U.S. airlines collected nearly $4.2 billion in checked baggage fees last year. That sum could rise even more as airlines bring such fees international.
Starting in April, Delta Air Lines will charge passengers who book highly restrictive basic economy fares $60 each way to check a bag for travel between the U.S. or Canada and Europe or North Africa.
The airline, among others, is taking basic economy abroad, in hopes that it will drum up more revenue as record numbers of passengers are traveling by air. Airline executives, including those at Delta, estimate that about half of passengers opt to pay for a higher coach-class fare than selecting the cheaper basic economy.