Airlines earn loads from the extras

LAX Flight Path Museum airplane models

You’re not imagining it. All those little ‘extras’ the airlines charge really do add up.

The proof, of course is in the price of your airline ticket once you add the charge for choosing a seat and bringing along a checked bag. But also in a host of other ancillary items that Jay Sorensen of the IdeaWorks Company totes up for us annually after scouring the financial findings of airlines.

He’s tallied the 2015 revenue breakouts from 67 airlines reporting an overall $40.5 billion in ancillary income for the 2016 edition of the CarTrawler Ancillary Revenue Yearbook.

He looked at disclosed revenue from activities such as frequent flier miles sold to partners, fees for checked bags, commissions from car rentals and at la carte items sold through Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport for each of the 67 airlines.

Here are the some of the highlights:

*The “winner” in ancillary revenue share is Spirit, at 43.4 percent.

*Allegiant Air sold 452,272 hotel room nights and 1,204,982 car rental days to
passengers which contributed to ancillary revenue from 3rd parties of $40.2 million for
the year.

*Delta earned $125 million from its Comfort+ seating product.

*Qatar Airways took in $528 million from the sale of duty free goods.

*United disclosed mileage sales of $2.999 billion for 2015 with the majority of miles sold
to Chase Bank for the MileagePlus co-branded credit card.

There’s lots more in the report, which I plan to review over lunch, but in the meantime, here’s a link in case you want to dive in now.

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