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Committee Approves Bill to Help Skycaps

August 5, 2008

The state Senate’s Labor Committee on Monday approved a measure that would require airlines to directly hand over service fees to skycaps.

Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, D-Woodland Hills, said he introduced AB 408 in May as a way to ensure that skycaps keep receiving their tips as several airlines impose baggage handling fees on passengers. Skycaps have reported receiving fewer gratuities ever since airlines started charging passengers a fee to stow luggage, which used to be a complimentary service.

“I know how hard the skycaps work,” Levine said. “They go above and beyond the call of duty, but they are earning meager wages.”

The Air Transport Association of America, the trade group representing most U.S. airlines, has said that Levine’s measure will likely be challenged on legality, rather than on arguments over who should pocket the luggage service fees.

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