The Department of Transportation released figure stating that passengers paid 1.2 billion dollars in baggage fees just between July and December. Which is up about 10% from last year during the same period. Between April and June baggage fees reached their highest ever at $1.18 billion.
Some experts believe this is at least partially due to the popular rise of very basic economy fares. These fliers can’t use overhead bins, so if they show up and can’t stash their carry-on under the seat they get stuck with a fee.
American Airlines and United Airlines both have very basic fairs which allow only one small personal item on board. In addition to this, there have just been more fliers generally speaking, hopefully due to a healthy economy and lower fares overall.