Why is Award travel not "free"?

 
Old Sep 19, 11, 7:55 pm
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Why is Award travel not "free"?

I don't get it. I fly enough to book an award ticket and then United charges a fee for booking the ticket online.

So they certainly can't say they offer "free travel" to elite members.

Yes I know it's a measily fee but when I blow 50k miles to get my daughter from RDU-PWM during the holidays it irks me that I have to pull out my CC for the $10.

And even though I am using my miles as a 1K to get her home, if she were to check a bag she'd get dinged for the fee. The final insult was when I booked the flight for her, it asked if I wanted to pay $9 each way for her to use the Premier Line.

I think the status should go with the miles.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Cantheplanegofaster? View Post
I don't get it. I fly enough to book an award ticket and then United charges a fee for booking the ticket online.

So they certainly can't say they offer "free travel" to elite members.

Yes I know it's a measily fee but when I blow 50k miles to get my daughter from RDU-PWM during the holidays it irks me that I have to pull out my CC for the $10.

And even though I am using my miles as a 1K to get her home, if she were to check a bag she'd get dinged for the fee. The final insult was when I booked the flight for her, it asked if I wanted to pay $9 each way for her to use the Premier Line.

I think the status should go with the miles.
Should have moved your miles to CO. No charge for booking online and the person flying enjoys your status.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:16 pm
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The $10 are the taxes not a fee.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:20 pm
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Iirc, it's not a fee charged by UA but one of the taxes involved just like if you booked a paid ticket and if I further remember, it's $2.50 per segment. Is the trip in question 2 segments each direction?
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:22 pm
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I suggest the OP book at trip to London to see what real "fees" are about.

I do like the OP's suggestion though, that elites should be exempt from government taxes. Now thats a great idea ^

I am also willing to go out on a limb, and say, the OP spent 50,000 miles without checking for space on CO/US.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by annacrist View Post
The $10 are the taxes not a fee.
And be glad you're not booking on an airline like British Air where the taxes could amount to $500 or more (British Air treats fuel surcharge as a tax and passes that on to the passenger).
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:24 pm
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if $10 was all you were charged, it is airport fees....they vary a bit from place to place....
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:24 pm
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
And be glad you're not booking on an airline like British Air where the taxes could amount to $500 or more (British Air treats fuel surcharge as a tax and passes that on to the passenger).
ah... the fuel surcharge, that thankfully hasnt come to United award tickets (yet, give it time)
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:26 pm
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You could always pay full price for the ticket instead of the $10
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Old Sep 19, 11, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by MR_MAMA View Post
You could always pay full price for the ticket instead of the $10
Nice comment. I guess you and I could also just not acrue FFMs that allow booking award travel, eh?
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Old Sep 19, 11, 9:14 pm
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Like others have mentioned, the $10 charge is a tax, not a booking fee. Misleading thread title.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 11:12 pm
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Originally Posted by United757 View Post
Like others have mentioned, the $10 charge is a tax, not a booking fee. Misleading thread title.
Yeah, but still, if I book a reward night at a hotel, then my bills comes out to $0. No taxes, no fees and no strange charges. Nil. Zip. Nada. Noll.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by heffa View Post
Yeah, but still, if I book a reward night at a hotel, then my bills comes out to $0. No taxes, no fees and no strange charges. Nil. Zip. Nada. Noll.
Unless you book at an SPG resort, where you still have to pay the resort fee.
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Old Sep 19, 11, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by heffa View Post
Yeah, but still, if I book a reward night at a hotel, then my bills comes out to $0. No taxes, no fees and no strange charges. Nil. Zip. Nada. Noll.
because hotel taxes (in most cases -- sometimes flat rate resort fees are charged) are a percentage of the billing, therefore are zero for award bookings.

The particular airline taxes under discussion are based on airport / segments. The 7.5% federal exercise tax will be zero but not the other taxes.


this might help A guide to airline-ticket taxes and fees.
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Old Sep 20, 11, 6:41 am
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This is not the airport/segment tax. It is the 9/11 Security Fee.
http://www.tsa.gov/research/fees/passenger_fee.shtm
$2.50 per segment, $5.00 max in each direction.
I have a recent award booking with three segments - fee was $7.50.

I do not expect UA or any carrier to pay government mandated fees/taxes on my behalf when I travel on an award ticket when the taxes/fees are not a function of the price of travel.
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