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Airlines Are Now Getting Less Money from Checked Bags — Dollars and Sense

photogaby, Flickr

When fuel prices hit an all-time high a few years ago, many airlines began charging passengers to check their bags. The fees are unpopular, so there are probably lots of frequent fliers happy that airlines are now raking in less money from them.

But don’t laugh too hard — what they’re getting still isn’t chump change.

The US Transportation Department reports that last year, the 17 largest airlines made $3.36 billion in bag fees, down from $3.4 billion in 2010. But since the total number of passengers went up in the meantime, it does represent a notable decline.

Delta Airlines took a sizable portion of that total pool, dinging its customers some $863 million in baggage fees. JetBlue, which doesn’t charge for the first checked bag, came in at the bottom of the list with $64 million.

And while we can all delight that the airlines aren’t getting as much cash from us, just remember fewer checked bags also means we’re all fighting more for the limited real estate in the overhead bins that store our carry-on bags.

[Associated Press]

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