Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Airlines collected record baggage fees in 2012
These fees, along with charges for boarding early or picking prime seats, have helped return the industry to profitability.
Airlines started charging for a first checked suitcase in 2008 and the fees have climbed since. Airlines typically charge $25 each way for the first checked bag, $35 for the second bag and then various extra amounts for overweight or oversize bags.
The nation's 15 largest carriers collected a combined $3.5 billion in bag fees in 2012, up 3.8 percent from 2011, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Reservation change fees totaled $2.6 billion, up 7.3 percent.
The airlines took in $159.5 billion in revenue last year and had expenses of $153.6 billion, according to the government. That 3.7 percent profit margin comes entirely from the baggage and change fees. Read more >>