Airlines Made Nearly $8 Billion From Fees In 2009

All those little surcharges to your airline tickets sure do add up. A recently released DOT report states that U.S. air carriers raked in $7.8 billion in fees last year, a 42% increase over 2008.

Delta, which will soon be replaced by the merged Continental/United as the world’s biggest airline, earned the most in fees in 2009 with $1.65 billion.

Meanwhile, Southwest “Bags Fly Free” Airlines placed fourth on the list of highest fee earners, placing it ahead of both United and Continental.

Spirit Airlines, who recently rankled customers and the DOT by announcing it would begin charging for carry-on bags, relies the heaviest on its fees. According to the report, 21% of the airline’s operating revenue comes from fees.

Airlines made 42 percent more from fees last year compared with first year of bag fees [Chicago Tribune]