These days it seems like we’re constantly paying fees when we travel, which makes heading out on vacation a whole lot more expensive than it has to be. One of the biggest areas where airlines make money now is with baggage fees, and a new report reveals just how bad all those fees have gotten.
According to research by Upgraded Points, airlines made $5.1 billion in baggage charges, just in the past year alone. But as most people know, how much you pay will depend on the airline.
Spirit it seems charges the highest fees between $35 and $40 for a carry-on, while a first checked bag costs between $30 and $35. In general, most airlines, including American, Delta, JetBlue and Alaska charge $30 for the first bag, with Southwest the only airline that doesn’t charge a fee for the first checked bag.
Overall, Spirit Airlines passengers also paid the most fees, an average of $26.21 per person, while those on Southwest paid the least, only about 36-cents per traveler since they only charge travelers for a third checked bag, at a fee of $75.
Average Baggage Fees Paid Per Passenger Per Airline
- Spirit - $26.61
- Frontier Airlines - $21.17
- Allegiant Airlines - $19.78
- Sun Country Airlines - $16.94
- American Airlines - $9.95
- Alaska Airlines - $9.89
- United Airlines - $9.58
- JetBlue Airways - $9.36
- Hawaiian Airlines - $8.36
- Delta Airlines - $6.30
- Southwest Airlines - $0.36
Baggage fees aren’t about to stop, with more and more airlines increasing them every year. In fact, baggage fees increased an average of 8.6% over the last year, with Sun Country upping them the most, 91.9%.
And there’s good reason, considering how much money airlines are making off fees. According to the site, American Airlines made the most money overall from baggage fees, over $12 billion in fees this year alone, mostly because it’s the nation’s largest airline, and they recently increased their fees from $25 to 30 for the first bag, and from $35 to $40 for the second.