Airlines really, really want you to pack a bag—ideally a large one that you have to check—and millions of travelers are taking them up on it. At an average of $25 a pop, baggage fees helped the U.S. airline industry rake in $4.6 billion last year, the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports.
The fees are not the only way airlines are making a little pocket change. They made another $2.9 billion on reservation changes. According to ticket site Hopper, domestic travelers pay an average of $191 to change or cancel their flight, and that adds up.
All those little extras helped the country’s 23 airlines make an after-tax amount of $15.5 billion in 2017, up from $14 billion in 2016. So if you want to avoid giving airlines more of your hard-earned cash in the form of pesky fees, pack a small carry-on and don’t change your ticket.