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Airlines are given slack for the boost in ancillary fees, but cruises and theme parks have long used the same strategy to beef up profits; albeit for more than just an inch of leg room.
The global airline industry is expected to pocket more than $36 billion in passenger fees this year, including charges to check bags, connect to onboard Wi-Fi and purchase food and drinks. That represents about 5.4 percent of the industry’s overall revenue.
But a company that helps maximize airlines’ fees noted in a study last week that many other industries also rely heavily on so-called “ancillary revenue.”
For example, Disney Parks and Resorts gets 49 percent of its revenue from charges other than for park admission, including food and merchandise, according to IdeaWorksCompany in Wisconsin. Norwegian Cruise Line Corp. makes about 30 percent of its revenue from food, drinks and spending at spas and casinos on its ships.
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