Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thats Billion with a "B" . . .

Ah well, remember back a year or so ago when United Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to charge $25 for a second piece of luggage? And most airlines followed? Then American started charging $15 for the FIRST piece of luggage.  The airlines claimed these fees were added to defray jet-fuel costs, which had surged 61 percent in the first half of 2008. 
Then something happened.
Jet fuel prices retreated to 2007 levels.
But the airlines had discovered a cash cow. Altogether, U.S. airlines took in over $1 billion in luggage fees.  Northwest collected $121.6 million and new parent Delta charged $177.1 million.  US Airways, through its successful a la carte program, collected nearly as much as American - $187.1 million.
Hang onto your carry-on!


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