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Award Fuel Surcharges Masquerading As 'Taxes'.....Time For An 'Inside Flyer' Expose

Award Fuel Surcharges Masquerading As 'Taxes'.....Time For An 'Inside Flyer' Expose

 
Old Oct 3, 08, 7:44 pm
  #226  
 
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Just booked a roundtrip SEA-CDG-SEA Club (Business) Class Award on BA

Taxes and (mainly) surcharges came out to $791.66!

This is the cost of a "free" ticket..

It took me a long time to save up the 100,000 miles and now I feel cheated.

Steven B

Last edited by steven b; Oct 3, 08 at 10:10 pm
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Old Oct 5, 08, 2:21 pm
  #227  
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WOW! Thats a lot. I just did the same but taxes were 200. and 60 k miles
mia -cdg mad, cdg txl mia
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Old Oct 5, 08, 11:28 pm
  #228  
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Originally Posted by steven b View Post
Just booked a roundtrip SEA-CDG-SEA Club (Business) Class Award on BA

Taxes and (mainly) surcharges came out to $791.66!

This is the cost of a "free" ticket..

It took me a long time to save up the 100,000 miles and now I feel cheated.

Steven B
I often seem to find BA awards that are more expensive than simply buying a ticket. A BA part-cash-part-miles booking often results in BA making more money off the customer at the time of booking than BA would get for selling a regular ticket for travel between the same city pairs.

A couple of days ago I ran into this bizarre one too: a BA-miles-only ticket for LHR-MIA on BA had BA charging customers more money than for a BA-miles-only ticket for LHR-PHL-MIA on BA and AA. It made no sense unless MIA charges substantially more for international-arriving passengers than PHL does for international-arriving passengers and transiting on to a domestic location.
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Old Oct 15, 08, 5:21 am
  #229  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I often seem to find BA awards that are more expensive than simply buying a ticket. A BA part-cash-part-miles booking often results in BA making more money off the customer at the time of booking than BA would get for selling a regular ticket for travel between the same city pairs.

A couple of days ago I ran into this bizarre one too: a BA-miles-only ticket for LHR-MIA on BA had BA charging customers more money than for a BA-miles-only ticket for LHR-PHL-MIA on BA and AA. It made no sense unless MIA charges substantially more for international-arriving passengers than PHL does for international-arriving passengers and transiting on to a domestic location.
DL has gotten in on the action, but even more extremely than BA:

SkyMiles Award Tix Taxes/Fees *More* Than Buying Ticket From DL
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Old Oct 27, 08, 9:16 am
  #230  
 
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Bump

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
DL has gotten in on the action, but even more extremely than BA:

SkyMiles Award Tix Taxes/Fees *More* Than Buying Ticket From DL
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Old Nov 9, 08, 1:57 pm
  #231  
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Arrow OZ : JFK-ICN-HKG First Class, but tax bill = 12 only!!!

Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
DL has gotten in on the action, but even more extremely than BA:

SkyMiles Award Tix Taxes/Fees *More* Than Buying Ticket From DL
On the other hand, I wish to report a shocking anomaly in the other extreme:

OZ : JFK-ICN-HKG First Class, but tax bill = 12

Did BD decide they aren't going to collect fuel surcharges on certain partner airlines or something? I knew OZ had lower YQ and like I explained a bit earlier in this thread, it can be a good alternative to NH or SQ in order to lower the surcharges due on your award redemption. Boy, when I said "lower", I mean more like half off, not 12! This redemption almost seems like a time capsule of sort, I never imagined being able to see that again in 2008.

Also, I wish to reconfirm my report from 3 months ago here in this thread re:

Originally Posted by Guava
Case in point, I just successfully discussed an imposition of fuel surcharges / sales tax levied on a one-way ticket within North America in First/Business class involving more than one Star Alliance airlines.

The Cash Portion of the award is $150 USD as the per the award chart, nothing controversial here.

The so called taxes & fees come to $470 USD, for a total cash expense of $620 USD.

Keep in mind, we are talking about a wholly within North America, one-way First/Business class ticket. So, $620!? The number is so outraegous that you can buy almost 3 pairs transcontinental return tickets in economy class with that money, all-in, when UA has its L class fare available between US west and east coasts. In other words, a return reward ticket would have cost over $1,200 in taxes & fees.

Naturally, I did my homework, by my calculation, the taxes/fees should come to about $80 USD, not $470. You see

[...]

The lesson I think is it is very possible to extract good values with FFP if you can manage your resources efficiently. That sometimes also means you have to avoid airlines like SQ or NH unless it's absolutely necessary.
This is still working. I just included two transcontinental flights, including one with UA p.s. service + 2 shorter flights all in First/Business for a total of 4 flights. I paid strictly for government taxes & airport charges only, which amount to 49. Keep in mind this actually included $20 of YUL airport fee, $17 of Canadian security charge and about $20 of US immigration charges and of course, the redemption was considered a "one-way booking", so only 75 of cash + 11,250 miles + 49 of taxes even though it included First class.

Is it just me or are BD redemptions worthwhile again?
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Old Nov 9, 08, 3:53 pm
  #232  
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I just booked a short EU trip with BA for 9000 miles and fuel surcharges/taxes came to 250.

