More than four months after the end of the year, we are just getting the 2018 statistics for airlines, and there are some jaw-dropping numbers. US-based airlines recorded $11.8 billion in after-tax profits for the full year. And a significant portion of those profits was baggage fees, which came in just shy of $4.9 billion in 2018.
That’s an increase of 7% from the baggage fees collected from a year prior. Alaska, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and United all increased their fees for first checked bag during the year.
In the fourth quarter of 2018 alone, airlines collected $1.25 billion in bag fees. That marks the 11th straight quarter that US-based airlines have collected over $1 billion in baggage fees.