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Old Sep 28, 11, 6:54 pm   #1
 
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Icelandair Awards Program is a con!

I have been saving for a while, getting frequent flyer miles donated from family, so I can make the trip to visit family in Scandinavia. I have been a loyal passenger on Icelandair for more than 10 years. Not because they are great, but because they are a cheap and easy airline to fly with to Denmark.

But when I tried to book 3 "awards tickets" through their online website, I was quoted $465 in fees and surcharges for EACH ticket! When I bought a 4th ticket at regular price, the fees and surcharges are listed as $86. The airport fees and fuel surcharges quoted to me is over 56 % of a full priced ticket for the same dates. I realized that nowhere on the Icelandair website it states that tickets are free, but I fail to see how an award program can charge more than half the price of a full priced ticket.

I sent them a letter of complaint to their North American and Icelandic offices and to 3 different emails, but so far no response from them.

My question is this. Can the airlines just charge whatever they want for fees for an awards ticket? Is there any limit to how much they can charge?

Needless to say, this will be my last Icelandair trip. I'm switching to other carriers.
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Old Sep 28, 11, 11:25 pm   #2
 
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As far as I know there is no limit.

I'm personally getting tired of these fees on redemptions. Airlines need to be prevented from using "award" or "reward" type language in their FFP marketing as long as they attach fees other than taxes to redemptions.

That said, its been well known that FI's FFP is a poor value.
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Old Oct 1, 11, 1:33 am   #3
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I, on the other hand, am getting tired of American posters coming onto the forum complaining about fees and charges on redemptions on EU airlines — it's standard practice this side of the Atlantic, so the assumption that everywhere should be like America grates.

Welcome to FlyerTalk, Luca314, nonetheless!
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Old Oct 1, 11, 7:15 am   #4
 
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
I, on the other hand, am getting tired of American posters coming onto the forum complaining about fees and charges on redemptions on EU airlines it's standard practice this side of the Atlantic, so the assumption that everywhere should be like America grates.
So that makes it ok?
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Old Oct 1, 11, 8:22 am   #5
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I'd prefer if the fees weren't there, for sure, but assuming that every carrier worldwide will apply the same norms and policies as US-based carriers is perhaps small-minded.
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Old Oct 1, 11, 11:31 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by stifle View Post
... assuming that every carrier worldwide will apply the same norms and policies as US-based carriers is perhaps small-minded.
Indeed. And to invest in any scheme without understanding it, and expcting something from it, is simply foolish!
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Old Oct 1, 11, 2:02 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ByrdluvsAWACO View Post
As far as I know there is no limit.

I'm personally getting tired of these fees on redemptions. Airlines need to be prevented from using "award" or "reward" type language in their FFP marketing as long as they attach fees other than taxes to redemptions.

That said, its been well known that FI's FFP is a poor value.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
I, on the other hand, am getting tired of American posters coming onto the forum complaining about fees and charges on redemptions on EU airlines it's standard practice this side of the Atlantic, so the assumption that everywhere should be like America grates.

Welcome to FlyerTalk, Luca314, nonetheless!
Many european countries do have consumer legislation making it illegal to use advertising and marketing communications that implies something is free and then attach unfair terms to the deal. Sure, many european programs do have a clause that says taxes and fees still have to be paid on a reward ticket, but if the taxes on a reward ticket is higher than on the paid ticket, then I can't see how that is fair terms.

I am completely with ByrdluvsAWACO on this one. Just because it is practice does not mean we should quietly accept it.

If we think it is OK to have a reward ticket and still pay 56% of full price, why should the airlines stop at that? Let's have a new price strategy where the ticket is 10% and the fees and surcharges are 90%...
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Old Oct 2, 11, 3:27 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arahlen View Post
If we think it is OK to have a reward ticket and still pay 56% of full price, why should the airlines stop at that? Let's have a new price strategy where the ticket is 10% and the fees and surcharges are 90%...
That would be heaven... The FD oppertunities....
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Old Oct 6, 11, 4:08 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stifle View Post
I, on the other hand, am getting tired of American posters coming onto the forum complaining about fees and charges on redemptions on EU airlines it's standard practice this side of the Atlantic, so the assumption that everywhere should be like America grates.

Welcome to FlyerTalk, Luca314, nonetheless!
It's not just US carriers. When I book awards with SQ the fees are usually $100-200 for long haul flights. When I try to use my useless flyingblue miles, AF will try to charge me 200 euro in fees for a 1hr flight. It's usually basically the same price as buying a Y ticket and not using miles at all. I think I paid 500 euro in fees to take advantage of a "deal" over the summer and fly a friend to Europe with miles. Wow! a savings of 200-300 euro from buying the ticket! Hardly an award.
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