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Avoiding YQ Surcharge: AA award on BA / British (& Iberia) (master thread)

Avoiding YQ Surcharge: AA award on BA / British (& Iberia) (master thread)

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Old Apr 3, 18, 3:59 am   -   Wikipost
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Help with British Airways / BA and IB / Iberia Surcharge / YQ (AA award on BA or IB)
Using AAdvantage miles for awards using British Airways / BA generally* incurs very high carrier imposed surcharges / fees (BA charges their own BAEC flyers these for Avios redemptions as well). AA awards on IB incur considerably lower fees (~$50 one way transatlantic is quoted by one member, the link to travelisfree.com below gives a BA flight with $458 YQ, IB $96). One FTer claims $700 BA YQ fees for SAN-PRG return, which is not unusual). You are likely to find lots of availability on BA using the aa.com award booking facility.

NOTE: Paying YQ may, however, trigger a host of other taxes and fees otherwise not charged on awards that do not include carrier imposed surcharges such as YQ (see post #837 for an example). Flights within the Americas are YQ exempt.

As this is still flying on an award, these carrier imposed surcharges do not qualify for EQM or EQD earning.

Be sure to read the oneworld and Other Airline (Partner) Awards info, rules 2014 on thread wiki for information on searching for and finding alternative flights or those not shown on aa.com, which airlines' websites can find those, etc.

Read more about BA Carrier Imposed Surcharges fuel surcharges on AA awards here (rrgg supplied most of these below:

Fuel Surcharge for AA award redemptions on BA are up - again.

Partner airline awards now bookable on AA.com (AB, AS, AY, BA, HA, HG, QF, RJ, US)

Does AA push most of its European Awards to BA to collect fuel surcharges?

Charts from TravelIsFree for the three alliances and how you will pay (or avoid) YQ: http://travelisfree.com/2014/04/15/m...surcharges-yq/

HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver award questions, assistance

AA oneworld and Other Airline ("All Partner") Award information, rules (2015 on)

Originating a flight in the UK incurs an Air Passenger Duty, reduced for seats with less than 40" seat pitch (except those originating from originating in BFS / Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands (INV) or Islands, and connections less than 24 hours do not incur UK Air Passenger Duty, though they do incur airport Passenger Service Charges). Separate topic, dealt with:

UK APD / Air Passenger Duty charged for UK departures (Master Thread); defines what the APD is in the wikipost.

Avoiding crazy UK "APD" taxes when transferring through LHR on separate tickets

*Note: BA now calls the YQ a "carrier imposed surcharge" after complaints about the so-called original "fuel surcharge" language. As of October 2017 BA seems to be calling the YQ an "
Insurance and Security Surcharge".
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Old May 18, 12, 8:25 pm
  #1  
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Avoiding YQ Surcharge: AA award on BA / British (& Iberia) (master thread)

I'm rather confused on BA fuel surcharges. If I book a flight JFK-LHR-FRA, where the JFK-LHR segment is on AA, but the LHR-FRA segment is on BA, am I going to have to pay any BA fuel surcharges, or do I get away without them?

I think I should be safe on the JFK-LHR segment since it's on AA, and I think the LHR-FRA segment should only be 18.50, but I'm not positive.
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Old May 18, 12, 8:29 pm
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Sounds like you answered your own question.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:41 am
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Yes, you avoid the BA Bahksheesh for the long haul flight by flying AA, but get stiffed for the BA Bahsheesh for the shorter flight. Fortunately it is a lower amount.

If your flight at LHR is a connection (as opposed to a stopover), you should also be able to avoid the APD scam.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:47 am
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Regulation

Do you think there's any chance an industry regulator will review these practices as profiteering?

Does any other operator come close with similar practices?
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Old May 19, 12, 12:50 am
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Originally Posted by Flying Bat View Post
Do you think there's any chance an industry regulator will review these practices as profiteering?

Does any other operator come close with similar practices?
I've read on another thread in this forum that Brazil does not allow for fuel surcharges. So there's common sense in Brazil.
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Old May 19, 12, 12:58 am
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If your're redeming Avios with BAEC then flying AA metal doesn't avoid the fuel surcharge.
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Old May 19, 12, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by Flying Bat View Post
Do you think there's any chance an industry regulator will review these practices as profiteering?

Does any other operator come close with similar practices?
Many, many non-US carriers charge fuel surcharges on award redemptions for their own frequent flier programs, although the AA/BA relationship is the only one I know of where surcharges are passed on to a US frequent flier program.
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Old May 19, 12, 1:12 pm
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Understanding airline fuel surcharges is about like understanding Jesse James. They both involve banditry.
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Old May 20, 12, 3:09 pm
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Bandits

Originally Posted by Carolinian View Post
Understanding airline fuel surcharges is about like understanding Jesse James. They both involve banditry.
Interesting analogy. I suppose one of them was more blazen than the other.
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Old May 20, 12, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
Originally Posted by Flying Bat View Post
Do you think there's any chance an industry regulator will review these practices as profiteering?

Does any other operator come close with similar practices?
Many, many non-US carriers charge fuel surcharges on award redemptions for their own frequent flier programs, although the AA/BA relationship is the only one I know of where surcharges are passed on to a US frequent flier program.
IIRC, DL also imposes fuel surcharges on award itineraries originating in the UK
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Old May 20, 12, 10:47 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
IIRC, DL also imposes fuel surcharges on award itineraries originating in the UK
And from other European locales too.

The BA fees are high but there for all to see. If you don't like them, take your travel and credit card business elsewhere. Many of us already have done so.
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Old May 20, 12, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Flying Bat View Post
Do you think there's any chance an industry regulator will review these practices as profiteering?
Yes, but it has to bubble to the top of their priorities. If you care about this issue, you should start with a short note to http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/CP_AirlineService.htm. Under 49 U.S.C. 41712 they have to ensure that airlines don't engage in "Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices".
Originally Posted by Globehopper View Post
I've read on another thread in this forum that Brazil does not allow for fuel surcharges. So there's common sense in Brazil.
This is indeed the case.
Originally Posted by Flying Bat View Post
Does any other operator come close with similar practices?
I cannot think of any other industry where a practice like this is allowed to happen.

Airlines are not subject to State laws outlawing, as Carolinian called it, banditry, so the DOT is the only entity that can step in.

Last edited by hillrider; May 20, 12 at 11:21 pm Reason: Added DOT law
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Old May 20, 12, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Mountain Trader View Post
The BA fees are high but there for all to see.
I don't think that's the case. It takes years to accumulate miles, and BA does not tell you will be in the future, when you have accumulated the required amount for your trip. Hint: only a few years ago the fees "for all to see" used to be zero.
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Old May 20, 12, 11:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Globehopper View Post
If your flight at LHR is a connection (as opposed to a stopover), you should also be able to avoid the APD scam.
By scam you mean government imposed tax, right?
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Old May 21, 12, 12:13 am
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
I cannot think of any other industry where a practice like this is allowed to happen.
How do you explain "shipping and handling" charges? "Restocking" charges? "Foreign currency transaction" fees? Or any of the other fees and extras that consumers are required to pay?
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