Fuel Surcharges

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by tassojunior, Feb 18, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. tassojunior
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    tassojunior Silver Member

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    In planning some international trips my biggest fear is what the fuel surcharges will be on foreign airline segments, especially when booked via Aeroplan or British Air. How do we know in advance what these charges will be and is there a way to avoid them other than only booking through USA airline programs or flying USA metal on bookings through foreign programs. Also, are there certain airports other than Heathrow to avoid because of high airport fees?

    Some of these fuel surcharges I've seen are absolute deal-breakers on award flights.

    Lastly, is there any chance these fuel surcharges could come to USA airlines, effectively killing off frequent flyer programs?
     
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  2. Gary Steiger
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    Gary Steiger Silver Member

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    Apparently flying though Heathrow is not the only excuse British Air has for adding extra charges. Yesterday we booked business class trips from San Francisco to Bangkok, Thailand, on Cathay Pacific. British Air wanted 100,000 miles plus over $500. But for the same flights, Alaska Air wanted the same 100,000 miles plus only a bit over $80. So we are still wondering how we will use those 100,000 BA miles we received from that credit card offer. Probably on American Airlines to Central or South America, or for domestic trips, I suppose.
     
  3. milestoburn
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    milestoburn Gold Member

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    i would fly much more on BA but for the add ons.
     
  4. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    so have they put the fuel surcharge in effect on NA to Asia routes on partners?

    boy am I glad I used up the 50k + $150 on my NA-Asia round trip on CX+AA (4 segments JFK-HKG-KUL & NRT-DFW-EWR)
     
  5. rajuabju
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    rajuabju Gold Member

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    1) Yes, absolutely I can see fuel surcharges come to US airlines. Bag fees were just the start.

    2) Flying BA, especially through London, is brutal. If I were you, I'd redeem BA miles on LAN or one of JAL or other routes that dont have massive surcharges. Some still exist, but who knows for how long
     
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  6. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    my limited experience pricing JAL flights using BA miles was not so good going thru NRT I ended up booking the same route flying AA metal because the taxes were $50 compared to $180 on JAL and $220 with a combination of JAL + AA.
     
  7. heffa
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    heffa Silver Member

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    Hopefully not. That would be a deal breaker ,wouldn't it?
     
  8. dts
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    dts Silver Member

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    I think it's competitive game among AA, DL, UA and to a lesser extent US. Right now none of them charge fuel surcharges and if one them tried to pull this off, then I'd expect them to take a huge hit from people who care about their miles and also potential negative publicity in the news. However, if one of the main carriers starts this practice and do not revert on it on the short term, then I'm sure the rest of them would follow pretty soon..
     
  9. sagefemme52
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    sagefemme52 Silver Member

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    DL does have YQ on Int'l redemption's, e.g. on an intra-Asia itinerary on Vietnam Airlines in coach, total charges on my "free ticket" were $157, only $20 of which was for the ticketing fee. And, not to forget to mention, the miles for this ticket were 40,000[​IMG]
     
  10. dts
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    dts Silver Member

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    I'm not very familiar with DL's program, but I'm not sure you paid YQ for that trip. Depending on your trip, this extra $137 could be taxes that went to the countries you visited. Doesn't DL also have a fee if you originate in an int'l destination? Also, don't forget that Vietnam Airlines is a partner airline and they may set up their own rules - they may demand YQ from DL. It will be a different beast if DL starts charging YQ for redemptions on DL metal, like AC does.
     
  11. sagefemme52
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    sagefemme52 Silver Member

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    This is a (partial) copy of my receipt from DL:

    Billing Details
    Receipt Information
    Fare Details: BKK VN HAN0.00YSM100/FT146 VN REP0.00YSM100/FT146 VN HAN0.00YSM 100/FT146 VN BKK0.00YSM100/FT146 NUC0.00END ROE0 Fare: USD Form of Payment AX**********02005 Tax: 137.30 TX FP A/CUSD0.00/TL157.30 Total: 137.30 USD Org Tkt 00608769952733 Org FOP Free
    Mileage Details
    Original Miles: 40000 VALID ON DL/SM OAL/NON-REFUNDABLE/PN
    Note: When using certain vouchers to purchase tickets, remaining credits may not be refunded. Additional charges and/or credits may apply and are displayed in the sections below.

    This ticket is non-refundable unless issued at a fully refundable fare. Any change to your itinerary may require payment of a change fee and increased fare. Failure to appear for any flight without notice to Delta will result in cancellation of your remaining reservation.
    Detailed Tax Information

    Total Tax: 137.30 USD
    YQ 114.00 TS 23.30
     
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  12. dts
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    dts Silver Member

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    OK, thanks for the information, I didn't know about this. Do you know if this is specific to Vietnam Airlines or a practice that DL generally follows for int'l redemptions?
     
