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Old Nov 1, 11, 4:17 pm   #1
 
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International Surcharge (YQ tax)

Does anyone know what the enormous "International Surcharge" of $420, listed as YQ tax, is? It was not there just a couple of weeks ago, I know because I went through my receipts for the last year. Last time I did LAX-JFK-AMS, all tickets (U,Q,B fares) were about $300 lower than they are now. No matter how I price the tickets now, I always get this ridiculous surcharge of $420 (click on the taxes when you are making a reservation). M fares to Europe are now about $3,500. Were at ca. $3,050 last week of September/beginning of October, and it is not destination specific (tried AMS, CDG, SVO ...) Does not show on UA on similar routes (just checked, the same ticket is about $300 lower on UA; no YQ tax either), so it is unique for Delta. What is it and why is it there?

Is it another trick to collect revenue from us (and post fat profits without doing anything)? Come on, Delta, you can't be milking every drop out of your customers! Just spoke to a phone agent, he tried to help, but kept saying that "our fare are competitive and are even lower" until I brought up UA fare that I just randomly plugged in for the same dates.

I am stuck with a "Double DM", good though 2013, but is it time to follow avidflyer and move to UA? I've been loyal to Delta for many years, it is almost part of the family. It it pains me to see these "dirty surcharge tricks" ... maybe indeed enough putting up with this attitude.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 4:22 pm   #2
 
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There's been a few other threads on this topic here already (but admittedly hard to find, since the bulletin board software doesn't allow looking up tiny search terms like "YQ").

I haven't done any research lately, but I'm assuming other International-flying airlines are following along with this stunt (adding their own crazy fuel surcharges and fees) otherwise Delta would be backing down.

Fees for everything are here to stay.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 4:29 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJMeatBall View Post
There's been a few other threads on this topic here already (but admittedly hard to find, since the bulletin board software doesn't allow looking up tiny search terms like "YQ").

I haven't done any research lately, but I'm assuming other International-flying airlines are following along with this stunt (adding their own crazy fuel surcharges and fees) otherwise Delta would be backing down.

Fees for everything are here to stay.
That's how I searched, YQ. My bad.

Just checked, will post the results in a few minutes from the laptop. No, other airlines do not have this rip-off charge yet.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 4:45 pm   #4
 
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UA definitely does have YQ, it's just how they're presenting the fares to you. Go to http://matrix.itasoftware.com and price out your itinerary, then click the link for the fare details. UA's been treating YQ separately a lot longer than DL has. DL used to bundle it into the base fare.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 4:48 pm   #5
 
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1) Yes, this is a fuel surcharge.

2) The fuel surcharge has nothing to do with why your ticket is more expensive than last year.

3) The fuel surcharge has nothing to do with why a ticket on carrier A is more expensive than on carrier B.

4) UA most certainly does have a fuel surcharge for LAX-AMS itineraries. It may not be separately broken out on every website, but it is most certainly published in the fare. Here is the full fare construction for a random UA fare for LAX-AMS-LAX in December (14 to 21):

Quote:
Fare 1: Carrier UA KLXNC13S LAX to AMS (rules)
Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code K
Covers LAX-IAH (Coach), IAH-AMS (Coach)
$120.00
Fare 2: Carrier UA VLX3RCE AMS to LAX (rules)
Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code V
Covers AMS-EWR (Coach), EWR-LAX (Coach)
$436.00
UA YQ surcharge (YQ) $420.00
US International Departure Tax (US) $16.30
US September 11th Security Fee (AY) $7.50
US Passenger Facility Charge (XF) $12.00
USDA APHIS Fee (XA) $5.00
US Immigration Fee (XY) $7.00
US Customs Fee (YC) $5.50
The Netherlands Passenger Service Charge (RN) $20.70
The Netherlands Noise Isolation Charge (VV) $2.80
The Netherlands Security Service Charge (CJ) $17.70
US International Arrival Tax (US) $16.30

Subtotal per passenger $1,086.80
Number of passengers x1

TOTAL AIRFARE & TAXES $1,086.80
For the same dates, AA and DL also carry a $420 YQ. US does not separately break out YQ. All 4 carriers are in the same rough price range.

