The big increase in airline baggage fees over time

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In 2014, Delta Air Lines charged more than $860 million in baggage fees. In all, air carriers charged passengers checking luggage a total of more than $3.5 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

That’s a 660 percent increase since 2007 when baggage fees amounted to only $424 million.

Baggage fees began rising sharply in 2008 during the recession as fuel prices rose and ticket sales declined. Airlines like United began charging about $15 per bag to boost revenues.

Today, it’s more rare for an airline not to charge passengers to check a bag— Jet Blue was one of the few holdouts but caved to pressure from shareholders in June.

Baggage fees by airline
Click on the luggage to see how much money each airline collected in baggage fees for a given year. 2015 data includes only figures through July.
Source: U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Jake Kara /

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