Top Airlines Reap 2Q Profits Including More than $1 Billion in Fees

The latest figures for the second quarter of 2012 (April, May and June) have been released by the Department of Transportation revealing that the nine largest airlines achieved an operating profit margin.

Fees to Try During the Holidays

Profitable Airlines

United topped the list – other big profits were racked up by Southwest, US Airways, Delta, Alaska, American and JetBlue. The total figure for all reporting carriers in the second quarter was $2.3 billion.

Banned Bag Item Flyers Forget About

Bag Fees of Nearly $1 Billion

As always these days, so-called optional charges play a part with baggage fees bringing in the lion’s share for a total of $932 million. The top bag fee earners:

  • Delta – $231 million
  • United – $194 million
  • American – $149 million
  • US Airways  $136 million
  • Southwest – $50 million

Southwest remains the lone carrier that does not charge for the first two checked-bags. JetBlue, which offers one free bag, ranked 10th with $17 million.

Change Fee Revenue

Another expensive fee – for cancelations or changes to itineraries – brought in an additional $661 million. Again, Delta topped the list, followed by United, American and US Airways.

Southwest, which does not charge a change fee but now includes merger partner AirTran’s financial information in its reporting – and AirTran does have a change fee – came in sixth on the list with $11 million.


Published: September 25, 2012