Airlines collecting less for bag fees

Airlines are taking in less money from bag fees than they did two years ago, but they are making up for it by adding charges for a slew of extras, including getting a decent seat.

The government reported Monday that U.S. airlines raised $3.35 billion from bag fees in 2013, down 4 percent from 2012. That is the biggest decline since fees to check a bag or two took off in 2008.

The bag-fee figure was part of information released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, which said that airlines earned $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter of last year, reversing a loss of $188 million in the same period of 2012. The airlines also raised $2.81 billion last year from fees for changing a reservation or ticket, a 10 percent increase over 2012. Fees on checked bags, reservation changes and other services have become a larger share of airline revenue and a big reason why the carriers are making money.

-- Associated Press

South bay

Grocer to deliver via startup Instacart

Local family-owned grocer Bianchini's Market on Tuesday will start delivering through Instacart, a San Francisco-based startup that brings groceries from store to home in as little as an hour.

The partnership with Instacart allows Bianchini's to offer for the first time in its 73-year history a large-scale home delivery service.

Through the Instacart website or mobile app, customers in parts of the South Bay and Peninsula can order any item from Bianchini's and have it delivered in one or two hours, or at a scheduled time that day. Instacart will deliver from both the San Carlos and Portola Valley stores. "The potential for us to pick up new customers with Instacart is tremendous," said Kevin Bianchini, owner of Bianchini's.

The partnership with Bianchini's is one of the few formal agreements Instacart has with a grocer to deliver from its stores, and signals that food retailers may be more willing to outsource delivery than try to tackle it themselves. Instacart also has agreements to deliver from Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco, Green Aisle Grocery in Philadelphia and Yes Organic Market in Washington, D.C.

-- Staff