It was an interesting summer for air travel. Analysts are already glancing back at the summer travel season to spot trends in the data released by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics this month. It turns out that both airfare rates and baggage fees soared during the summer of 2019. Airline revenue was also up during the summer travel season of 2019.
How much did travelers in the United States pay for baggage during the summer of 2019? Airlines in the United States charged passengers $1.5 billion in baggage fees during a three-month period covering April, May and June. American Airlines made more than $350 million during the period between April and June. Delta Air Lines brought in $288 million during that same period. United Airlines brought in $275 million in baggage revenue this summer.
Analysts aren't exactly shocked by the news that carriers in the United States saw higher earnings from baggage this year. American, Delta and United all increased baggage fees recently. All three legacy carriers increased baggage fees from $25 to $30 for a first checked bag. In addition, all three carriers raised the fee for a second bag from $35 to $45. The end result is that carriers in the United States charged $264 million more for bags during 2019's second quarter than they did during 2018's second quarter.
Ticket prices were also higher during the summer of 2019. In fact, August saw the largest increase in ticket prices for 2019. Ticket prices for August of this year were a full 1.6 percent higher than they were during August of last year. The price increases that are being seen across the airline industry are largely due to the mass grounding of the 737 MAX back in the spring. The mass grounding of the 737 MAX left many carriers with reduced fleets during a peak period for travel.