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Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!  
User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3392 times:

While booking one of those free Amex companion tickets with Delta, I discovered that if you travel basically from June through August they charge you a Seasonal Transfer Fee. What a crock...free ticket my you know what! It was only after I prodded Delta customer service several times as to why my companion was charged a fare for his free ticket that they finally fessed up and admitted that the fare charge was actually a Seasonal Transfer Fee!! Is there anything associated with air travel that doesn't require a fee these days? ugh!  

24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3964 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3341 times:

Sorry for the dumb question from a non-native English speaker - what exactly is the transfer in "Seasonal Transfer Fee"? (not that I would expect any honest semantics from the "Department For Making Up Outrageous Fees" of any given airline, but maybe it has a meaning I do not get).

User currently offlinedavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2305 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3328 times:

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 1):
"Seasonal Transfer Fee"?

It is an extra fee based on the dates of travel. Since the ticket is supposed to be free, they cannot charge a fare.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3235 times:

Exasperating part is on the companion receipt it was called a fare charge. That's what made it confusing. Is this a way for Delta to hide revenue that might otherwise be taxed??? And to answer the question about what is being transferred...I have absolutely no idea!  

User currently offlinefghtngsiouxatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3213 times:

I just looked to book my free companion ticket in June and it's showing $40 + $43.60 in taxes. Is your companion fee $40 as well? Were you able to walk your way out of it? That "free" ticket quickly became an $85 ticket. Never experienced this problem in the past.

Edit: Delta's website says NOTHING about a transfer fee anywhere. Their website simply says companion is required to pay GOVERNMENT taxes and fees. This seems borderline illegal.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/planning-a-trip/booking-information/online-booking/companion-certificates.html

[Edited 2013-02-28 14:02:36]

User currently offlinejr From United States of America, joined May 1999, 968 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3123 times:

Quoting fghtngsiouxatc (Reply 4):
Edit: Delta's website says NOTHING about a transfer fee anywhere. Their website simply says companion is required to pay GOVERNMENT taxes and fees. This seems borderline illegal.

Agree, and whether legal or not, it doesn't seem ethical if they are outright giving the expression of it being "free" and marketing it as such without clarity on underhanded fees.

I would like to know two things:

1. How much attention is the Government paying to this and the other airline "fees"? (I understand this is a free market and they are free to charge whatever blah blah, but I would like to understand where and if the lines are being blurred between legal and not and how much this should matter from a consumer protection standpoint).

2. Is this being disclosed by AmEx/Delta as part of the card's marketing? i wonder how many complaints AmEx is getting on this and how this will affect the card membership itself.



I've flown on 9V-SPK.
User currently offlinevfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3964 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3123 times:

Quoting davescj (Reply 2):
It is an extra fee based on the dates of travel. Since the ticket is supposed to be free, they cannot charge a fare.

I got the "seasonal" and the "fee" part. But why is it called "transfer"? What does the transfer in it stand for? Is it because you technically "transfer" your miles to the companion if you book a ticket with your miles for someone else?


User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3104 times:

here is a cut and paste from the companion ticket receipt:

FARE: 37.20 USD
Taxes/Carrier-imposed Fees: 46.40
Total: 83.60 USD

notice it says FARE and not Seasonal Transfer Fee! Delta didn't offer me any money back. Yep, those supposedly free tickets are starting to get expensive!  


User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7533 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3069 times:

You would probably have been luck asking these questions over on FT versus A.net.

User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

Quoting vfw614 (Reply 6):
I got the "seasonal" and the "fee" part. But why is it called "transfer"? What does the transfer in it stand for? Is it because you technically "transfer" your miles to the companion if you book a ticket with your miles for someone else?

No miles involved. I have an American Express Delta SkyMiles platinum credit card that once a year sends me a certificate allowing for a companion to travel for "free" (excepting taxes and carrier imposed fees). I guess the Seasonal Transfer Fee literally falls under the carrier imposed fees part, although that is not what the receipt indicated.


User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7533 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3037 times:

I've never had a companion ticket that was completely "free" I've usually paid around $90 in fees & taxes, but is sure is a lot better than a $600 ticket.

User currently offlineWingtips56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 367 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2952 times:

From my experience as an airline Ticketing department analyst, I know that there are many taxes that apply no matter what fare is paid, while others only apply if a fare is paid. These extra fees along with fuel and other surcharges are considered part of the base fare for taxation applications, even if shown separately in a tax box as a "YQ" or "YR". So, your "free" ticket with a fee now subjects you to some taxes that wouldn't apply off-season when the ticket is indeed "free".

(Many of these fees were originally created to keep them out of the commission-able base fare to save the airline money on agency sales, and/or to keep them out of the quoted fare prior to the recent DOT full disclosure rules changes, to give the appearance of either being cheaper or at least not more expensive than a competitor's fare quote. {The DOT rule change is what NK was protesting.})

Quoting fghtngsiouxatc (Reply 4):
I just looked to book my free companion ticket in June and it's showing $40 + $43.60 in taxes.

