Federal Data: Airlines Rake in $3.3 Billion in Baggage Fees

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    Travel experts are expecting this summer to be an expensive season -- with baggage fees adding on up to $75 or more to ticket prices on some flights. (Published Monday, May 12, 2014)

    According to new federal data, airlines made more than $3.3 billion in baggage fees in 2013.

    Consumer experts said there are ways travelers can save a little money by checking bags for free.

    For airlines that charge a bag fee, such as American Airlines, Delta or United, experts recommend signing up for one of the airline-sponsored credit cards. In most cases if you use the company’s card, customers can check a bag for free and get other perks.

    Travelers could also choose airlines that don’t charge for checking bags at all. Mandy Walker, a consumer expert, said Southwest doesn’t charge for the first two bags; Jet Blue doesn’t charge for the first checked bag on some routes. Also, Air Canada doesn’t charge for the first checked bag.

    People who are booking their flight can also go to websites like FareCompare.com to compare the fees all major airlines are charging.