The US airlines that created the largest, most redonkulous and abusive fees this year lost the most money last quarter. Airlines with low or no fees lost the least.
Accountants have rigged the system. They create a stream to track the ancillary revenue from fees and they look like heroes when they can report they earned the airline millions of dollars of "new" revenue. But ask them if they can track the revenue we lose because passengers booked away or chose not to fly and they look at you like you have nine heads…
To celebrate the victory of fees over profit, several airlines used their first-quarter reporting to add still more ancillary revenue initiatives:
+ Delta Air Lines, which lost $693 million in the first quarter and suffered a 15 percent decline in revenue, will now charge you $50 if you check a second bag on an international flight.
+ Alaska Airlines will charge a first-bag fee of $15 on domestic flights.
+ US Airways is raising its checked-bag fees by $5 each if you don't prepay on the Web.