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U.S. Airlines Ease Fare Slump on $18.1 Billion Ancillary Revenue

  • Carriers turn to extra charges as competition damps airfares
  • Consultant sees record haul from fees, mileage sales

U.S. airlines are poised to finish 2015 with a record haul from fees and other ancillary revenue even as they struggle to raise fares.

The tally for the six largest carriers will be $18.1 billion, according to consultant About 55 percent of the total comes from the sale of frequent-flier miles to other companies for use as rewards, IdeaWorks estimated. Most of the rest is paid by individuals, for services such as checked-bag charges and buy-on-board food.