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Global Airlines to collect over $36 Billion this year in Fees

An estimate was released this week on the ancillary revenues earned by airlines for 2012

November 1, 2012 – A new report says that airlines across the globe will earn over $36.1 billion in “extra” revenues this year from the different fees now charged that include fees for boarding early, enjoying more legroom and checking a bag.

An estimate was released this week on the ancillary revenues earned by airlines for 2012. It calculated that the total represented an increase of 11.3% from the amount collected in 2011, which was $32.5 billion. The 11.3% increase was down from the astronomical 44% jumped from 2010 to 2011.

Most travelers are probably going to view the figures negatively. On spokesperson from a watchdog site for airfares on the Internet said that many travelers probably felt sorry for the airlines when they were losing money. However, now that the profits are back, there will be fewer people who are sympathetic.

The biggest increases in fees earned were not surprisingly from airlines that are fee-dependent such as AirAsia, easyJet and Spirit. These carriers, referred to in the recent release of data as the Ancillary Revenue Champions, will take in over $5.6 billion in fees this year, an increase of 30.5% over last year. The Low Cost Carriers, those like Southwest, GOL and JetBlue, will take in about $5.4 billion, an increase of 12.8% from last year.

Yet, those numbers are short compared to the Major Carriers in the U.S. category. The recently released report says that only six airlines – U.S. Airways, United, Delta, Hawaiian, American and Alaska will take in more than $12.4 billion, a drop of 0.8% from last year, but is considered more than 35% of the total global ancillary income.

One needs to remember that the figures just released do not equal the entire out of pocket expense for the passenger. They include revenues that are earned by airlines for selling miles to the credit card companies and other partners wanting to link to the airline’s loyalty plan. For the major airlines in the list, those revenues are thought to be more than $6 billion or more than 50% of the total for the group.

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