Baggage Fees Add Up to Big Bucks for Airlines

See recent posts by Lissa Poirot

With Frontier Airlines’ recent announcement that it will be charging for carry-on baggage, it’s no surprise when a 2013 industry reports highlights airlines are wracking up big bucks in baggage fees.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics released data this week that illustrated just how much the airlines pulled in with baggage fees: a whopping $3.35 billion. This and a recent report by IdeaWorks that found that ancillary fees like baggage have increased by 89 percent since 2010 are sure signs the industry will not be eliminating these fees anytime soon.

Which airlines were the biggest earners for baggage fees? Delta topped the list at more than $833 million, with United ($624 million), US Airways ($526.5 million), American ($505.5 million) and Spirit (nearly $212 million) rounding out the top five.

Southwest, which does not charge for first checked bags or carry ons pulled in $145.5 million in fees. Frontier only pulled in $69 million in 2013, with a number surely to increase with its new baggage policies.

Read Baggage Fees Per U.S. Carrier: Buyer Beware! to be prepared at the gate, and read 10 Ways to Save on Baggage Fees to save during your next trip.

–Lissa Poirot

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