Tags: airline | baggage Fees | reservation | changes

$4.6 Billion in Baggage Fees, $2.9 Billion for Reservation Changes Collected by Airlines

$4.6 Billion in Baggage Fees, $2.9 Billion for Reservation Changes Collected by Airlines

(Satja Osathanon/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 08 May 2018 06:55 AM

Airlines collected $4.6 billion in baggage fees in 2017, the most money ever from the charge, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and airlines reached into travelers’ pockets for another $2.9 billion in reservation change fees.

Other fees, such as money made off seating assignments, on-board food sales, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment, were combined in different categories and could not be identified separately, the bureau said.

The baggage and reservation change fees were part of an overall profit of $15.5 billion made by the airlines over the past year, the Los Angeles Times reported. It was the fifth straight year that the 23 largest airlines recorded after-tax profits following almost 10 years of losses after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack and the latest recession.

Airlines profited from $3.3 billion in baggage fees in 2013 and that total has increased every year since, the bureau said. Baggage fees made up 2.6 percent of total operating revenue for the airlines last year.

Baggage fees have caught the eye of some in Congress. Last month, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida called for adding an amendment to the five-year Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill that would cap baggage fees by the same amount of the passenger facility charge, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.

Castor wanted to tie future baggage fee increases to increases in the passenger facility charge, a $4.50 fee collected from each traveler's plane ticket, which is used to fund FAA-approved improvement projects.

"Families and travelers are being taken advantage of by airlines who tack on outrageous bag fees to their travel, while airlines profit in the billions," Castor said on her website. "My amendment will rein in exorbitant baggage fees and make travel more affordable for everyone, while helping to keep our airports competitive."

"Airline profitability benefits customers as airlines are strong, able to compete and reinvest in their business with new planes, products and destinations, including expanded service to small communities and internationally, which in turn creates jobs," Alison McAfee, a spokeswoman for the trade group Airlines for America, told the Times.

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Airlines collected $4.6 billion in baggage fees in 2017, the most money ever from the charge, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and airlines reached into travelers’ pockets for another $2.9 billion in reservation change fees.
airline, baggage Fees, reservation, changes
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2018-55-08
Tuesday, 08 May 2018 06:55 AM
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