Airline Fees: Top 10 List Every Traveler Should Know

By Shira Scott, GalTime.com

You're probably not shocked anymore when you're hit with an extra fee for baggage, food or even blankets these days....annoyed, but not surprised by the add-ons. Ever wonder how much the airlines make on these fees?

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics crunched the numbers for 10 popular airlines, using data from the third quarter of 2009. The government included baggage fees, reservation change fees, pet transportation costs, charges associated with redeeming frequent flier miles and standby passenger fees.

1. Delta

Delta grossed about half a billion dollars from extra fees in the third quarter of 2009. Passengers on Delta pay an average $24 in extra fees per ticket. First checked bag costs $25, second costs $35. Ticket changes cost $150. Changing a flight bought with frequent flier miles also costs $150.

2. Northwest Airlines

Northwest Airlines collects an average $20 in extra fees per passenger. The airline charges $15 for your first checked piece of luggage and $100 for redeeming frequent flier miles.

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3. US Airways

US Airways collects an average $18 in extra fees from each passenger... including $25 for the first piece of luggage and $90-$175 if that bag is overweight (exact amount depends on the pounds). Total fees collected by US Airways during the third quarter of 2009, $230 million.

4. American Airlines

Want to sit near the front of the plane on an American Airlines flight? That will cost up an extra $39...and we're talking coach here. Passengers on American pay an average $12 in extra fees. American earned $261 million from extra fees during the third quarter of 2009.

5. Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines takes in an average $11 in extra fees per passenger. The airline charges baggage fees ($15 for the first), change fees ($100), a booking fee if you book at the ticket counter ($15) and a pet fee ($100 per flight)

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6. Continental Airlines

Continental collected an average $11 in extra fees per passenger, on everything from baggage fees to reservation change fees.

7. United Airlines

United collected an average $11 in extra fees per passenger.

8. AirTran

AirTran collects an average $10 in extra fees per passenger on all of the typical things. Extra fees accounted for more htan one tenth of the airlines operating revenue in the third quarter of 2009.

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9. JetBlue

JetBlue doesn't charge for the first checked bag, but hits passengers with a $100 fee to change a reservation and offers seats with extra legroom starting at $10 extra. Average fees collected per passeger at JetBlue... $8.

10. Southwest Airlines

Southwest doesn't charge for your first two pieces of luggage or to change a reservation. The airline does offer early bird check-in for $10. Southwest collects an average of $6 in extra fees per passenger.

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