U.S. airlines collected nearly $3.5 billion in baggage fees last year, the government said Tuesday, continuing a steady improvement in the critical revenue stream that started just five years ago. That was up from $3.36 billion collected in 2011. The nations largest airlines also reported $2.55 billion in reservation change fees — that $150 or $200 customers pay to change the time or date of travel. Thats up from $2.38 billion in 2011. United was second to Delta in amount taken in from baggage fees last year, more than doubling its collection. The Chicago airline, the worlds largest, took in $705,547 last year from bag fees, up from $276,817 in 2011. Reservation fee revenue at the airline also soared, rising faster than nearly all its major competitors. United reported reservation fee revenue of $660,943 last year, double the $324,129 it collected in 2011. United has already broadly raised its reservation change fees this year.
Here’s how things stack up:
- Air Canada: A few 319s have GoGo service, but only for travel over the US
- AirTran: All planes have GoGo Wi-Fi
- American: GoGo available on all 767-200 and 737 aircraft and most MD80 and 757 aircraft
- Alaska: GoGo on virtually all flights over the lower 48 states, except for a few of the oldest 737-400s
- Delta: Wifi on nearly all domestic flights, including all 319s, 320s, 737-700s, 757-300s, 767-300s, MD88s, MD90s, CRJ 700/900s and ERJ 170/175s, plus some DC9-50s and 757-200s. International flights are promised “soon” but there is no definition of “soon.”
- Frontier: GoGo available only on Embraer 190 aircraft.
- JetBlue: Doesn’t provide Wi-Fi at all, but promises a dramatically faster service in the near future.
- Southwest: Southwest uses Row 44, and just announced that 70% of its flights now have in-flight Wi-Fi, including all of its -700 and -800 aircraft
- United: GoGo currently on transcontinental “PS” flights only, and has started rolling out service to its international flights, with just two 747s equipped with satellite Wi-Fi systems as of March 2013, but is adding Wi-Fi to roughly 25 (domestic) planes each month in 2013. United will reportedy ”first outfit the narrow body planes — such as the Airbus 319 and 320 — which fly domestically, but will also have more than 50 wide-body, international aircraft outfitted by the end of the year”
- US Airways: GoGo on all Airbus 321s, and is expanding to all Embraer 170, 175 and 190 aircraft in 2013
- Virgin America: GoGo on all planes, and up to 100 miles into Mexico
oday, Delta Air Lines, Inc. (DAL) and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (HOT) announced a comprehensive new partnership that offers exclusive new benefits to Delta SkyMiles Medallion members and Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) elite members. The program, called Crossover Rewards, begins March 1 and provides elite members of both loyalty programs reciprocal benefits.
Crossover Rewards allows Delta and Starwood elites to share program benefits and earn more miles and Starpoints. SkyMiles Diamond and Platinum Medallion members will have access to added benefits including priority check-in, 4 p.m. late checkout and free in-room internet access when staying at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. All Delta Medallion members also will earn one mile per dollar spent on eligible room rates when staying with Starwood in addition to the Starpoints usually earned for their stay. In turn, SPG Platinum members will receive one free checked bag, priority check-in and priority boarding when flying Delta. SPG elite members will earn one Starpoint per dollar spent on eligible flights in addition to the miles usually earned for their flight.