The fees — typically $50 round-trip for the first piece of checked luggage — are one of the few bright spots for an industry that is caught between rising fuel costs and customers who expect rock-bottom airfares.

"If it weren't for the fees, the airlines would most likely be losing money," said Jim Corridore, airline analyst with Standard & Poor's.

They might still be offering "rock-bottom" airfare to customers, but U.S. airlines have found creative new ways to make money off of you.  Bag fees have become the favorite way that airlines make additional money off of their passengers.  In fact, as an industry, they collecte

d 24-percent more in bag fees in 2010 as compared to 2009.

 

Airlines collected $3.4B in bag fees in 2010 - Travel - News - msnbc.com.