Airlines collected nearly 1 billion dollars in baggage fees last quarter

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WWLP) – These days, most airlines charge you extra to check your luggage. Airlines collected nearly $1 billion from your luggage in the last quarter.

The Department of Transportation reported in just the past three months, the 27 airlines in the U.S. collected $960 million in baggage fees. That’s almost 9 percent more than a year ago.

“I don’t know what it is. I just want it to be free,” said Kim Walker, as she waited in line to check her luggage for her flight to Florida.

In that same time, airlines spent $11 billion on fuel and $10 billion on labor costs. Airlines collected $34 billion in ticket fares in the past quarter.

“I guess it all depends on the bottom line and for them and how it ends up on the fare, so I suppose if you’re a light traveler who brings just a change of underwear, that’s probably a good deal,” Richard Assarabowski told 22News. He owns a house in Florida and said it’s difficult to bring everything he needs from Connecticut in just one suitcase.

22News spoke with many people who said they avoid paying that fee by bringing small suitcases on the plane with them to store in the overhead compartment.

Ben Johnston travels every week by plane. “If it’s a 2 or 3 day trip, there’s no need for the big bag, I don’t mind carrying a small one,” he said.

Some families said they flew Southwest or Jetblue because those airlines offer at least one free checked bag.

“We have one big bag that we can check which we make sure that it’s under 50 pounds, we had to take some water out of it to make sure it was 50 pounds, but we carry bigger carry-ons to get around the baggage charges,” said one passenger headed back home to Florida after visiting family in Connecticut.

To stay competitive, even Jetblue has announced it will start charging you to check your luggage in 2015.

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