Airline bag fees attain new record high in advance of holiday travel season

American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) has announced airline bag fees continue to rise ahead of the holiday travel season to a record high of USD 1.5 billion, the company said.

AAAE has called on Congress to adjust the arbitrary and outdated federal cap on local Passenger Facility Charges to spur investments in the nation´s airports that will directly benefit passengers.

According to data released today by the Department of Transportation´s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, airlines collected more than USD 1.5 billion in baggage fees during the third quarter this year, breaking a record set in the previous quarter. Through the first nine months of the year, airlines have collected more than USD 4.3 billion in bag fees, putting them on pace to shatter the record-high USD 4.9 billion in baggage fees charged in 2018 — a year in which many carriers increased their fees for the first checked bag by USD 5.0. Airlines collected another USD 739 million in reservation change and cancellation fees in the third quarter after raking in USD 2.7 billion in ticket fees last year.

Because bag fees are not taxed at the same 7.5 percent excise tax rate applied to base airline tickets, the Airport and Airway Trust Fund lost nearly USD 325 million in foregone revenue in the first nine months of this year.

Founded in 1928, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) is the world´s largest professional organization for airport executives, representing thousands of airport management personnel at public-use commercial and general aviation airports.