Thursday, October 27, 2011 - U.S. airlines collected $1.5 billion from baggage fees and reservation change fees in the second quarter of 2011, according to the airline financial data released today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).
The largest network, low-cost and regional airlines reported operating revenue of $38.6 billion and operating expenses of $36.6 billion. These airlines collect virtually all the fees collected by the airline industry.
The airlines received $887 million from baggage fees and $612 million from reservation change fees in the second quarter. These are the only fees paid by passengers that BTS can currently identify separately. All other fees paid by passengers are combined in larger categories with other types of revenue.
In July, the Department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that is proposing to require airlines to report 16 additional categories of fee revenue in addition to the baggage and reservation change fees to provide additional airline pricing information to consumers and airline analysts. Public comments on this rulemaking were invited through Sept. 13 at Docket ID No. RITA-2011-0001.
The release of the second-quarter financial data was scheduled for Sept. 20 but delayed because of technical processing issues. Operating profit/loss and operating revenue can be found on these tables. Fuel cost and consumption numbers are available on these tables. See the BTS financial databases for more detailed data.