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updated: 7/17/2011 8:48 AM

Airlines could pay big when bags are lost

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Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. -- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer of New York says that if airlines don't start reimbursing their rising fees when passengers' bags are lost, he'll introduce a bill to force the issue.

The Democrat says that under a new rule airlines would only have to reimburse their baggage fees if the luggage is lost forever. That rule is scheduled to take effect in August.

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The fees range from $25 to $100.

Schumer tells The Associated Press that airlines should voluntarily refund the fees upon request to passengers when their checked bags don't arrive when they do.

He says only a small fraction of lost bags are never returned. Most show up days later.

But if airlines don't make the move, he says, he'll introduce a bill to require the refunds.

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