Nobody likes the extra expense and irritation of baggage fees — no one, that is, except for the airlines, which are making record amounts of money off the fees collected per person, per trip, catapulting their revenues into the billions just for these ancillary costs that passengers have to bear.

Airline baggage fees increased last year, again. The increase was only by $5, but it hurts the wallets of every passenger, especially those traveling with families. Now, on most major airlines, the cost for the first bag is $30 and the cost for the second is $40—meaning that a four-person family, each flying with one bag for both the flight to their destination and back home, will have to pay $240 in baggage fees alone.

Not that the airlines care, that is. They’re making absolute bank on the fees they’re collecting. In the first quarter of this year, major U.S. airlines pulled in $1.3 billion in profits on baggage fees. In the first quarter of 2018, they made $1.1 billion. It’s a revenue increase of about $170 million, MSN reported, based on data from the Department of Transportation.

It is possible to avoid those baggage fees, though. MSN shared five different ways to do so:

  1. Get a credit card with perks that include free baggage.
  2. Use that card until you get to Elite status.
  3. Fly Southwest, the only major airline not charging bag fees.
  4. Lighten up how much you pack so everything fits into a carryon.
  5. Check your bag at the gate, which is often free if the airline needs to do it.

[Featured Image: Shutterstock]

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