggage handlers or "rampers," as they are sometimes called, who helped destroy an entire company, Eastern Air Lines in 1989, practically overnight. When the baggage handlers and the mechanics decided to strike, since they were both union represented by the IAM (International Assn. of Machinists and Aerospace Workers), then the pilot's union ALPA (Air Line Pilots Assn.) and flight attendants represented by TWU (Transport Workers Union) struck with them in a move of support or a sympathy strike, and that effectively put an end to the flights of Eastern Air Lines. That the baggage handlers were encouraging a strike had been known for months ahead of time, but what wasn't known was that the other unions would strike in sympathy with the IAM. Eastern Air Lines never recovered.

Since the demise of Eastern Air Lines, airline officials have always been leery of the power of the baggage handlers and IAM, along with the possibility of union support by other airline unions, should IAM decide to strike. Could the new airline checked baggage fees be, in actuality, a way to help combat the possibility of another strike encouraged by baggage handlers, by reducing the number of checked bags, thereby reducing the number of baggage handlers needed, making the baggage handlers less of a threat to the airlines. Many experts wonder.

Dr. Pat Boone is the only female member of the Colorado Springs Airport Advisory Commission, having been an international travel agent and in airline management. She resigned from an Atlanta affiliate of Eastern Air Lines two weeks before the strike to pursue her advanced college degrees.