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Refunds May Cost Airlines $600K a Month

To put these numbers into perspective, however, keep in mind that airlines reaped more than $3 billion per year from baggage fees last year. Delta alone earned some $952 million from baggage fees, yet by our calculations would have lost just $600,000 in May. If we assumed Delta lost this much each month, that would still only be $7.2 million in lost revenue for the year, or less than one-hundredth of what it takes in from baggage fees.

Southwest (LUV)
Mishandled baggage complaints in May: 37,360
Cost of first checked bag: Free
Estimated lost revenue: $0

American Airlines (AMR)
Mishandled baggage complaints in May: 24,999
Cost of first checked bag:: $25
Estimated lost revenue: $624,975

Delta Airlines (DAL)
Mishandled baggage complaints in May: 24,014
Cost of first checked bag: $25
Estimated lost revenue: $600,350

American Eagle Airlines
Mishandled baggage complaints in May: 12,896
Cost of first checked bag: $25
Estimated lost revenue: $322,400

US Airways (LCC)
Mishandled baggage complaints in May: 11,932
Cost of first checked bag: $25
Estimated lost revenue: $298,300

United Airlines (UAL)
Mishandled baggage complaints in May: 10,357
Cost of first checked bag: $25
Estimated lost revenue: $258,925

Continental Airlines (CAL)
Mishandled baggage complaints in May: 9,566
Cost of first checked bag: $25
Estimated lost revenue: $239,150

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