The airlines are making a ton of money off ancillary fees. The earlier quarter of the year brought in a cumulative $3.1 billion, but most recent estimates for the second quarter come in at $4.6 billion.
The ancillary fees are mostly made up of costs like charges for checking bags, and fees to change and cancel tickets. If you were wondering, they do make quite a bit more money off you checking your bags than those other fees.
The Department of Transportation has explained that since 2008 the airlines have made over $26.8 billion in baggage fees and more than $21.5 in ticket fees…and that’s not even including other fees like standby fees, pet transportation, or many other common ad-ons.
While it can be annoying for customers, the ancillary revenue is a key financial component for low cost air carriers. Some of those airlines are only able to offer cheap flights because they can count on making plenty of money from on flight food purchases, checked bags etc. Depending on how you travel it might actually save you money, since you have the option of doing the ad-ons without automatically paying for it when you book a ticket.