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US carriers raise baggage fees

American Airlines has become the latest US carrier to increase its baggage fees, joining the likes of United, Delta and Jetblue.

The first checked bag will now cost US$30 on American Airlines for domestic flights in economy or main cabin seats – $5 more than the current price – while the second bag will cost $40. To bring a bag on a flight to Europe, basic economy passengers will now have to pay out $60 for the first bag and $100 for a second.

Jetblue was the first of the carriers to increase the fee for the first bag to $30 at the end of August, apparently kicking off a trend amongst its competitors. The airline only began charging for bags in 2015.

United followed soon after, while Delta introduced the price hike earlier this week.

American Airlines says it is the first time it has increased its baggage fees since 2010.

The news comes as the 2018 Cartrawler Yearbook of Ancillary Revenue by Ideaworks Company shows global airline ancillary revenue has increased from US$2.1 billion in 2007 to $29.7 billion in 2017.

United, Delta and American Airlines were the top three airlines with the most ancillary revenue, with each taking more than $5 billion in 2017. More than 59 per cent of United’s ancillary revenue came from ‘a la carte’ options such as bags and travel retail commissions.