I understand that most LCCs base their business model on the assumption that they will accommodate as many traveller budgets as possible by providing everyone with a "pay only for what you need" option and that they profit largely from ancillary services, but in reality, do they actually save money when most passengers on a fairly busy flight are hand-baggage only, or do they rather lose money?

Also, do they incur any charges from airport baggage handling companies on a per bag basis?

How much fuel cost is added by a heavily-loaded cargo hold and is it really offset by baggage fees considering that a passenger who is hand baggage only can be twice as heavy as another passenger with two checked bags?

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    Are their charges based on what the services cost them, or on how much money they can get from passengers? – Patricia Shanahan Nov 10 '16 at 9:17
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this belongs to aviation stackexchange and is partially answered at aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/13813/… already – chx Nov 10 '16 at 9:55
  • Some low cost carriers charge for hand baggage as well. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Nov 10 '16 at 10:04
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    On a related note, the LCC Easyjet did not charge for the first piece of checked bagged at least until 2007. They later started doing this as it became an industry trend. Since the carrier seems to be charged for using the baggage handling facilities at the airport, this also seems to make sense. – DCTLib Nov 10 '16 at 10:15
  • I read the suggested answer but it doesn't say anything specific about baggage fees. However, a moderator could indeed move this question to Aviation, if deemed appropriate. – logic Nov 10 '16 at 10:21

Charges associated to checked baggages come not only from fuel and airport handling but also from time spent to load and unload baggages to and from the plane.

Airlines loose money for every minute that theirs planes are not flying.

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    Of course, the last sentence only applies if loading luggage actually reduces the amount of time planes spend flying. This won't necessarily hold since luggage is loaded in parallel with other tasks. If, for example, loading luggage takes 20 minutes and refueling takes 25 minutes, then reducing luggage loading time to 15 minutes won't speed up departure nor increase the time spent flying. – Nate Eldredge Nov 10 '16 at 14:52
  • Companies such as Easyjet reduce ground time down to 20mn. And before loading luggage, you need to unload luggage from the previous flight. – mouviciel Nov 10 '16 at 15:21
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    @mouviciel having additional cabin baggage also increases time spent not flying by increasing the amount of time needed to get the passengers off and on the plane. – phoog Nov 10 '16 at 15:56

It also was the main idea of low-coast flights (war for the first time discovered by Southwest Airlines). They save huge money not bacause lonely luggage, but whole buisness model which includes (this model doesn't include resources as fuel (I do not thing they save so much, but they save something) or airports agreements (but I guess it is the reason for them to use just a few airports for low-coast flights) ):

  1. Just some routes, not from everywhere, not to anywhere
  2. No food included
  3. No luggage included
  4. No place when you chek-in online for free (random place privides for example fueling)

And may be a list of other things which wasn't included in the book I have read where this buisness model was the example.

And in this book said that the model when you exclude from coast everything but just a fligth, you make your product extremely cheap and easy to sell, so such airlines will win with the number of tickets they sold and number of flights they made.

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