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Is DL charging YQ for partner redemptions?

Is DL charging YQ for partner redemptions?

Old Jun 21, 11, 5:47 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
Fuel surcharge.
"Fuel surcharge" under the mask of BS fees.
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Old Jun 21, 11, 6:10 pm
  #17  
 
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They should separate out the government revenue from the airline revenue of these tickets - as it is now the vast majority of agents aren't told about the breakdown either so they can't even separate out Delta's fees when you ask them.

So far I'm finding the grass actually is much greener on the other side with regard to award / reward travel. Perhaps that will change, but it hasn't yet, thankfully (except for the partial devaluation of transatlantic award with the very unfortunate AA-BA cooperative agreement, but the other awards are much better with AA ime.)

Awards aren't suppose to be just another way to sell tickets and generate revenue directly, they are suppose to be rewards to customers to encourage loyalty and generate more overall revenue.
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Old Jun 21, 11, 6:50 pm
  #18  
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post
I have no idea whether this official, but DL wouldn't be breaking new ground if they did it. All the European carriers charge it, at least on partner flights. I believe that the major (at least in FTers eyes) Asian carriers also charge these fees. Within the US, AA charges them on their partner itineraries. If it isn't policy now, it will be shortly.

I've been predicting that this would happen for a couple of years, and suspect that this will become the norm very, very shortly. The US carriers can't continue to allow their FF programs to become a drag on net income, as CO had to admit was the case when they joined *A. The choice will be either restricted availability, including *Net-style blocking and/or general reward restriction, or imposition of increases in redemption levels and/or surcharges.

Feel free to kick and scream, but I have to say that anyone that expected the airlines to continue obviously one-sided (in favor of the consumer) FF programs is more than a bit naive.
Should this happen, I'd better off redeeming gift cards. I will exit the world of FFP.
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Old Jun 21, 11, 8:46 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Delta is not obligated to do anything. Its just a revenue stream for DL.
They havent charged it on SU EVER. Its new, and looks like they snuck it in.
I paid $280 for fuel surcharges for award travel on VA. Some does this mean DL keeps the money and it doesn't go to VA?
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Old Jun 21, 11, 9:02 pm
  #20  
 
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I believe the YQ fuel surcharge goes to the operating carrier on all alliances. US-based flyers using those airlines for awards have gotten away with no YQ the past few years, whereas most other carriers added YQ quite a while ago. YQ goes up as fuel prices go up, but I've also seen it get reduced when fuel prices go down. It would not surprise me either, if US-based carriers started charging YQ on award tickets in the foreseeable future to equalize themselves with their partner carriers.

It does have the net effect of devaluing award tickets. I recently bailed on plans to grab a round-trip award ticket PEK-BKK-LAX on TG for half-miles, as the YQ alone was over $500, and with total taxes was over $700.
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Old Jun 21, 11, 9:32 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by pbarnette View Post

Feel free to kick and scream, but I have to say that anyone that expected the airlines to continue obviously one-sided (in favor of the consumer) FF programs is more than a bit naive.
I disagree.

Fuel Surcharges are pure bottom line revenue to the airline. Hiding them in "taxes and fees" is disingenuous, why not build in a "labour surcharge" in advance of those next round of contract negotiations, or maybe an "aircraft seating upgrade surcharge" to compensate for the fleet modifications while we're at it?

Specific to FF tickets, I expect the number of points to "pay" for my flight. I do expect to pay bona fide taxes. I don't expect to pay $712 - some $480 of which is revenue to the airline, while redeeming 100,000 miles for a transatlantic economy class reward ticket.

FF point redemption should "pay" for the ticket, minus bona fide taxes. If the number of miles needs to go up, then put them up. DL is notoriously stingy on low level awards anyway, so you're invariably redeeming at mid or a combination of mid and high levels and at 100,000 miles transatlantic, no - I don't think it's one-sided in favour of the consumer to have to pay another $712 on top of that.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 6:24 am
  #22  
 
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$480 for Virgin....$613 total fees.

