updated 9/13/2011 12:38:31 PM ET 2011-09-13T16:38:31

U.S. airlines collected slightly higher baggage fees in the in the first three months of the year as the number of travelers increased.

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The nation's largest airlines reported baggage fees of about $783.7 million in the first three months of the year. That's up nearly 2 percent from the $768.5 million they collected in the same period last year. The airlines carried about 2.4 percent more travelers in the first quarter than they did in the same period a year before.

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Passengers also paid more reservation fees. Airlines took in $592 million in charges to change plans in the first quarter, compared with about $554 million a year earlier.

The data was released Tuesday by the Transportation Department's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Fees for reservation changes and bags are the only ones that the government can identify separately. The DOT said in July that it's considering a rule that would require airlines to report 16 additional categories of fee revenue.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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