US airlines' bag fees bolster bottom line

8 May 2014

The top US airlines raked in $3.35 billion in baggage fees last year, latest government figures reveal.

Delta heads the list of 16 carriers in the US Department of Transportation’s league, earning $833 million in charges for hold baggage. Ancillary sales like baggage, seat reservations, ticket change fees and on board sales have been a big help in restoring US airlines to profitability.

All the main carriers have charged for checked bags in some form for about the last six years. The DoT’s table shows United earning $625 million from baggage and US Airways and American Airlines more than $500 million each.

In contrast to their UK counterparts, US budget carriers earned much less as a proportion of their total revenue. Southwest earned around $143 million and JetBlue $74 million.

To view the DoT’s table, click here

Gary Noakes

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