Last edited by dilbertsdaddy; Jun 22, 11 at 6:33 am
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Old Jun 22, 11, 7:30 am
  #23  
 
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Just pulled up a YUL-CDG biz class flight on AF for the fall to check this. Still comes up as a normal total of $170 in taxes, while the AF fuel surcharge that is added to a revenue ticket for the same flights is $490.

So whatever DL is doing, it's not universal.

*Big sigh of relief.*

Last edited by HeadInTheClouds; Jun 22, 11 at 7:44 am
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Old Jun 22, 11, 7:36 am
  #24  
 
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YQ is not necessarily given to the operating airline.

look at how the fees are actually worked out...

price a TATL JFK-CDG RT on AF and look at the fees. (us$91.70 in my example)

Now price a CDG-JFK RT - note the increased YQ? (I was just quoted US$420.70 - with NO breakdown available until after purchase to indicate what proportion of that 'taxes/fees' is taxes&fees and what is actually DL revenue misleadingly and fraudulently described as fees)

The operating airline does NOT differ in it's YQ depending on which direction you fly - but delta does - therefore delta are not passing on this charge to the operating airline.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 7:55 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by catharsis View Post
look at how the fees are actually worked out...

price a TATL JFK-CDG RT on AF and look at the fees. (us$91.70 in my example)

Now price a CDG-JFK RT - note the increased YQ? (I was just quoted US$420.70 - with NO breakdown available until after purchase to indicate what proportion of that 'taxes/fees' is taxes&fees and what is actually DL revenue misleadingly and fraudulently described as fees)

The operating airline does NOT differ in it's YQ depending on which direction you fly - but delta does - therefore delta are not passing on this charge to the operating airline.
DL passes on the TATL JV YQ for EU-originating flights in the form of an International Origination Surcharge. This was done to appease AF, as otherwise there'd be a bunch of EU residents choosing SkyMiles as their program over FB given that earning rates are already better with DL than in FB.

The breakdown of taxes and fees is readily available before purchase. On the Review Itinerary screen, click the taxes/fees link and you'll see the full breakdown. You'll find an additional line labelled International Surcharge, and if you do a revenue booking for the same flight, you'll find that the YQ matches the International Surcharge.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 7:59 am
  #26  
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I assume that all these years, there were agreements to not charge YQ for partner redemptions. I don't get why DL is trying to void these? For AA, I could understand there was a need to re-negotiate in the wake of the new agreement between the UK & US. In exchange for YQ, at least AA flyers will earn 100% miles.

So is consensus here that DL has officially begun to charge YQ on most partners?
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Old Jun 22, 11, 8:08 am
  #27  
 
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DL now charges YQ on all Air Europa flights

As I have already mentioned in a different thread, DL is now trying to charge YQ on all award tickets booked on UX, even on US originating itineraries.
DL quotes over $550 in taxes/fees for a JFK-BCN-JFK award ticket.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 8:09 am
  #28  
 
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At the risk of setting off a bunch of anti-airline flames, let me answer some of the questions I have read here:

What is "YQ"?: YQ is a box on the ticket that was originally intended to be one of the tax collection boxes. However, it is now used primarily for surcharges. The other means of collecting a surcharge is Q. Unlike YQ, Q surcharges are lumped in with the base fare. The primary difference between YQ and Q is that agencies don't get paid commission on YQ, whereas they do on Q. That is why you have seen many airlines shift.

Who is obligated to collect YQ?: YQ creates nightmares for revenue accounting. Q is easy to administer - you place it in your fare rules, it prices into the fare, and then the overall revenue is prorated among carriers. YQ was designed to be a tax-box, thus it does not get prorated. That means the ticketing carrier keeps all of the YQ revenue. Thus if you book DL-DL*/AF-DL*/AF on 006 stock, DL keeps all of the fuel surcharge (even though it only flew the first segment). The only way to do a proration is to manually set something up, or at least that was the case as recently as a couple years ago. I don't recall all of the details, but whether one carrier collects YQ on behalf of another depends on how fares are filed in ATPCO - if the filing carrier allows collection, and the ticketing carrier opts to collect, the YQ is collected. However, this was an all-or-nothing deal. A carrier had to turn the switch on or off in ATPCO - I don't believe one could pick and choose by partner or by fare.

