US airlines took $8bn extra fees

THE US airline industry raked in nearly $8bn (£5.2bn) from fees last year, according to a government report.

Revenue from so-called ancillary fees totalled $7.8bn in 2009, according to the US Department of Transportation. The figure is 40 per cent up from 2008, when ancillary fees totalled $5.5bn.

The tally does not include air fares, but is made of extras such as fees to transport checked bags, pets, and musical instruments. Airlines collected $2.7bn in baggage fees, $2.4bn for reservation changes and $2.7bn from an assortment of other ancillary fees.