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calculating taxes on award tickets

calculating taxes on award tickets

Old Nov 9, 10, 2:20 am
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Question calculating taxes on award tickets

I just got off the phone booking an award ticket MUC-YYZ (stopover)-BDA (destination) // BDA-EWR-MUC and was told the taxes were about $220USD which sounded a bit high (no fuel surcharges charged on this award).

Is there any way to calculate the taxes myself (except for using EF)?

Thankīs!
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Old Nov 9, 10, 3:00 am
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The tax line on air tickets is a big shell game where airlines stick an increasing number of charges that are not taxes at al but are put directly into their own pocketl. There need to be strong consumer protection laws to put a stop to these frauds. The ''fuel surcharge'' is probably the most prevasive of these fraudulent fees, but there are others like Delta's ''foreign origin surcharge''. Each airline has its own way of doing things, some honest and others with a scheme of frauds, so until regulations clean up these practices, there is really no way to objectively determine what you will be charged. It will depend upon the airline.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 3:03 am
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@ Carolinian: I donīt disagree that many airlines hide many charges and the fuel surcharges is a ridiculous fee, but in this case Iīm pretty confident that US didnīt purposely hide any fees and they donīt charge fuel surcharges on awards. I just want to confirm that the agent calculated the "real" taxes and airport fees correctly.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 7:26 am
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taxes on award tickets get crazy sometimes....i've seen this mostly with international redemptions....here in india if i were to redeem miles for a del-maa domestic ticket then the taxes are around $20....but if i were to redeem a del-dxb international ticket then the taxes go up to $200....even though there is only a couple hundred miles difference between the 2 routes....
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Old Nov 9, 10, 7:57 am
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The taxes and fees should be the same if you use miles or not - You should be able to the wirline website and price out the same fare (paying, not award) and see if the taxes are similar
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Old Nov 9, 10, 1:43 pm
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I just redeemed 50,000 BA miles for 2 RT domestic tickets to NY and the fee/taxes were only $20 TOTAL. I was shocked. Previously I had determined that the fees/taxes charged by BA for an international flight were outrageous. I was just glad to be able to use the BA miles I got with the BA card and was planning to cancel my card after using the miles. Now I have read that the BA card will not charge conversion fees anymore so I think I'll keep it for a while.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
I just got off the phone booking an award ticket MUC-YYZ (stopover)-BDA (destination) // BDA-EWR-MUC and was told the taxes were about $220USD which sounded a bit high (no fuel surcharges charged on this award).

Is there any way to calculate the taxes myself (except for using EF)?

Thankīs!
Your fees to leave YYZ alone are about $40. Your fees for flying from MUC are much higher now (not as high as UK though)--something like another 10 or so Euro on top of existing fees......Your fees to/from BDA are high since they probably follow the Commonwealth..........
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Old Nov 9, 10, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Stoughton View Post
The taxes and fees should be the same if you use miles or not - You should be able to the wirline website and price out the same fare (paying, not award) and see if the taxes are similar
True of some taxes, but not all. Some, at least in the U.S., are a % of the fare. Those should be zero on award tickets.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 4:11 pm
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Fees and Taxes

Just for a point of comparison, I recently got a FF ticket on Continental from DC to Paris with an open jaw from Bilbao (Spain) to DC with a [wrong way] stopover in Greece.

The only available tickets for the routes took me through Toronto going to Paris, through Barcelona going to Athens, and through both Heathrow and Toronto coming back to DC.

The taxes and fees were about $160. If the Euro exchange rate affects the fees paid, I should point out that I bought the tickets a couple of weeks ago--before quantitative easing further eroded the value of the dollar overseas.

In addition, I paid a $25 fee to speak with an agent, which allowed me to have the stopover. Stopovers cannot be done directly on Continental's website.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 7:13 pm
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The question remains (and I'm also very interested in it):

Is there any reasonable way to find out the amount of taxes and fees an award ticket incurs before calling an agent?
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Old Nov 9, 10, 10:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
..but in this case Iīm pretty confident that US didnīt purposely hide any fees .
Unless you're Chairman's Preferred at least $90 of the $220 are listed below (I thought that US also had a partner award fee)


Booking information and fees
>Call center award ticketing fee* $30 domestic U.S/Canada, $40 all other regions
>Quick ticketing fee**
(applies to award tickets booked within 14 days of departure) $75
>Award processing fee $25 continental U.S./Alaska/Canada, $35 Latin America/Caribbean, $50 Hawaii/Europe/Middle East/South America

*Fee does not apply to Chairman's Preferred members.
**Fee does not apply to Chairman's Preferred members.
***Fee does not apply to Preferred members.
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Old Nov 9, 10, 10:08 pm
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Originally Posted by MyTravels View Post
Unless you're Chairman's Preferred at least $90 of the $220 are listed below (I thought that US also had a partner award fee)
The $220 was just the taxes, the booking fee is in addition to that I was told.

Btw, youīre only charged the $50 award processing fee, not borh rhe award processing fee and the call center fee.
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Old Nov 10, 10, 7:31 am
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Different airlines charge different taxes/fees

To make things more confusing, different airlines charge different amounts of taxes/fees on award tickets for the identical route and even the identical flights. Several years ago, our family flew to Rome from the east coast on Continental flights connecting in Newark. At that time, Continental was in an alliance with Northwest and Delta. We had our miles spread out over all three airlines and so we obtained our award tickets using miles from each of the three airlines. We were obviously fortunate to get the award tickets, but mysteriously each of the three airlines charged us different amount of taxes/fees for the identical flights on award tickets. The difference was at least $100 I recall and I think the Delta charges were the highest. I could get no reasonable explanation from the airlines for this significant discrepancy.
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Old Nov 13, 10, 9:16 pm
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Taxes on award tickets

I was charged $227.50 for an international award ticket from the US to London on AF, so I doubt that your taxes are out of line. However, as others have commented, many of those charges are not really taxes at all but are bunched together as if they were, as they are extra charges above and beyond the cost of the ticket.
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Old Nov 13, 10, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Jasper2009 View Post
Is there any way to calculate the taxes myself (except for using EF)?
Plug the itinerary into ITA and read the fare details.

I removed the YQs from your itinerary and I come up with this:
Code:
Tax: 	German Airport Security Tax 	€5.19
Tax: 	German Passenger Service Charge 	€18.78
Tax: 	Toronto Airport Improvement Fee 	C$25.00
Tax: 	Canadian Harmonized Sales Tax (ON) 	C$3.25
Tax: 	Canadian Air Travelers Security Charge 	C$25.91
Tax: 	US September 11th Security Fee 	$2.50
Tax: 	USDA APHIS Fee 	$5.00
Tax: 	US Immigration Fee 	$7.00
Tax: 	US Customs Fee 	$5.50
Tax: 	Bermuda Departure Tax 	$35.00
Tax: 	Bermuda Aviation Security Fee 	BMD 4.25
Tax: 	Bermuda Passenger Facility Charge 	BMD 4.00
Tax: 	US Passenger Facility Charge 	$4.50
The $220 number seems a bit high based on the above but not too much.
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