The History of Baggage Fees

The History of Baggage Fees

Brought to you by: Hipmunk

In the year 2000...

United $25,190,000 12%

Delta $29,941,000 14.3%

American Airlines $34,492,000 16.4%

World Airways $40,025,000 19.1%

Other Airlines $80,161,000 38.2%

...air travelers paid $209,807,000 in baggage fees.

All fees listed as roundtrip

Dec. 12th, 2002

American Airlines created a $50 bag fee for all bags between 50lbs-70lbs.

Hiptip: Bag scales can fail. In fact, inspector reports have shown 6% to 77% of some airports' scales to be faulty. It's okay to ask to have yours re-weighted.

Jan. 26th, 2003 Brilliant!

United announces that it too will charge $50 for overweight bags.

Jul. 17th, 2003 sup?

Alaska Airlines joins in.

On average, there are 112 checked bags per flight.

About 2% to 5% of fuel burn is due to checked bags.

At an average of 30lbs per bag, that accounts for about 3,360lbs.

Nov., 2004

Pro golfer, Bradley Dredge, avoids a Σ900 checked-bag fee by taking his clubs as a carry-on.

May 3rd, 2007

Furious with bag fees, an Australian man threatens to blow up a plane after refusing to pay them.

May 1st, 2008

Delta introduces a $50 fee on 2nd checked bags.

May 5th, 2008

US Airways, United, and Northwest quickly follow Delta's lead.

May 21st, 2008

Not to be outdone, American Airlines unleashes a $30 fee for all 1st checked bags.

Soon after...

25% of customers stopped checking bags completely.

Sep. 9th, 2008

In response to falling oil prices, Canada's major airlines removed 2nd bag fees.

2008 Oil Prices

April $112.90

May $125.62

June $137.24

July $135.63

August $116.82

September $104.71

Free $100

Apr., 2009

Delta begins charging a $100 fee for 2nd checked bags on overseas flights.

Apr. 23rd, 2009 Bro hug? I got your back.

Alaska Airlines rolls out a $30 1st bag fee. However, this fee only applies for flights outside of Alaska.

Over 1,300 miles separate the airports of Barrow and Ketchikan...

...this is the distance from New York to Cuba.

Jan. 13th-15th, 2010

American Airlines, Delta, United, US Airways, and Continental Airlines begin baggage fee feeding frenzy. First bag: $50; Second bag: $70

Jan. 15th, 2010

The IRS says that baggage fee revenue is tax free.

Apr. 6th, 2010

Spirit Airlines "unbundles" its fees and charges $90 for each carry-on and checked bag.

Value (some assembly required)

A lot has changed in 10 years...


Delta $733,196,000

American Airlines $431,773,000

United $239,841,000

Other $1,164,920,000


2000 $209,807,000

...and a lot more is likely to change in the future.

At a cost of $10,000 to deliver a single pound into orbit, space tourism may soon be the king of baggage fees.

The History of Baggage Fees

shared by Hipmunk on May 31, 2011 in Transportation


2 faves



Everybody hates baggage fees. So much so that many people struggle with carry-ons, squeezing them into every available compartment and weighing down scales. But which airline has the highest fees? And...
Tags: baggage, fees
Source: Unknown. Add a source
Category: Transportation


Hip Munk


Shaun Sanders
Did you work on this visual? Claim credit!

Embed Code

For hosted site:

Click the code to copy


Click the code to copy
Customize size