U.S. airlines cashed-in on the combination of packed planes and charging more to change reservations in the first quarter. The Department of Transportation says U.S. airlines collected $685 million in reservation change fees in the first quarter, an increase of nearly 8 percent from the same period a year ago.
Airlines also boosted how much they collected in baggage fees by nearly 2 percent, with revenue topping $800 million.
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The increase in revenue from those fees are the main reason most U.S.-based airlines reported a rare profit in the first quarter, typically the slowest three months of the year for the industry. In fact, seven of the nine largest airlines posted an operating profit in the first quarter and the industry as a whole reported a profit of $438 million.