Sunday, June 19, 2011

U.S. airlines collect $5.7 billion in fees

U.S. airlines collected 10 percent more in fees last year to check bags and change reservations, raising more than $5.7 billion that helped them hold down losses from sharply higher fuel costs.

Most big airlines charge up to $25 for the first checked bag and more for a second. The practice began as a revenue bridge when travel fell sharply during the 2008-09 recession and fare increases were hard to pull off.

But ancillary fees, including those to change reservations, have stuck and are now an important part of the revenue stream for airlines wrestling with high fuel costs and trying to keep their recovery aloft.

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