Airline profits soared in second quarter

Southwest Airlines jets are seen at Baltimore Washington International Airport in Baltimore, Md. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, file) (Charles Dharapak/AP)

Airlines are making money, and if you think that’s not news, you’ve not been paying attention.

The federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics just announced that, boosted by baggage and ticket-change fees,  the largest passenger airlines had a net profit of $2.1 billion in the second quarter of this year. That’s a big increase from their $700 million profit during the same quarter of 2012 and way up from the anemic profits or net losses of the past decade.

BTS said the big airlines had a 9 percent pre-tax profit in the second quarter, up from 6 percent during the same period in 2012.  The total revenue for all airlines in the second quarter of 2013 was $41.2 billion. That income included $871 million in baggage fees and $719 million from reservation change fees.

Delta raked in the most profit, $688 million, followed by United ($484 million), US Airways ($325 million), American ($228 million) and Southwest ($223 million).

Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.
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