Extra fees were a way for airlines to combat the severe drop in air travel during the recession, and they've worked—United led the way with $1.9 billion of them last year. Worldwide, airlines collected $13.5 billion in 2009, most of it from baggage fees, a 43% increase over 2008, the Chicago Tribune reports. But now that airlines are generally profitable again, don't expect the extra charges to go away.
"The fees are here to stay," says one industry analyst. Continental, which reported its quarterly results today to round out a relatively strong quarter for the industry, saw revenues climb by 20% to $3.71 billion for the quarter, fueled by higher fares and—you guessed it—extra fees, Forbes reports.