Airlines Disad Negative

Brink - Profits/Fuel/Baggage

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Brink - Profits/Fuel/Baggage

Fuel and baggage fees put airlines on the brink

Wall Street Journal, May 17 [“BTS: US Airlines 4Q Operating Profit Slumped 30% Despite Higher Revenue]

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics said U.S. airlines recorded a 30% year-over-year drop in operating profit in the fourth quarter, underscoring the ongoing challenge of high costs to fuel planes. The BTS, a unit of the U.S. Department of Transportation, said the airline industry's operating profit slumped to $1.15 billion in the fourth quarter, down from $1.64 billion a year earlier. Operating revenue, meanwhile, rose 6% to $46.65 billion. Many airlines have reported deteriorating profitability in recent quarters as climbing fuel costs chip into revenue gains. As part of their fourth-quarter revenue, airlines collected $792 million in baggage fees, down from $828.8 million a year earlier. Fees to change flight reservations totaled $567.1 million from October to December 2011, up slightly from $559.5 million in the same period a year earlier.

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