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More airlines adopt carry-on fees


This CarTrawler analysis reviews the baggage fee methods embraced by 18 carriers leading the pack.

DUBLIN, IRELAND & SHORESWOOD, WISCONSIN - From global network airlines to low cost carriers, baggage is the top a la carte revenue performer. The latest report from IdeaWorksCompany describes innovations focusing on carry-ons, baggage check-in, and booking path displays.

Fees for carry-on bags are the latest development in the global quest for ancillary revenue. Low cost carriers have always led the way here and this encouraged more and more traditional airlines to adopt fees. The global estimate of baggage fee revenue was $20.9 billion for 2021. The potential exists for much more revenue when airlines apply a business-sense approach and abandon old methods. Smart airline management teams also acknowledge new baggage services must improve the journey for passengers. Baggage Belts Deliver Cash for Smart Airlines is sponsored by global travel tech provider CarTrawler and encourages airlines to build better baggage businesses. The 20-page report issued today includes the following key findings:

  • Aer Lingus introduced a new baggage policy June 2021 which includes a checked bag for its lowest Saver fare (intra-Europe) but excludes a large carry-on.
  • AirAsia allows travelers to double the regular 7 kg carry-on limit to 14 kg for a fee.
  • American Airlines generated baggage revenue of $1.22 billion in 2021, and a record $7.42 per passenger for the carrier.
  • EasyJet now combines the benefit of a large carry-on with select assigned seats, such as extra leg room and front-of-cabin zones.
  • Spirit Airlines has one of the highest baggage revenue rates in the world: $21.51 per passenger in 2021.
  • Volaris offers a baggage delivery guarantee with a payout of MXN $1,000 or US $80 when bags don’t arrive on the same flight as the passenger.

Laura Demery, Interim Director of Partnerships, CarTrawler, said, “This report shows that baggage fee revenue is a strong component of airlines’ ancillary revenue drivers and one that can continue to be optimised as airlines respond to changing customer needs and provide options that best suit their clientele. As shown by global baggage fees reaching $20.9 billion in 2021, there is scope for airlines to optimise this revenue stream as well as deliver an improved experience to their customers.”

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