Carry-On Baggage Fees Being Tolerated By More Customers, Study Claims

Airlines over the last few years have begun charging an increasing amount of money for baggage fees. While customers often complain about those fees, a new study suggests carry-on fees are on customers’ minds less than they use to be.

A J.D. Power Associates airline satisfaction study for 2013 finds that, in general, customer satisfaction with airlines is at its highest level since 2006.

The study discovered that, on a 1,000-point scale, airlines are now receiving 695 points, which is up by 14 points from 2012. The survey involved 11,800 airline passengers.

When specifically focusing on carry-on baggage fees, J.D Power found that there is less of a gap in satisfaction between carry-on fliers and people who check all of their baggage.

According to J.D. Power Associations senior manager Ramez Faza:

“Charging for bags still has a pronounced negative impact on passenger satisfaction, but with each year, passengers are increasingly more accepting of carriers unbundling baggage and other fees.”

In 2008, most major airlines began charging a baggage fee to offset the rapidly increasing cost of fuel. The cost of fuel has increased to now account for between 25 percent to 30 percent of all operating costs.

In 2012, baggage fees were the top add-on revenue for airlines. Bag fees in 2012 accounts for $3.5 billion in sales, up from $3.4 billion in 2011 and $1.15 billion in 2008.

The study finds that 37 percent of respondents are tolerant of fees, an increase from 28 percent in 2012 and 18 percent in 2011.

While carry-on baggage fees have increased, it appears that many customers who responded understand the volatility of the airline industry.

With numerous airlines over the years claiming bankruptcy and constant mergers on the radar, airlines have aimed to become profitable at every level.

In all honestly, I would rather pay for my carry-on luggage than lose leg space because of crammed in new seating, another practice being used by some discount airline carriers.

[Image via Mattes / Wikipedia]