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Airlines boost take from passengers

The latest study on passenger fees collected by the world’s airlines reached a predictable conclusion: Airlines are pocketing more than ever.

The annual tally by IdeaWorksCompany, a Wisconsin-based consultant to the airline industry, found that 59 airlines collected $31.5 billion in fees in 2013, compared with $27.1 billion for 53 airlines in 2012.

More surprising, the study said the practice of charging extra fees to check bags, upgrade to roomier seats and collect loyalty reward points, among other charges, has spread to nearly every carrier in the world.

One of the last holdouts, British Airways, began last year to charge a checked-bag fee for short-haul flights from Gatwick Airport. The fee generated $77 million in 2013, the study said.

But passenger frustration with fees may have finally forced some airlines to pull back on the charges.

One of the innovators of passenger fees, low-cost RyanAir from Ireland, recently lowered some charges and allowed passengers to bring a small second carry-on bag into the plane at no charge.


When hotels ask guests to reuse towels to conserve water and energy, about half of guests say they comply, with another 39 percent saying they sometimes reuse towels.

Those results, from a survey of 2,700 travelers nationwide, suggest most travelers have accepted some conservation efforts by the hotel industry, said Patricia Griffin, president and founder of the "Green" Hotels Association, a global environmental group.

The survey found that 11 percent of guests ignore conservation efforts and instead throw used towels on the floor, according to the survey by Travel Leaders Group, a Minneapolis travel company.

Business travelers and college students are most likely to reuse towels, she said.

Who is least likely?

"It’s mostly families on vacation," Griffin said.

Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times

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