Airline Add-On Fees Double in Three Years

Study finds airlines charging more a la carte

By Scott Gordon
|  Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011  |  Updated 11:22 AM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Fees for baggage and other add-ons have doubled since 2008, a study finds.

Scott Gordon, NBCDFW.com

Fees for baggage and other add-ons have doubled since 2008, a study finds.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Rule Would Require Baggage-Free Refunds for Lost Bags

Federal regulators are proposing a rule that would require airlines to refund baggage fees to travelers if the bag is lost.

Crandall Says Fees Make Sense But Should Be Disclosed

Former AMR Corp. CEO Robert Crandall says passengers should be able to get information on fees when they make their reservation.
More Photos and Videos

Airlines have doubled baggage fees and other add-ons since the extra charges took off in 2008, according to a report released by an airline consultant.

The review by Wisconsin-based IdeaWorks found that 47 airlines charged $21.5 billion for ancillary fees in 2010 -- up 96 percent in just three years.

For some smaller airlines, the fees -- for everything from baggage to in-flight food -- now account for nearly a third of all the money they bring in, the report said.

The top airline was United Continental, which raked in $5 billion last year in such fees.

Delta took in $3.7 billion, followed by Fort Worth-based American, which collected $1.9 billion.

American spokesman Tim Smith said the figure was only a slight increase over the previous year.

"It's an important part of our revenue," he said. "The old days of 'one price fits all' is not the business model these days."

Smith said customers who don't want extra services don't have to subsidize those who do.

"There's a lot of price-conscious travelers," he said.

But the fees remain unpopular with many passengers.

"We get nickel-and-dimed everywhere," complained one woman at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

"It's horrible," said another traveler. "I think it's just a crime that they can hold you hostage like this. You don't get a choice."

More: Read the report by IdeaWorks

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get NBCDFW on Mobile!
Get NBCDFW's free news and weather... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out