Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Tue September 15 2015

Airline Ancillary Revenues Rise Again

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | September 15, 2015

Airline Ancillary Revenues Rise Again

Airline ancillary fees.

They aren’t going away anytime soon, not with this kind of money at stake.

The 2015 CarTrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue, produced by IdeaWorksCompany, reported Monday that ancillary revenue from 63 airlines was $38.1 billion for 2014. That represents an increase of more than $35.6 billion since 2007, and the 2014 number is up 20.9 percent over $31.5 billion from 2013.

IdeaWorksCompany researched financial filings made by 130 airlines all over the world, 63 of which disclosed qualifying revenue activity.

Some of the findings were fascinating.

Ancillary fees represent 38.7 percent of total revenue for Spirit Airlines in the U.S., they average $56.28 per passenger for in the United Kingdom and United Airlines alone raked in $5.86 billion in 2014.

The full 98-page report examines the 63 airlines that disclosed revenue in financial filings during 2014 from sources such as frequent flier miles sold to partners, fees for checked bags and commissions from car rentals.

Some other nuggets include:

• Lufthansa’s Miles & More frequent flier program contributed income in excess of $90 million, which more than doubles the 2013 amount.

• Ryanair believes 25 percent of its passengers are business travelers, and up to 9,000 a day are buying its Business Plus fare bundle.

• Volaris, a low fare airline in Mexico, generated more than $3.5 million from the sale of memberships in its V-Club, which provides access to members-only low fare deals.

• Vueling’s ancillary revenue per passenger was $15.45 during 2014. But the average for bookings made exclusively via direct channels (such as the website) leaps to $29.19.


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