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September 20, 2010

Airlines rake in $2.1 billion in ancillary fees in second quarter, BTS says

Bag fees, reservation change fees and pet fees, all totaled up for a profitable second quarter for the airline industry, a government report says.

U.S. airlines brought in $2.1 billion in fees in the second quarter, with Delta Air Lines posting the highest fee revenues total with $682 million.

Airlines collected $893 million in bag fees alone and another $594 million from reservation change fees, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics said.

And while Southwest Airlines is absent from the bag fee chart from the BTS as Southwest touts its "bags fly free" policy, it still pocketed $201.7 million in ancillary revenue from pet fees and other fees.

The report, which also examines airlines' financial data, said that the six network airlines spent 25.5 percent of their operating expenses in the second quarter on fuel.

Baggage Fee Collections (in millions)

2Q 2010 Rank Airline 2nd Quarter 2009  2nd Quarter 2010 (%) Percent Change 2Q 2009-2Q 2010 (%)
1 Delta* 185.6 256.0 72.5
2 American 118.4 152.1 28.5
3 US Airways 104.1 135.6 30.3
4 Continental 63.2 91.0 44.0
5 United 67.4 84.8 25.8
6 AirTran 40.5 39.2 -3.2
7 Alaska 6.2 25.4 309.7
8 Spirit 16.2 16.8 3.7
9 Frontier 13.5 15.5 14.8
10 Allegiant 12.0 14.4 11.9
  Industry Total** 669.6 892.8 33.3

*Delta's second quarter 2009 figure is combined with Northwest Airlines' figure

**21 carriers reported baggage fee revenue in Q2 2010

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

 

Ancillary Revenue

2Q 2010 Rank Airline 2nd Quarter 2009  2nd Quarter 2010 Percent Change 2Q 2009-2Q 2010 (%)
1 Delta** 407.0 681.6 67.5
2 American 246.5 292.3 18.6
3 US Airways 228.2 255.6 12.0
4 Southwest 148.4 201.7 35.9
5 United 158.5 179.1 13.0
6 Continental 136.0 160.7 18.2
7 AirTran 65.7 65.5 -0.3
8 JetBlue 48.5 47.7 -1.6
9 Alaska 28.7 46.3 61.3
10 Spirit 36.8 41.9 13.9
  Industry Total*** 1,818.3 2,105.0 15.8

**Delta's Q2 2009 number does not include Northwest Airlines' information because of a change in how the BTS breaks out ancillary revenue.

***28 carriers reported ancillary revenue in Q2 2010

-Andrea Ahles

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