Since the charge for checking baggage in Brazil was released in 2017, airlines have already billed around R$ 3 billion with the service. This value had been growing year after year, but the cycle of highs was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and the reduction in air activity around the world.
This week, the Chamber of Deputies approved an amendment to a provisional measure that resumes free sending of bags. Shipping would be free again for luggage weighing up to 23 kg on domestic flights and up to 30 kg on international flights. The new rule will still be analyzed by the Senate before being sent for sanction or veto by President Jair Bolsonaro.
The survey, carried out by UOL with data sent by airlines to Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency), reveals that, in the five years in which the measure has been in force, it has come to represent one of the main auxiliary incomes of companies, which are those that are not directly linked for the sale of the air ticket.
See how much the largest national companies have made with charges for baggage on regular flights in recent years:
2017 (from the second half of the year): BRL 293.9 million 2018: BRL 754.9 million 2019: BRL 959.7 million 2020: BRL 520.1 million 2021 (up to the third quarter): BRL 453.9 millionTotal: BRL 2.982 billion
The charge for checked baggage only started to be made in fact from June 2017, as the measure was suspended by court order during the first half of that year. These values also include those with excess luggage weight, which were normally charged before the measure was approved.
In 2016, for example, the four largest airlines in the country charged BRL 73.6 million for passengers’ excess baggage, amounts well below those of the following years.
Ancillary revenues are 21.5% of airline earnings
Airline revenues from items other than air tickets specifically accounted for 21.5% of airline earnings in 2020. These revenues include earnings from the following services:
Cargo and mail transport (mail and other parcels)Penalties (such as no-show and rebooking fees)Checking baggageSeat assignmentIn-flight service
In 2021 alone, these services and other ancillary revenues represented an increase of R$ 4.2 billion in the funds of the three largest companies in the country (Azul, Gol and Latam Brasil). In that year, the total revenue from air transport in these companies was approximately R$ 19.5 billion, of which R$ 15.3 billion were related to the sale of air tickets.
In the United States, for example, Spirit and Allegiant companies have 47% and 46.5% of their sales made up of ancillary revenues, respectively.
As for baggage charges, this is one of the companies’ main sources of extra revenue. According to a study by the consultancy IdeaWorksCompany, in partnership with the technology company CarTrawler, during the year 2021, the 20 largest airlines in the world profited US$ 20.9 billion (R$ 103.8 billion) from this type alone. of revenue.
This amount represented a slice of 4.6% of the companies’ revenues. In 2019, the value reached US$ 32.9 billion (R$ 163.4 billion), 3.7% of the airlines’ revenue.