From a CNN.com column today on airlines charging baggage fees:
A decade ago, who could have imagined paying for airline food? Today, we're lucky if there are bland snacks for sale. Checking two or three pieces of luggage was considered the air traveler's inalienable right. Today we're paying through the nose for our checked bags.
How do we fix this? I can think of two solutions. First, air travelers can buy tickets on airlines that don't charge outrageous fees, like JetBlue and Southwest.
And second, our government can say, "enough!" It wouldn't take much. The Transportation Department could rule that the price of an airline ticket must include at least one piece of checked luggage, and that would pretty much end this debate.
Questions: what is the likely result if his second proposal were to happen? Who would benefit? Who would lose? Can we say with a high degree of certainty that it would be a welfare reducer? Why or why not? Does it matter that utility is subjective and not inter-personally comparable? And why might the airlines charging for bags support this proposal?