The American Association of Airport Executives questioned airline opposition to increasing the Passenger Facility Charge after the U.S. Department of Transportation revealed that revenue from baggage fees and reservation changes hit $1.7 billion during the first quarter of 2016.
“Airline baggage fee collections are growing as high as the sun in today’s summer solstice sky, and yet the carriers continue to oppose a modest increase in the [PFC] that would allow airports to better accommodate the record number of passengers crowding into checkpoints and other facilities,” says Todd Hauptli, president and CEO of AAAE. “It’s time for Congress to see past airline rhetoric and pass a comprehensive reauthorization bill that prioritizes airport infrastructure investment.”
DOT data indicated that airlines collected nearly $975 million in baggage fees in the first quarter of 2016, up more than $100 million from the same period in 2015. Carriers also benefited from $745 million in reservation change or cancelation fees in the first quarter. Bag fees were $3.8 billion for the entirety of 2015.
AAAE reported that airports collectively received about $3 billion from the PFC, which has been capped at $4.50 per flight segment since 2000.