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Avoiding $$ fees on award travel from LHR

Avoiding $$ fees on award travel from LHR

Old Jul 14, 15, 8:58 pm
  #1  
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Avoiding $$ fees on award travel from LHR

Apologies as this has probably been covered here many times. I rarely use AA miles and have never used them out of LHR.

I'm trying to get from LHR to RDU on the best possible economy seat on 10/26. All I'm seeing are ridiculous fees either from UK gov't taxes or the BA surcharge. LHR-RDU on a piece of crap AA metal has me at 20K miles plus $190. LHR-MIA-RDU on the nicer BA metal has me at 20K miles and $300+...

Are there any better options??
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Old Jul 14, 15, 9:07 pm
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Avoiding $$ fees on award travel from LHR

BA does not fly LHR to RDU non stop
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Old Jul 14, 15, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jafrelin View Post
BA does not fly LHR to RDU non stop
Right...LHR-RDU direct is on an old AA 763 for 20K miles plus a $190 surcharge...which is pretty ridiculous IMO.
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Old Jul 14, 15, 9:12 pm
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Any departure from LON is going to have UK Air Passenger Duty, the regular rate for First or Business or the reduced rate for coach. There are also UK airport fees and US customs taxes. Blame the UK government. The taxes are on paid fares, too.
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Old Jul 14, 15, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
Any departure from LON is going to have UK Air Passenger Duty, the regular rate for First or Business or the reduced rate for coach. There are also UK airport fees and US customs taxes. Blame the UK government. The taxes are on paid fares, too.
That's pretty wild. Don't remember having such a large surcharge a few years ago on a United award ticket. May just Eurostar over to BRU or CDG then...
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Old Jul 14, 15, 9:51 pm
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Award tickets originating in the UK are incredibly frustrating. For Y, the APD is 71 now, I believe, not to mention all the other usual fees. However, on the flip side, add in the cost of the Eurostar, hassle of getting from Gare du Nord/Midi to CDG/BRU and extra time/connections, and you probably come out about even.
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Old Jul 14, 15, 9:54 pm
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Originally Posted by stephenz
Apologies as this has probably been covered here many times. I rarely use AA miles and have never used them out of LHR.

I'm trying to get from LHR to RDU on the best possible economy seat on 10/26. All I'm seeing are ridiculous fees either from UK gov't taxes or the BA surcharge. LHR-RDU on a piece of crap AA metal has me at 20K miles plus $190. LHR-MIA-RDU on the nicer BA metal has me at 20K miles and $300+...

Are there any better options??
No, there are no better options out of LON. You can try departing from CDG or BRU, but how much your net savings would be after paying for the train out of LON remains to be seen. Plus, you'd have the time that the train adds to your trip, plus the time that connection(s) out of BRU/CDG would add to your trip.

And that "crap" 767 with 2-3-2 seating in Coach on the LHR-RDU route probably has the most comfortable (non-MCE) Coach seating that AA offers across the pond.
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Old Jul 14, 15, 9:54 pm
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Yup, you're encountering ADP for a departure FROM the UK. It's even higher for the premium cabins.
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Old Jul 15, 15, 12:57 am
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Originally Posted by stephenz View Post
Apologies as this has probably been covered here many times. I rarely use AA miles and have never used them out of LHR.

I'm trying to get from LHR to RDU on the best possible economy seat on 10/26. All I'm seeing are ridiculous fees either from UK gov't taxes or the BA surcharge. LHR-RDU on a piece of crap AA metal has me at 20K miles plus $190. LHR-MIA-RDU on the nicer BA metal has me at 20K miles and $300+...

Are there any better options??
$190 is pretty decent for ex LHR to USA and is less than that which a paid ticket is due. For a paid ticket the total taxes would be about $210.70, broken down to

USDA APHIS Fee (XA) US$5.00
US Immigration Fee (XY) US$7.00
US Customs Fee (YC) US$5.50
United Kingdom Air Passengers Duty (GB) US$110.20
United Kingdom Passenger Service Charge (UB) US$65.30
US International Arrival Tax (US) US$17.70

I beieve with the award ticket, you are only paying the UK taxes and vrey limited US fees

If you want lower fees from UK you will need to start from Northern Ireland or start journey outside the UK.
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Old Jul 15, 15, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post
Award tickets originating in the UK are incredibly frustrating. For Y, the APD is 71 now, I believe, not to mention all the other usual fees. However, on the flip side, add in the cost of the Eurostar, hassle of getting from Gare du Nord/Midi to CDG/BRU and extra time/connections, and you probably come out about even.
I have an award reservation (CDG-SFO) on hold for my family of 4 and the taxes are $312.40 (carrier-imposed fees are $0).

Would that be considered a lot? I have no idea as I've never booked an award travel out of the Eurozone.
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Old Jul 15, 15, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
$190 is pretty decent for ex LHR to USA and is less than that which a paid ticket is due. For a paid ticket the total taxes would be about $210.70, broken down to

USDA APHIS Fee (XA) US$5.00
US Immigration Fee (XY) US$7.00
US Customs Fee (YC) US$5.50
United Kingdom Air Passengers Duty (GB) US$110.20
United Kingdom Passenger Service Charge (UB) US$65.30
US International Arrival Tax (US) US$17.70

I beieve with the award ticket, you are only paying the UK taxes and vrey limited US fees

If you want lower fees from UK you will need to start from Northern Ireland or start journey outside the UK.
+1

Those fees are actually pretty good, compared to what BA could have hit you with. Just finding sAAver level flights on AA metal is impressive.
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Old Jul 15, 15, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by Jacobin777 View Post
I have an award reservation (CDG-SFO) on hold for my family of 4 and the taxes are $312.40 (carrier-imposed fees are $0).

Would that be considered a lot? I have no idea as I've never booked an award travel out of the Eurozone.
Europe generally imposes much higher tax burdens on air travelers than the US. We just booked four of us from CDG - LAX and had similar fees. Spain is somewhat cheaper to travel from if you wanted to minimize taxes.
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Old Jul 15, 15, 11:17 am
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Eurostar will run $240+. Seems a net loss to beat a roughly $80 APD. Not to mention the extra time which is money.
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Old Jul 15, 15, 11:20 am
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Flying LHR-RDU, just book the AA nonstop, pay the $190, and be done with it. I agree the UK departure taxes have gotten absurd, but this is far and away your best bet.

The 763's aren't the sexiest, but grab a decent MCE seat and you'll be fine for the 8 hr. ride. In the off season too there's always a good chance of grabbing an empty row in the back.

I flew LHR-RDU yesterday on an award actually, booked LHR-JFK-CLT-RDU since I needed wifi and a later LHR departure. I was longing to be on that nonstop at about 11pm last night as I checked in to the dump Comfort Inn at CLT airport due to a late US flight and misconnect.
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Old Jul 15, 15, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Eurostar will run $240+. Seems a net loss to beat a roughly $80 APD. Not to mention the extra time which is money.
Eurostar can be as low as $59 if booked in advance. Unless you book last minute I don't think you'll pay anywhere near $240. If you want Business or Premier tickets, then yes $240 could be the cost but as OP is looking to minimize their cost, I'm guessing the cheapest fare would work.

Even if the net cost ends up being the same or even a little more by going to Paris, if you've got the flexibility then why not use the money to your advantage instead of paying it in taxes? Last time I did this, the amount I saved in taxes by not flying out of LHR (4 J awards) paid for a couple of days in Paris.
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