By: Greg Lindsay on November 29, 2010
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Last week marked the start of the annual holiday travel rush, with an estimated 24 million Americans taking to the skies over Thanksgiving, a 3.5% increase over last year. It's been a banner year for airline profits. While carriers have called a truce on ruinous fare wars, Southwest Airlines made "Bags Fly Free" the focal point of $159.5 million in TV spending last year, according to Kantar Media -- a figure nearly equal to the combined ad budgets of Delta, United, American and Continental. Have the airlines really become so commoditized that paying $25 for a checked bag means all the difference? It seems so.