Better watch your wallet when checking your bag – fees have increased over 1500% since 1990

It’s amazing how the airline industry has quickly converted the concept of free checked luggage into a new revenue stream through additional fees on coach fares that include baggage.  With over $2 billion in baggage fees in 2009 alone, and over 20 carriers reporting bag fee collection, it seems as though this revenue train has no plans on stopping.
More interesting is how quickly this new line of income has grown.  Below are a few stats of Baggage and Cancellation Fees from 1990 to 2009 based on data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

  • In the last ten years…
    • Baggage Fees Increased 1566%
    • Cancellation Fees Increased 467%
  • From 1990 to 2009….
    • Baggage Fees comprised only $119,737,000 in 1990.  By 2009, that number had increased 2186% to $2,728,850,000
    • Cancellation Fees comprised only $50,764,000 in 1990.  By 2009, that number had increased a whopping 4575% to $2,373,019,000.

Baggage and Cancel Fees 1990-2009 Graph
Baggage and Cancel Fees 1990-2009 Graph

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