US legacy airlines topped the charts in terms of revenue earned from ancillary sales in 2010, the latest research reveals.
Ideaworks and Amadeus carried out the analysis of some 47 airlines worldwide, which reported an increase in ancillary revenue of 96% on 2008 to €15 billion.
United Continental earnt the most globally from ancillary sales, having racked up €3.5 billion in revenue.
Delta came in a close second with €2.6 billion and American Airlines third with €1.3 billion.
Strong revenue from baggage fees and co-branded credit cards helped the US carriers rank highly, according to the Amadeus Review of Ancillary Revenue Results.
Jay Sorensen, the review’s author and president of Ideaworks, said the latest report demonstrates that ancillary sales are no longer the reserve of the low cost carrier.
“Today, Ancillary revenue has grown well beyond its low-cost airline beginnings and is practiced around the globe,” he said.
“Difficult airline economics are driving this activity. Carriers can boost revenue through a la carte fees to balance damage brought by recession, new competitors, traveler demand for low fares – due to the culture prompted by low-cost airlines – and rising oil prices.”
While US carriers ranked highly in total revenue, when analysing the revenue per passenger Malaysian carrier Air Asia X claimed the top spot with an average of €29.
Qantas took second place with an average of €26 per passenger, while United Continental came in third with €24 per passenger.