Airlines making more money from fees

July 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM
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LOS ANGELES, July 24 (UPI) -- Fifty airlines that report revenue from fees for checked bags, more legroom and changed reservations made more than $22 billion last year, a U.S. study found.

The review was done by IdeaWorks Company, based in Wisconsin, along with Amadeus, a travel company based in Madrid, the Los Angeles Times reported. Analysts said the 50 airlines reported a total of $22.6 billion in ancillary revenue in 2011.

In 2009, 47 airlines reported $13.47 billion in ancillary revenue, which increased to $21.46 billion in 2010.

Extra charges for items from food to checking baggage have become a feature of airline travel in recent years, especially on discount airlines. Two airlines even charge for carry-on bags.

Spirit Airlines, a discount carrier based in Florida that charges for carry-ons, received one-third of its revenue from fees in 2011.

The carriers with the highest totals from ancillary revenue were the merged Continental and United, totaling $5.2 billion, followed by Delta at $2.5 billion.

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