If ever there was a tempest in a teapot, it is the concern over YQ surcharges on revenue tickets.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 4:59 pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJMeatBall View Post
There's been a few other threads on this topic here already (but admittedly hard to find, since the bulletin board software doesn't allow looking up tiny search terms like "YQ").
Actually, the search software is entirely proficient at searching on two character (like YQ) or three character (like airport codes) strings when entered surrounded by quotes, as the form 'yq'.

Here are some recent rants on the OP's topic:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...much-fare.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...2-3-price.html

pbarnette's response is - as is his habit - complete and correct.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 5:38 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post

If ever there was a tempest in a teapot, it is the concern over YQ surcharges on revenue tickets.
Let it be a tempest in a teapot, but what I know is very simple:

A ticket on 09/25-10/05 EWR-AMS-JFK, all in B, was

Fare Details: EWR DL X/AMS Q210.00KL MOW M1255.00BEERT9 DL NYC Q123.00 1255.00BEERT9 NUC2943.00END ROE1.00 XF EWR4.5

Fare: 2843.00 USD
Tax: 112.14 TX
Total: 2955.14 USD

Right now prices (also in B, for random dates in December; copy-pasted from Delta.com) at

Price per passenger: $2,959.60 (USD)
Taxes/Fees: $347.64 (USD)
Subtotal per Passenger: $3,307.24 (USD)
Total for all passengers (1): $3,307.24

The difference is $350+

Another example:

SAN-JFK-SVO-JFK-SAN, 08/02-08/15 (all in M class)

Fare Details: SAN DL X/NYC DL MOW Q210.00M1320.50MAB2 DL X/NYC Q210.00DL SAN M1320.50MAB2 NUC3061.00END ROE1.00 XF SAN4.5JFK4.5JFK4.5

Fare: 3061.00 USD
Tax: 104.84 TX
Total: 3165.84 USD

For the same route now prices (also in MAB2) at

Price per passenger: $2,965.60 (USD)
Taxes/Fees: $492.24 (USD)
Subtotal per Passenger: $3,457.84 (USD)

The difference is $292. The "price" dropped a little ($90), but the taxes went up $390.

I can pull out more data from my records, the net result is that the price went up dramatically over the last few weeks. Does quite look like "unbundling." Maybe "a tempest in a teapot" for some, but why should we shell out money for nothing? I am paying through the roof already, and not really getting much for it (let alone the fact that the upgradable M fares went up about 100% over the last two years alone, reducing the value of my DM to pretty much nothing. Would gladly gift it to someone for the next year, but there is no such mechanism ... yet). It really is becoming more and more difficult to justify crossing the ocean(s) on Delta.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 5:43 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Actually, the search software is entirely proficient at searching on two character (like YQ) or three character (like airport codes) strings when entered surrounded by quotes, as the form 'yq'.

Here are some recent rants on the OP's topic:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...much-fare.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...2-3-price.html

pbarnette's response is - as is his habit - complete and correct.
Thank you for pointing out these threads, definitely useful. The reality remains: the enormous hike in fares over the last couple of years, industry-leading profits by imposing surcharges which, in reality, do not cover anything operational and benefit the company as direct cash, and a recent (a matter of 2-3-4 weeks) fare "restructuring" to add more surcharges and remove them from the fare itself (which is probably some smart accounting move to treat those fees differently on the books; I am not an accountant though). The net result: flying with Delta, we are paying more and are getting less.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 5:53 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
SAN-JFK-SVO-JFK-SAN, 08/02-08/15 (all in M class)

Fare Details: SAN DL X/NYC DL MOW Q210.00M1320.50MAB2 DL X/NYC Q210.00DL SAN M1320.50MAB2 NUC3061.00END ROE1.00 XF SAN4.5JFK4.5JFK4.5
The highlighted items are your YQ surcharges (gosh, that $420 looks familiar). The only thing DL has changed is that now it is showing it on the Taxes/Fees line, rather than on the fare line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
I can pull out more data from my records, the net result is that the price went up dramatically over the last few weeks. Does quite look like "unbundling."
Prices are determined by supply and demand, not by whether the price is called a fare or a fuel surcharge. Demand for air travel has been quite robust over the past year. This has been coupled with supply constraint among the airlines. This better explains any broad fare increases than "unbundling".

