New data published by the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics has revealed that airlines have collected more than $1bn in baggage fees during the first quarter of 2017.

The achievement marks the fourth consecutive quarter that baggage fees surpassed $1bn.

In addition, the carriers have collected another $723m in reservation change or cancellation fees during the same period.

In 2016, a record $4.2bn in bag fees was collected and $2.9bn in ticket fees which when combined exceeds the $3.35bn offered by the federal government for the Airport Improvement Programme in fiscal year 2017.

Since 2008, airlines have received more than $30bn in baggage fees and $23.7bn in ticket change and cancellation fees.

"PFC revenues build facilities that enhance the passenger experience at airports."

Meanwhile, US airports collectively received approximately $3bn in 2015 from the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), which is a local airport user fee that must be justified, imposed and used locally on the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved projects that improve airport facilities.

The federal cap on the local PFC, which is not a tax and never goes to the federal Treasury, has not been adjusted since 2000.

It finances the construction of new runways, terminals and other airport infrastructure.

Based on the data, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) has again urged the airlines to stop their strong opposition against the modernisation of PFC.

AAAE president and CEO Todd Hauptli said: “A billion dollars in three months? More than $4bn a year – good work if you can get it, but what the airlines clearly ‘don’t get’ is that airports need to modernise their facilities and the PFC is the best way of doing that.

“PFC revenues build facilities that enhance the passenger experience at airports.”