Meanwhile a LHR-LAX-LHR UA trip in first class using miles cost $171. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
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Old Nov 9, 08, 7:35 pm
  #233  
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Originally Posted by Guava View Post
Did BD decide they aren't going to collect fuel surcharges on certain partner airlines or something?
Some airlines' FFPs collect surcharge even for flights they do not operate, while others do not. It has been that way since fuel surcharges were introduced.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 10:36 pm
  #234  
 
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Originally Posted by Guava View Post
On the other hand, I wish to report a shocking anomaly in the other extreme:

OZ : JFK-ICN-HKG First Class, but tax bill = 12
OZ award redemption has always good value on Aeroplan as well. Especially, Intra-Asia award (Y/C/F) is steal.
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Old Nov 22, 08, 11:24 pm
  #235  
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I was psyched about taking advantage of the 50% BA award sale.

Then, I started getting tax quotes of between $700-$900 for flying in Business Class and it deflated my enthusiasm

I guess the surcharges for premium cabin travel via LHR is part of the culprit. But still.....sheeeesh!
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Old Nov 25, 08, 1:24 pm
  #236  
 
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Originally Posted by beaubo View Post
I was psyched about taking advantage of the 50% BA award sale.

Then, I started getting tax quotes of between $700-$900 for flying in Business Class and it deflated my enthusiasm

I guess the surcharges for premium cabin travel via LHR is part of the culprit. But still.....sheeeesh!
To this outrage we will soon be able to add the doubling of the UK air passenger duty, a per-passenger "carbon tax" that actually goes to general government revenue. It will soon cost around $260 in phony carbon tax alone to leave the UK in business or first class on a long flight, according to an announcement from the UK Government yesterday. Airline trade groups plan to sue.
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Old Nov 25, 08, 3:52 pm
  #237  
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I guess I should feel extremely fortunate in term of taxes/fuel charges.

I just redeemed two Oneworld (230F) awards:
TPA/MIA/LHR(on AA)/NRT/PEK(on JAL)/HKG/YYZ(on CX) ORD/TPA (on AA)all in F, with the exception of the NRT/PEK leg which is in C.
With stopovers at NRT, PEK, HKG yet the taxes for each ticket only came up to $98.00 each

mike
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Old Nov 26, 08, 7:46 am
  #238  
 
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Shocked by BA Fuel Surcharges

Originally Posted by beaubo View Post
I was psyched about taking advantage of the 50% BA award sale.

Then, I started getting tax quotes of between $700-$900 for flying in Business Class and it deflated my enthusiasm

I guess the surcharges for premium cabin travel via LHR is part of the culprit. But still.....sheeeesh!
I'd like to second beaubo's deflated enthusiasm. It's been a while since I redeemed any miles on BA (I switched to UA once BA reduced mileage to 25% on discounted economy, but still have about 175k miles from the days when I used to fly BA more regularly).

I was excited to receive the 50% off email from BA, but that quickly turned to disillusionment once I saw the huge surcharges that BA adds to award tickets. I was looking at 6 economy tickets from LHR-DEN for a family ski holiday in February. Each ticket gets slammed with 338 in charges (I'm working in Europe, so BA.com prices the taxes and surcharges in ). So that's 150k miles plus 2028 (or 1715) for 6 award tickets. When I price exactly the same trip on BA on Orbitz, it comes out at $597 all-in per ticket, for a total of $3582 (or 2336). So the difference betwen a so-called award ticket and a fully paid ticket in economy is only 104 - it seems absurd.

I realize that most people posting on FT use miles for C or F award seats, and in these cases paying 200-300 charges is less of a burden (relatively speaking). I would love to do that! But with 4 kids I tend to use my miles for long-haul family holidays. It seems that BA's practice of adding surcharges to award tickets means that using miles for Y tickets no longer makes much sense. Just by way of contrast, this summer I was able to travel with wife + 4 kids from LHR to Hawaii (with a stopover en route in SFO) on UA, for 50k miles per person and fees/surcharges of 60 per ticket!

I was not aware of the big discrepancies between US and European carriers in terms of adding fuel surcharges to award tickets, but having read most of this thread I'm doubly glad I switched all my transatlantic travel to UA 2-3 years ago.
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Old Nov 26, 08, 1:36 pm
  #239  
 
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OTOH if U use BA miles to fly AA within the USA, U pay only $2.50 per flight 9/11 Security Fee & no short-notice ticketing fee! Try it--ask for next week BOS--LAX & return: 25K miles in Y + $5 if nonstop both ways. Of course, no half-price miles in that case.
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Old Dec 5, 08, 2:26 pm
  #240  
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This is one of those times when maybe it is good that we can't sue our AA miles for trans-atlantic redemption on BA.

With BA talks in line with Qantas, this does not bode well for best (or highest) program rules win.

That or we better hope that OpenSkies works out real well so that we can fly BA-type airline to other parts of Europe than LHR from the states.
Originally Posted by beaubo View Post
I was psyched about taking advantage of the 50% BA award sale.

Then, I started getting tax quotes of between $700-$900 for flying in Business Class and it deflated my enthusiasm

I guess the surcharges for premium cabin travel via LHR is part of the culprit. But still.....sheeeesh!
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