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.
Eight rental car companies serving Midway Airport travelers will operate under one roof beginning Tuesday.
It should mean fewer rental-car shuttle buses clogging the terminal roadway and shorter waits for car renters, officials said.
A single fleet of white shuttle buses displaying the rental car companies’ names and logos will traverse between Midway’s passenger terminal at 5700 S. Cicero Ave. and a $55 million consolidated rental car center a few minutes’ drive away at 5150 W. 55th St., according to the Chicago Department of Aviation.
The shuttles will use a buses-only airport road that passes over Cicero and goes directly to the rental car center.
The five-level center can hold 1,870 vehicles, increasing Midway’s capacity for rental cars by more than 500 percent, officials said.