Posted by: Jerry Garrett | May 4, 2010

Airline Fees Up 42% in 2009 to $7.8 Billion

Cartoonist Mike Luckovich's twist on rising airline fees

The airline industry collected more than $7.8 billion in fees in 2009, The Associated Press reports.

That was a 42 percent jump from 2008.

The No. 1 revenue producer: Fees for “excess” baggage: $2.2 billion.

The AP noted, “The biggest chunk of that came from checked baggage fees, which were introduced in 2008 when oil prices soared and eventually reached $147 per barrel.” Of course, oil is no longer $147 a barrel, but the fees remain – and are growing daily, with recent announcements such as Spirit Airlines’ new carry-on baggage fees, non-reclining seats, and even pay toilets. Other popular gouges come from reservation change fees, cancellation fees, pet travel and frequent flyer mileage sales.

Here’s a list of the top ten airlines in terms of ancillary fees revenue:

  1. Delta: $1.6 billion
  2. American: $1 billion
  3. US Airways: $912 million
  4. Northwest $718 million
  5. United: $619 million
  6. Southwest: $617 million
  7. Continental: $539 million
  8. AirTran: $249 million
  9. JetBlue: $193 million
  10. Alaska: $147 million

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Jerry Garrett

May 4, 2010

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