U.S. Airlines Collected $1.2B in Baggage Fees in Third Quarter

Passengers also shelled out $720.2 million to change plane reservations from July through September, according to federal statistics.

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Passenger airlines took in $1.2 billion in baggage fees in the third quarter of 2017, with the tally representing nearly 3 percent of total operating revenue of $45.6 billion, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported on Monday.

Still, separate data released last month by the government found major carriers losing less luggage than in times past, so there is a silver lining for travelers paying to check their bags.

Passengers also shelled out $720.2 million in reservation-change fees, 1.6 percent of total operating revenue.

Airlines collected $34.2 billion from fares, making up 75 percent of total operating revenue in the July-through-September period.

The 24 carriers reported an after-tax net profit of $3.7 billion in the three-month period, down from $4.7 billion in the second quarter and from $3.8 billion in the year-ago timeframe, the federal agency said. As a group, the passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit for an eighteenth consecutive quarter.

The airlines tallied a $6.3 billion pre-tax operating profit in the third quarter, down from $7.7 billion in the second quarter and down from $7.2 billion in the third quarter of 2016. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit, as a group, for a twenty-sixth consecutive quarter, the agency said

Total operating expenses for passenger airlines in the third-quarter of 2017 came to $39.3 billion, with fuel costs accounting for $6.8 billion, or 17.3 percent, and labor costs accounting for $13.6 billion, or 34.6 percent.

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