Airlines rake in billions from extra fees

airline fees
airline fees

Passengers paid out billions of dollars last year in airline fees for everything from checking their bags, bringing their pets on board and making changes to a reservation, according to a new government report.

Carriers raked in $7.8 billion in revenues from ancillary fees in 2009, up 42% from a year earlier, according to figures airlines reported to the federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics. Checked baggage fees last year comprised about one-third of this revenue, or $2.7 billion.

And it won't come as a surprise to travelers that the amount airlines collected in fees for checked bags alone more than doubled last year when compared to 2008. Until recently, carriers were vague about how much money these fees were bringing in, but this new reports shows that they amount to much more than chump change.