Ancillary fees are skyrocketing
Total airline ticket sales are up almost 10 percent in the United States over last year, according to newly released data from the Airlines Ratings Corporation.
The number of ticketed passengers jumped 7.75% year-on-year to 26.5 million in March 2017, the ARC data shows. The total value of tickets of airline tickets sold increased 6.4%, from $8.3 billion to $8.8 billion.
Domestic flight passenger numbers were up about 6 percent in March 2017 to 17.1 million, while international travel was up 11.7% to 9.3 million trips in March.
The average ticket price in March was $498, compared to $487 in February and $464 in January, representing little to no change over average prices last year.
The unhappy news for travelers is that ancillary sales — add-on costs such as seat upgrades and baggage fees — skyrocketed over that same time period. Total ancillary sales increased 239% to $9.3 million over 2016. The number of those transactions almost quadrupled, from 33,400 in March 2016 to 159,000 in March 2017.
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