  13. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Assuming you mean the airline known as British Airways, you should be able to see the fuel surcharge amounts by pricing a dummy booking on the same route using ITA Software and clicking through to the fare breakdown to see the YQ.
    It's surely only a deal-breaker if you were (wrongly) expecting the flight to be free if you were using miles?

    Otherwise, you're getting exactly what you were promised, which sounds to me like precisely honouring the "deal".

    Another way of looking at it is, of course, is to ask "Would I pay $xx extra to fly BA rather than the other partner on which I could redeem for the same itinerary?"
    Fuel surcharges wouldn't kill off frequent flyer schemes. On all the airlines on which fuel surcharges on award tickets are commonplace, their frequent flyer schemes continue to exist, if not positively flourish.
     
  14. tassojunior
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    tassojunior Silver Member

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    I know Spirit Airlines does this with their $9 Club fares: $9 for the ticket, $55 for the fuel. It's done wonders for their popularity.

    I've heard of many international ff redemptions with fuel surcharges that came to more than a diligent person could scout out a ticket for. I remember the comment of someone who got charged $500 fuel surcharge on BA on a US to Europe rt economy flight. Others have reported $450 for Lufthansa.

    Most of us don't have ITA routing software or access and when we find the final surcharge on internationals it's often a heart stopper.

    Yes, I really worry that with all the fees we're getting hit with that fuel surcharges may creep in to the USA.

    And yes, it is a scam because when an airline says the ticket price to Europe is $200 and the taxes, fees, and fuel surcharge is an additional $600, does anyone think they'd really sell you the ticket for $200 if all the fees and high fuel costs went away?
     
  15. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    On the same airline, or a different airline? The airlines that I usually fly charge the same fuel surcharges on award tickets as on cash tickets.

    If you're saying an award ticket on airline A costs more in fuel surcharges than a cash ticket on airline B, that's hardly the point is it?

    The comparison should be between an award ticket on airline A and and cash ticket on airline A.
    Er, have you been to the ITA Software site? It's a web tool, open and free to everyone to use.
     
  16. Camino Cielo

    Camino Cielo Silver Member

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    Tom Parsons, interviewed on Los Angeles's KNX news radio yesterday, says he's seeing $400 fuel surcharges on long-haul US to Africa, Asia/Pacific and southern South America.
     
  17. chemist562
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    chemist562 In Memorian

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    Fuel surcharges. :mad: UK APD/taxes. :mad: For now, I'm flying AA even though they don't have flat beds in Biz. Much lower taxes/fees. On my last trip to London, I flew out of BRU to save the British APD. By not having to pay APD by going out of BRU covered my Eurostar ticket, decent hotel, food, transport & had enough left over to buy my wife some excellent Belgian chocolates. :)

    If AA/UA, et al start charging for fuel surcharges, I would consider that a devaluation of the FF points.
     
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  18. LAXtraveler
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    LAXtraveler Gold Member

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    I just made a redemption that cost a hefty amount in $YQ but in the end I knew this is what was going to happen if I wanted to fly on a superior carrier. The problem is that USA based carriers rarely have a product that comes close to many of the European or Asian carriers. As a result there is a cost/benefit that must be weighed by people looking to redeeming their miles on Euro/Asian carriers. For me, my miles were much better spent on travelling in F through a non-USA carrier because the product (hard and soft) is that much more worthwhile, even with the extremely high YQ. That was my basic calculation, and I'm sure others have chosen the other way.
     
  19. tassojunior
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    tassojunior Silver Member

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    Japan forces all fares to be published & broken down. ANA just published their North America- Japan fares with over $400 fuel surcharges listed.

    How does the fuel for J or F cost more than for Y? Premium fuel up front too?
     
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  20. cmj542
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    cmj542 Silver Member

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    The taxes and fuel charges for Virgin Atlantic seem kind of ridiculous. I've found AA to best the most reasonable.

    Anyone know whether Virgin Atlantic would charge that same fuel charge if I use those points to book, say, a partner US Airways internatinoal flight?
     
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  21. Since points and airmiles are a virtual currency to a large extent, they are also subject to value fluctuations. Airlines can use it as a cost hedge, since they benefit greatly when prices are low or there is excess product. Meanwhile, they have no problem adding fees when the price of the product increases. These charges can vary greatly.
     
  22. Camino Cielo

    Camino Cielo Silver Member

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    Piqaro, Choice Hotels chain has a promotion right now that is for earning either gasoline or points in their Choice Privileges program. (I am not a shill for them.)

    http://www.choicehotels.com/gascard
     

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