Airline baggage fees in the US domestic market skyrocketed in 2009, when the major airlines, except Southwest, decided to start charging for checked luggage. While this did not impact the air fare and yield statistics commonly quoted, it did impact the consumer’s wallet. We took at look at airfare and baggage fees together, to determine if consolidation of airlines in the US had a negative impact on the cost to fly.
The following table shows US airline yields and baggage fees per RPM since 1995. Before airlines began charging for bags as auxiliary revenue, the only baggage fees were for additional bags over the limit and overweight bags. Today, many airlines charge for each bag checked by a passenger, moving from an all-inclusive fare to an a la carte model.