DOT complaint about BA "fuel surcharges"

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by hillrider, Feb 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. hillrider

    hillrider Silver Member

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    It appears somebody has taken the time to draft and submit a complaint regarding BA's 'fuel surcharges' (read: co-pays) to the US Department of Transportation.

    I know many of us here feel burned by BA redemptions, especially since we didn't have to pay these surcharges prior to the ATI/JBA with BA. At the very least, it is an incredibly questionable business practice by BA on many fronts. If you agree (and I know many here do) and want this complaint to gain traction, take a few minutes to submit a comment in support of this complaint: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=DOT-OST-2013-0025-0001

    Worst case scenario, nothing happens. Best case, BA is forced to reform some of its YQ related practices.

    Thanks to hyperacusis for the wording above. Full details here.
     
  2. hillrider

    hillrider Silver Member

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  3. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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  4. hillrider

    hillrider Silver Member

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    Thanks for the submittals and to let us know about the link; it has been fixed.
     
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  5. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    The Flyertalk BA thread on this is very entertaining, with a few of the BA fans doing their level best to not only defend YQ but convince us why we should be on our knees thanking BA for it!

    Will submit a comment to try and help
     
  6. The Saint
    Original Member

    The Saint Silver Member

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    Oh dear! Another badly-worded and interminably verbose complaint to the DoT. The Executive Summary could have read "Please make BA let me fly using my miles for free". And you can substitute LH, VS, etc. for BA. But, presumably because the complainant is doing this for his own interests, he apparently can leave those other injustices for another day.

    You've got to feel sorry for the people whose job it is to have to deal with this nonsense at the DoT. First they are besieged by a merry band of chisellers who wanted them to force UA to let them fly on obviously mistake fares. Well that crashed and burned. Now the pitch-fork bearers have found a new hobby-horse to ride to Washington.

    What I find most intriguing is that, from the high temple of capitalism, comes the complaint that the market is working to the disadvantage of some because the "price" is too high. What do the disciples of capitalism do? Remind themselves of chapter 1 of their economics textbooks and shrug their shoulders? Hell no, they fire off complaints to the "Big Government" and ask for elements of a command economy be introduced to suit their interests. It would be funny if it were not so nakedly self-interested.
     
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  7. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    And it didnt take too long for one of the usual suspects to turn up here (with the typical BA board anti-American diatribe):rolleyes:
     
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  8. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    BIG difference. When you use UA/US miles on LH and other Star partners, you don't get any fuel surcharges.

    You might think it's OK that BA charges 450 dollars in fees for a coach ticket that you can buy for 700 dollars in a market (BA's second largest market I might add) that's not used to such practices, I understand it upsets people.

    Does the complaint belong at the DOT? Nah, but complaints have at least made BA change very questionable marketing of their Chase card in north America, now adds clearly states that you'll be ripped off.

    We know what we're doing and how to utilize/maximize Avios and most are OK with paying the fuel surcharges to fly BA F because of the excellent availability. I'll gladly pay the fuel surcharges for BA having better F award availability than most airlines, but regular semi frequent travelers and consumers who are not all that in to what we are (meaning 98% of the market), don't know. It's important to remember that
     
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  9. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    And they are welcome to their opinion ;)
     
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  10. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    The document is well written and makes sense. The complaint is a traditional legal complaint, i.e. various people will have different views of the merits of it…
     
  11. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    Meaning that some can continue to happily pay those BA surcharges and scold at those that don't like it and sign the complaint.
     
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  12. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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  13. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    But I think the complaint is a bit verbose
     
  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    3/4 is attachments (evidence) to support the complaint.
     
  15. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    The problem with fuel charges on award tickets, as I see it, is that for some international fares in economy class they are higher even than the base fare. If I am using miles or points, and all it covers is a $300 base fare, but I still have to pay a $400 fuel surcharge, that doesn't make sense. Furthermore, I can use fewer points to save more money on a domestic flight that has no fuel surcharge but a higher base fare, because the cost of fuel is rolled into the base fare.
     
  16. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    ... it's deceptive. Ask the average person on the street what an award ticket is and they'll likely say it's a free ticket you get for flying a lot. Not a discount on a revenue ticket, which it effectively is if the miles cover just the "base" fare.
     
  17. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Maybe, but it feels technical and like his arguments are supported by rules. It’s a far cry above my letter re I should be able to purchase my award ticket to HKG at the quoted final total price of four miles...
     
  18. autolycus

    autolycus Gold Member

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    IMO the fuel surcharges are no different than a hotel setting a "base rate" for the room and then tacking on a "bed surcharge" for the use of the bed while in the room.
     
  19. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I didn't read it all, but after reading Mr. Edelman's web page and Bio I believe his primary intention is not to reclaim funds or get compensation, but rather to change the behavior of the airlines. I applaud his effort.
     
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  20. mrredskin
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    mrredskin Gold Member

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    how much of your info are you all filling in on that form?
     
  21. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    It's also important to remember that they could easily find out that information if they were willing to invest the time and effort to do so.

    It's also important to note that the US market and the European market are different from each other. Things in Europe are not necessarily the same as they are in the US. It's naive, and frankly arrogant, to assume otherwise.

    If used for economy redemptions, yes, YQ is a ripoff. But if used for international long-haul business or first, they're not that bad. Paying $1000 or so in YQ for a J/F ticket that would ordinarily cost upwards of $5/10/15K is a pretty good deal, IMO.
     
  22. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Well how far do you want to go with this? paying $3000 YQ on a $5000 ticket is still a good deal, no?:rolleyes:
     
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  23. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    And you choose what is best for you.

    It could only remotely be described as "deceptive" for those people who are so stupid that they either cannot or do not read the terms and conditions of the scheme. And the world cannot be run to the beat of the stupidest drum.

    Please spare us the faux altruism. We all know what lies behind this "complaint": we want to ride up front for free on BA.

    If you want to change the behaviour of a vendor in a market-place, stop buying his/her/its goods. If demand falls, the vendor will respond by adjusting the price. One suspects that lurking behind this complaint is the recognition that the demand in the market for Avios + YQ is strong. So BA has no need to reduce either element of the fare. The level of Avios + YQ is not suppressing demand (whatever might be theorised about the unfortunate punters who are said to be shocked to find they are not getting a free flight). So rather than accept this basic tenet of capitalism, resort is had to a regulator to try and force the supplier to reduce its price below the market price. Laughable.

    And it doesn't matter what YQ is called. You could call it a "miles surcharge", a "co-pay" even "Maureen", the principle is the same. BA is free to charge what it likes for travel on its planes. It publishes the cost and you decide whether you want to buy. It really is that simple.
     
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  24. HeathrowGuy
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    HeathrowGuy Gold Member

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    If airlines want to continue implementing fuel surcharges on award tickets, then it's time for Congress to examine the tax paradigm of the airline buiness, including the non-taxation/regulation of ancillary fees. ;)
     
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  25. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    Stellar idea. Why burden only the desk of the DoT? And why stop with Congress? How about the President, the UN, Nelson Mandela?

    All I need now is an email for the man.
     
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