Via Gulliver, airlines earned $22.6 bn from ancillary fees in 2011 (pdf), up 66% from 2009:
Once largely limited to low fare airlines, ancillary revenue is now a priority for many airlines worldwide, and the Review announced today shows how far the industry’s approach to ancillary revenue has developed in recent years.
Jay Sorensen, President of IdeaWorksCompany, says: “Our first report into ancillary
revenue was issued in 2007, when only 23 airlines worldwide disclosed ancillary revenue
activity in financial filings, and the result was a modest €1.72 billion ($2.45 billion). Four
years later, 50 airlines today disclose ancillary revenue activity of €18.23 billion ($22.6
billion). It’s clear that airlines recognize the importance of ancillary revenue and are
developing increasingly innovative ways to generate this.”
"Increasingly innovative." Nice. Anyone remember this ditty from Fascinating Aida, which now applies as much to United as it did to Ryanair?