Why do airlines collect fuel surcharges?: This is a favorite. For all the complaints about consumer deception, the fact is that all fuel surcharges are contained in any advertised fare in the U.S. - splitting anything out other than government or airport imposed fees/taxes is prohibited by DOT regulation and will get a carrier fined quickly. So there is no consumer deception - whether the surcharge is filed as a Q or a YQ makes no difference to the customer (unless, of course, you're playing around in ExpertFlyer, looking at filed fares, and don't have the expertise or software to easily calculate the all in fare). Now why do airlines do it? Simple. There are literally millions of fares filed in ATPCO. Assume an airline files fares for 40,000 different O&D city-pairs, and has 15 fares filed for each one. That's 600,000 filed fares. The effort required to increase each of those $10 is astronomical. It is far easier to change the Q/YQ surcharge in order to make global fare changes. Moreover, they split out what is a highly variable cost (fuel) and allow for variable revenue. To the poster who scoffed that a "labor" surcharge could be imposed, the fact is that labor costs are relatively constant. Fuel spikes and falls constantly. And if you look at the amount of fuel surcharges collected, and the increased fuel costs over the past decade, you'll see that they are not a cash-positive affair. Rather, they attempt to partially offset the increased cost of fuel, but fall short.

Of course, one of the big problems you find is that travel agencies quickly discovered ways to cheat the system (that being their favorite pastime). So one problem with YQ was that if one carrier used Q surcharges, you could ticket travel on that carrier's paper for travel on a YQ carrier, and the YQ wouldn't be collected. So you saw all sorts of massive shifts, where an itinerary would be ticketed entirely on another carrier's paper. This scam quickly flowed to the internet, leading many carriers to stop offering OA travel for sale until a technological fix could be put in place. And yes, it was a scam. You are not supposed to book an itinerary on a carrier's stock unless it is marketing or operating at least one of the segments.

So in short: (1) YQ is simply a means carriers use to charge a non-commissionable fuel surcharge; however, technological limitations make this a highly imperfect way of doing so; (2) consumers are not defrauded in the least, because a Q or a YQ surcharge must be included in all fare displays intended for consumer consumption; and (3) fuel surcharges are used to help vary fare levels with the price of fuel without forcing analysts to change millions of fares each time they do.

Nothing illicit, nothing immoral. Just an industry that has never earned a fair return on capital trying to keep its head above water.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 8:11 am
  #29  
 
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Originally Posted by SamuelS View Post
I disagree.

Fuel Surcharges are pure bottom line revenue to the airline. Hiding them in "taxes and fees" is disingenuous, why not build in a "labour surcharge" in advance of those next round of contract negotiations, or maybe an "aircraft seating upgrade surcharge" to compensate for the fleet modifications while we're at it?
Your premise is factually incorrect. Fuel surcharges are not "hidden" anywhere. DOT fare advertising rules require them to be included with the base fare in any consumer display.
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Old Jun 22, 11, 8:12 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
I assume that all these years, there were agreements to not charge YQ for partner redemptions. I don't get why DL is trying to void these? For AA, I could understand there was a need to re-negotiate in the wake of the new agreement between the UK & US. In exchange for YQ, at least AA flyers will earn 100% miles.

So is consensus here that DL has officially begun to charge YQ on most partners?
I guess it depends on definition of "most partners". If you simply mean fraction of carriers, then that's probably accurate. However, given that most redemptions involving a partner probably involve AS, KL, or AF with a US origin, I'd say it's not yet impacting the majority of redemptions involving partners.

This would all be a lot simpler if we could book all partner awards online.
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