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Airline Fees Mean Big Bucks for Carriers

The money garnered  from airline fees has tripled since 2008. According to statistics from the Department of Transportation, collectively they raked in $3.6 billion in extra baggage fees in 2014, a 5.3% increase from 2013.

Delta took in the most money with checked bag fees in 2014—a whopping $862 million. United and American Airlines were not far behind, collecting $651 million and $574 million respectively.

Among the airlines studied, Mesa took in the least amount of money in extra baggage airline fees—$883,000. Virgin American took in $6 million, and Jet Blue collected $83.5 million in extra baggage fees.

Airlines also rake in considerable extra income to cancel or change reservations. Collectively, airline change fees totaled $2.9 billion in 2014, an increase of 5.7% from the previous year. Once again Delta led the pack, garnering $875 million in change fees in 2014. United took in $802 million, American took in $553 million and Jet Blue took in $155 million. The carrier that collected the least amount of money in change fees in 2014 was Island Air Hawaii, which took in $600,000.