It's not surprising if you look at the data. There were 630 million domestic emplanements in 2011. Since we have not included internal emplanements, We could spread those fees over 600 million passengers at $60 each. That's just for U.S. passengers. If you include passengers world wide, you can ea sly double the number to 1.2 billion, in which case, it's $30 per passenger.
Looking at the number of people who manage to hod the OH space, this 36 billlion figures has more room to go up if airlines enforce carry on luggage rules more strictly.
Some LCC's are making a killing by charging for every thing, seat assignment, in person check-in, baggage check, beverages. Of course blunt of the blame is shared by legacy carriers.
Worth noting that this ancillary revenue also includes the sale of miles:
It’s also important to note that the figures in the report are not synonymous with passengers’ out-of-pocket expenses. They also include revenues the airlines earn by “selling miles” to credit-card companies and other corporate partners that want to link to their loyalty plans.For major U.S. airlines, those revenues are believed to exceed $6 billion or one-half of the group’s total.
If we assume that airlines sell to the banks and corporations at less than a cent per point, that is at least 600 billion miles sold last year.
Eh? They used to be included in the cost of your ticket and are now priced separately, without any commensurate reduction in base ticket price. How is that good for anyone except the airline industry?
Prices go up and down. Airlines, like any business, must make a profit to stay in business. Prices may not have gone down (and I won't concede that point) but they could just as easily avoided pushing them upwards. So the ticket that you pay $300 for might easily have been raised to $335 without the fees. The effect is the same, you don't pay for things you don't use. Since we have not seen a massive surge in airline profits it would appear that they are just changing who they get the revenue from.