Shelling out for airline baggage fees is the worst. But not as infuriating as finding out how much it all adds up to.
In 2010 so far, the U.S. airlines have netted $2.6 billion in baggage fees.
One airline blew its closest competitor out of the water for most revenue raised in baggage fees -- our own Delta Airlines.[jump]
Delta -- which gobbled up Northwest Airlines in 2008 -- made $733 million in baggage fees so far in 2010. American Airlines was a distant second with $431 million.
So fine, Delta is now the world's biggest carrier since the Northwest merger and carried more passengers than all the other U.S. airlines for most of 2010, too. We're still mad.
Plus, some of their baggage fees are also higher than competitors's, and Delta was all too eager to jump on the fee bandwagon in the beginning.
"They've been at the forefront of this caravan of adding fees," says George Hamlin, an analyst who follows Delta closely.
While the first two bag charges -- $25 for the first one and $35 for the second -- are pretty standard, by the third bag Delta jumps to $125, and $200 a pop after that. Overweight bag charges are higher than the other airlines, too.
Have we mentioned that Southwest -- the U.S. airline that carried the second-most passengers in 2010 -- doesn't charge for bags or flight changes?
We know how at least one Minnesota woman feels about it, after she dumped her luggage in a bag carousel at MSP rather than pay to check them -- it caused a bomb-scare.