Airline bag and change fee revenue hit a record $6.4 billion in 2014 and the third quarter, propelled by summer travel, generated the highest fees, new data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show.

Bag fee revenue was up 5.3% year-over-year to $3.5 billion in 2014 from the 27 U.S. carriers with scheduled passenger service, a record high for U.S. airlines. Delta historically collects the most bag fee revenue each year and 2014 was no exception: The airline got $875 million from these fees, and United and American followed at $651 million and $574 million, respectively.

Airlines also notched a record year for change fees, collecting $2.9 billion last year, and that was 5.7% more than in 2013. Delta, United, and American also received the most revenue from these fees (see chart below).

Bag fees accounted for 2.1% of airlines’ total operating revenue and change fees claimed 1.8%.

Because of seasonality, the third quarter of 2014 accounted for the most bag and change fees and the first quarter the least.

There was also less fluctuation between the third and fourth quarters for change fees last year (down $10 million from the third to fourth quarter) compared with 2013 (a $40 million drop). Last year, the greatest increase happened between the first and second quarters when revenues jumped about $27 million to $752 million. The same scenario played out with bag fees with revenue jumping $109 million sequentially in the second quarter of 2014.

Last year’s largest decreases for both fee types occurred between the the third and fourth quarters — a $60 million decrease for bag fees versus an $83 million decrease for change fees.

U.S. Airlines Bag Fee Revenue 2014 ($ in thousands)

RankAirline1Q2Q3Q4Q2014
1Delta190,640227,066237,002208,201862,909
2United147,157163,523180,713160,464651,857
3American120,767147,174154,888151,601574,430
4US Airways128,934135,632126,221120,494511,281
5Spirit56,64161,72462,62360,879241,867
6Frontier22,13930,38146,14346,190144,853
7Alaska24,96230,51037,45527,703120,630
8Allegiant22,38021,24331,89732,297107,817
9JetBlue18,62319,79222,88822,21383,516
10Hawaiian17,30418,96520,89218,93676,097
11Southwest21,36222,96217,73211,11473,170
12Virgin America13,36515,99016,25114,55160,157
13Sun Country4,8533,5723,9633,48115,869
14Island Air Hawaii9589921,0879353,972
15Mesa883000883
All790,968899,526959,755879,0593,529,308

U.S. Airlines Change Fee Revenue 2014 ($ in thousands)

RankAirline1Q2Q3Q4Q2014
1Delta220,251223,834226,140205,156875,381
2United194,003205,802211,078191,700802,583
3American131,739142,307143,032136,750553,828
4US Airways84,60083,16279,86873,107320,737
5JetBlue38,57837,81738,10040,781155,276
6Alaska23,76523,97524,15520,76692,661
7Hawaiian4,8834,8065,47440,87956,042
8Spirit9,0969,4439,78710,06338,389
9Virgin America9,2388,9569,34210,28137,817
10Frontier4,8365,6876,6025,80822,933
11Sun Country57551558210,06211,734
12Allegiant2,1772,4852,0872,3459,094
13Southwest1,9093,8452,2012438,198
14Island Air Hawaii148167164121600
All725,798752,801758,612748,0622,985,273

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Photo Credit: U.S. airlines collected more than $6.5 billion in baggage and reservation change fees from passengers in 2014, the highest amount since the fees became common five years ago. David Goldman / Associated Press