Virgin Atlantic reward taxes - error?

Old Jan 18, 09, 12:05 pm
  #1  
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Virgin Atlantic reward taxes - error?

Hi,

I've just booked an Upper Class reward for HKG to SYD with my BMI DC miles (100k)

What surprised me was the taxes that were being charged. It was charged GBP214 (which is admittedly low when compared with flying from the UK) but what struck me was that when searching for the flight on VirginAtlantic.com (Hong Kong site), the taxes associated with the flight were 1,635HKD, around GBP150. Kayak shows the 214 as well so it's probably right but does anyone know where the additional 64 pounds go? Straight into Alistair Darling's pocket?

Thanks

Jon
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Old Jan 18, 09, 1:01 pm
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No money is going to the UK government since your flights are not within the remit of the UK. Though I'm not sure why there is disparity between the Virgin.com taxes and kayak.
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Old Jan 18, 09, 2:50 pm
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If it's a return in J, the 214 is about right according to ITA as well.
Tiger_lily is online now  
Old Jan 18, 09, 8:15 pm
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VS UK site is also saying HK$1635 (142).

Looking at ITA again it seems to be a country specific YQ thing. If you use GBP on ITA VS YQ comes up as about 160 however if you put HKG as the place of purchase then it's only 998 HK$ (87)!

If it's a BD miles booking then I guess they charge in GBP hence the higher YQ. It might worth asking to be charged in HK$ as it's a fair difference. VS's own UK site is willing to do it so it must be possible for UK purchased tickets (and indeed correct for the ex HKG flight)
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Old Jan 19, 09, 3:15 am
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Originally Posted by Ed Artrocker View Post
If it's a BD miles booking then I guess they charge in GBP hence the higher YQ. It might worth asking to be charged in HK$ as it's a fair difference. VS's own UK site is willing to do it so it must be possible for UK purchased tickets (and indeed correct for the ex HKG flight)
BD award tickets will be issued in the UK, and I don't think there is any chance that they will issue them somewhere else. You can't really compare it to a paid ticket, as those will in general be issued in the country of departure in case you buy them on the airline's website.
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Old Jan 19, 09, 3:31 am
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Sorry, I have to say, that is an unbelievable waste of 100K miles.

Ed Artrocker is right. The current one-way VS YQ surcharge for tickets purchased in Hong Kong is HK$499 or about 43, regardless of class or distance. The Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong controls airline passenger fuel surcharges rather than the airlines themselves. Book your ticket outside of Hong Kong and pay what the airline sets in the country of purchase. In this case, a lot more!
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Old Jan 19, 09, 4:16 am
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Strange thing here is that VS, the carrier airline, on it's own reward ticket ticketed in the UK would only charge the HK$ rate (and 80K VS miles) so I think the OP has a good case that BD have loaded the taxes incorrectly.
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Old Jan 19, 09, 5:31 am
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Eddie, if you book a VS ticket on the VS website, whether revenue or using miles for an award, to depart from HKG to either Australia or the UK, it will be ticketed and issued by VS in HKG, not the UK, even if you choose the UK as your country of booking. I have done this myself. This means the fare, taxes and YQ surcharge will all be quoted in HK dollars.
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