Airline industry experts are predicting more pain for travelers already hit by a bevy of luggage and ancillary fees.
After Spirit Airlines of Florida and Allegiant Air of Las Vegas began charging for carry-on bags last year, all major airlines in the U.S. are expected to follow suit 2013.
Such sites as Airfarewatchdog predict the across the board fees will first be signaled by American, Delta or United. Once one of those carriers begins charging for carry-ons, watch for the coming stampede.
Spirit Airlines jacked its carry-on fees up to $100 per bag in November 2012 – for those who wait at the last minute (at the boarding gate) to pay. The standard, on-line purchase price is $35; via phone, $40; and at the counter, $50.
“Our goal is for no customer ever to pay the $100 fee," said Spirit Chief Operating Officer Tony Lefebvre in a statement. "By planning ahead and paying for bags before getting to the boarding gate, our customers are saving time at the airport and speeding up the boarding process. When our customers choose these time-saving, self-service options, our costs go down, and we can pass those savings along to our customers."
Baggage fees have been a gold mine for airlines that were once ailing, netting up to over $3 billion a year. Total ancillary airline revenue reached just over $26 billion worldwide in 2012, according to the Amadeus Worldwide Estimate of Ancillary Revenue.
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