Airlines earned $769 million in the first quarter on fees they charged to passengers who wanted to check their luggage, up from $578 million during the same period the previous year, according to the Department of Transportation. Airlines also took in $554 million in change fees and another $534 million in other "ancillary" fees. "This has become a billion-dollar industry," said Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel. "This is clearly working for the airlines. And they're not going away anytime soon."
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