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Impacts of Additional Airline Fees


To understand how the additional fees charged by airlines affect consumers' airline choices or the overall business performance of airlines.

Early Findings

  • Data provided by Travelzoo reveals that airlines may charge travelers an additional fee for checked bags or carry-on bags. Typically, these fees are determined by individual airlines and usually range from $15 to $200 per flight segment.
  • Airlines may also charge fees for any oversized bags or overweight luggage (typically weighing above 50 pounds). For international flights, these additional fees could be as much as $450.
  • As of 2018, a report compiled by Meredith Carey found that "some airlines made more than 40 percent of their total revenue off of bag fees, seat selection fees, and more".
  • According to an IdeaWorks study of airline revenue, airlines are generating up to $50 on average from each passenger, on charges like bag fees, meals, seat selection, and more.
  • Despite the negative reputation of low-cost carriers such as Spirit, Norwegian, and Wow Air, they are not the only airlines generating 16% to more than 40% of their revenue through ancillary fees.
  • For instance, United makes an average of $38.83 per passenger, while Alaska Airlines generates $30.42 per passenger. Delta makes an average of $28.92 per passenger. This puts these carriers "in the top 15 airlines profiting, big time, off of fees."

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