Everyone enjoys an interactive chart right? Here’s one breaking down an airline ticket price into its constituent expenses. From the average ticket price of $506.62 for a flight from Los Angeles, CA to New York City, NY, the airline only books about $33.45 in profits. That’s a mere 6.5% profit margin, one that can get easily eaten up by fluctuating fuel prices. It’s no wonder they charge $50 bag fees!
The chart is based on 2010Q3 fuel prices but it lets you see the impact of fuel prices on profit margins. Increase fuel prices by 30% and the profit shrinks to $4.10, or a mere 0.8% profit margin. Yikes.
I suppose I don’t feel that bad about bag fees, considering how little the airlines make, but they really should be increasing fares, not nickel and diming on fees.