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Airline Companies Made $1.3 Billion From Bag Fees This Year

By Parker Diakite

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Financial data for airline companies across the U.S. have been released fro for the first quarter of 2019 and one thing is clear:  baggage fees are paying off in a big way. Not for passengers.

U.S. airline companies reportedly made $1.3 billion in baggage fees in the first quarter of 2019, compared to $1.1 billion during the same period last year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

That’s a nearly $170 million uptick from 2018, as reported in MSN.

Over the last year, four major U.S. airline carriers have increased their baggage fees by $5. Most companies are now charging $30 for the first bag instead of $25; and $40 for the second bag on domestic flights. 

Related Post: The Real Reason Airlines Are Increasing Fees And Fares

To put that in perspective,  a family of four checking one bag per person will pay $240 round-trip for bags when flying on American, United, Delta, and JetBlue airlines.


If you want to save money on bag fees, here’s what can you do:

Purchasing a first class or business class ticket comes with a checked bag.

Southwest tends to be more expensive, but the company includes two checked bags with tickets for free.

Sign up for an airline credit card or other credit cards that include free bags as one of the benefits.

Pack light and be prepared to take only a carry-on.  If you do this,  get familiar with the dimension requirements for each airline.  Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines will charge you for anything other than a personal item, while United and American have strict rules on what they consider a carry-on versus a personal item.

The last option, while risky, is checking in the bag for free at the gate.  Just keep in mind that airline agents will possibly charge you for a bag, which tends to be more expensive than pre-pay.

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