Quote:
Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
Maybe "a tempest in a teapot" for some, but why should we shell out money for nothing?
You are getting something. You are getting air transport.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
It really is becoming more and more difficult to justify crossing the ocean(s) on Delta.
Don't justify it, then. Just don't count on other carriers to not charge you the same YQ. And don't count on them to not increase their prices in times of strong demand.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 5:56 pm   #10
 
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Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
I am not an accountant though
It shows.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 6:02 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
The highlighted items are your YQ surcharges (gosh, that $420 looks familiar). The only thing DL has changed is that now it is showing it on the Taxes/Fees line, rather than on the fare line.
That much I saw too, but the pulling out the YQ surcharges from the base fare should decrease it, and yet it went up ... Somehow these same type fares did not go up on UA and AA (did not check other carriers), yet Delta was quick to charge us more.

And not quite correct on the bolded part: it took the YQ out to show it on a separate line, but kept base fare pretty much the same. The net is still the increased fare.

Last edited by glbetrotter; Nov 1, 11 at 7:40 pm. Reason: calrification
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Old Nov 1, 11, 6:08 pm   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
That much I saw too, but the pulling out the YQ surcharges from the base fare should decrease it, and yet it went up ...
There is no reason to expect fares to remain constant over time. Fares went up. It has nothing to do with the YQ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
Somehow these same type fares did not go up on UA and AA (did not check other carriers), yet Delta was quick to charge us more.
Then fly on UA or AA. Or wait and see if DL is pricing themselves out of the market and has to lower their fare. Regardless, the presence or absence of YQ, much less whether it is displayed as part of the fare or part of the taxes and fees, has nothing to do with why UA or AA is cheaper on a given route on a given day than DL.
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Old Nov 1, 11, 6:13 pm   #13
 
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post

Don't justify it, then. Just don't count on other carriers to not charge you the same YQ. And don't count on them to not increase their prices in times of strong demand.
Oh, I learned at young age not to count on anything or anyone. Sure road to disappointment. As for Delta, it is pretty clear that the value of flying it internationally has been steadily going down. I am fortunate not to be restricted to US flag carriers though, so it is a matter of doing the research and giving them a try.

"Getting air transport" was sure a good joke!
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Old Nov 1, 11, 6:23 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post

Then fly on UA or AA. Or wait and see if DL is pricing themselves out of the market and has to lower their fare. Regardless, the presence or absence of YQ, much less whether it is displayed as part of the fare or part of the taxes and fees, has nothing to do with why UA or AA is cheaper on a given route on a given day than DL.
Boy, you really want people to leave Delta! (you think it will be a better airline with less customers? Doubt that! )

I know "the grass is always greener ...", but it is time to give that lawn a try. Delta is becoming a greedy and stingy airline: higher fares than competitors, minimalistic service, and enormous profits without reinvesting in the development. I suspect that UA and AA are not dramatically better, but at least I will not be paying as much on them as on Delta to fly upfront for a reasonable price.
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Old Nov 2, 11, 2:33 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glbetrotter View Post
Boy, you really want people to leave Delta! (you think it will be a better airline with less customers? Doubt that! )

I know "the grass is always greener ...", but it is time to give that lawn a try. Delta is becoming a greedy and stingy airline: higher fares than competitors, minimalistic service, and enormous profits without reinvesting in the development. I suspect that UA and AA are not dramatically better, but at least I will not be paying as much on them as on Delta to fly upfront for a reasonable price.
I think fares really depend on the market your flying. For me flying ex-LHR, DL is cheaper about 80% of the time.
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