So that $40 fee subjected you to (depending on your itinerary) 7.5% U.S. Transportation Tax or $16.30 U.S. International Arrival/Departure Tax, each way, or $8.20 each way between the Mainland and Hawai'i or Alaska, PLUS $3.70 "ZP" Flight Segment Tax on each departure from a U.S. airport, and a raft of Canadian taxes if applicable; these would not apply to a totally free ticket. ("AY" Sept. 11 Security Fees, "YC" & "XY" Customs User and Immigration Fees and "XF" Airport Passenger Facilities fees apply even to the free ticket.)

So you would have been paying some of that $43.60 in taxes, but not all of it if the added "Seasonal Transfer Fee" wasn't there.



Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines
User currently offlineflybry From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 26 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2860 times:

I'd contact the DOT and file a complaint. Under the new laws, airlines are supposed to be transparent when it comes to all fees/charges.

User currently offlineAlasizon From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 289 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2768 times:

Given the partnership is between DL and Amex, I'd say that DL is in for a shock given that Amex has the widest and most lenient dispute policy.


Window seats may be over-rated, but I'll take a window seat on a DC9 anyday
User currently offlineRoseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9511 posts, RR: 52
Reply 14, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2712 times:

I hope this gets reported to the DOT so that they can squash it. This sounds like unfair business practices. Since the fee is appearing as a Fare according to the DOT, it is subject to more taxes. Also free award tickets cannot have a fare associated with them.

You'd think the tight inventory control on tickets that are given away via various promotions was enough, but now DL is breaking its promises by adding an additional fee that in reality is a fare attached to it. Does any other airline do this?

If you get a free companion ticket it should be free!



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21476 posts, RR: 60
Reply 15, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2630 times:

When I used my companion coupon with my wife this January, there was no such fee. I also haven't received any change in terms from Amex regarding their card and it's perks. The ONLY reason I keep this card is because of the free companion ticket. Even though you must book a certain fare class, not the cheapest, it still puts you way ahead. If they add $50 in fees and taxes on these fees, it cuts into the savings quite a bit. It already isn't usable on an open jaw and other forms of tickets other than R/T, so this just makes it harder to use.

My card renews in a couple of months. Hopefully I'll know before then.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently onlinePSU.DTW.SCE From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 7533 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2591 times:

Before everyone goes crazy....nowhere does it state that is a FREE companion ticket.

DL provides an "Annual Companion Certificate" for AMEX card holders. The specifics vary, depending on the level of the DL AMEX card you own.

Again, nowhere does it say free, but it does entitle you to use the "Companion Certificate" subject to the various terms, conditions, taxes, and fees.

I can't quite figure out all of the various fees, surcharges, and taxes, and those beyond that again which are subject to taxes. I'm sure that will vary significantly depending on the itinerary and destination.

So before you go crazy, check the fine print. It sounds like you did not get a good explaination from the DL agent and it is confusing.

Again, I've used these for multiple years and I've always had to pay some amount. Its never been free.


User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2581 times:

I'm gonna have to fire off an email to AmEx and see if the squeaky wheel gets any grease! Delta doesn't give a rip about my complaint...

User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2571 times:

I just visited the AmEx web site showing all the benefits of the SkyMiles Platinum card, and no where could I find any mention of the "free" companion ticket. I know the gold card quit offering the $99 companion cert recently, am now wondering if the "free" companion cert is on the way out too!

[Edited 2013-02-28 15:51:34]

User currently offlinefghtngsiouxatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 5 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2533 times:

I agree that this is the main reason I have the Amex card. The $199 annual fee is quite steep in comparison to most cards, and the interest rate is sky high. If they get rid of the annual free companion fare, bye bye DL Amex card.

User currently onlinetoobz From Finland, joined Jan 2010, 768 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (1 year 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2418 times:

You're wanting to fly during the busiest time of the year when all flights are full everywhere! They want to discourage you from using them during the summer months..sounds legit to me. They have that right. It's not an outrageous fee in the first place. And as pointed it, it's not marketed as a "free ticket". Sorry no grounds for a refund.

User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (1 year 5 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2394 times:

Quoting toobz (Reply 20):
You're wanting to fly during the busiest time of the year when all flights are full everywhere! They want to discourage you from using them during the summer months..sounds legit to me. They have that right. It's not an outrageous fee in the first place. And as pointed it, it's not marketed as a "free ticket". Sorry no grounds for a refund.

That's all fine and dandy, but how about Delta be more transparent. I can't find any mention whatsoever about a seasonal transfer fee. Not on the website, and not on the certificate. Just spell out the fees in a more transparent manner! Am i asking too much?


User currently offlinefghtngsiouxatc From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 216 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (1 year 5 months 1 day ago) and read 2391 times:

It used to be marketed as a free companion ticket. They changed the wording to "complimentary" companion ticket. Can't say I've ever paid for anything that was "complimentary." Long story short, Delta is promoting false advertising with this companion ticket.

On a side note, I searched 2 weeks earlier than my previous search (first weekend in June) and the "seasonal transfer fee" was nowhere to be seen. It was only charging for the government fees and taxes quoted in the fine print.


User currently offlineflyabr From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 646 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 5 months 23 hours ago) and read 2386 times:

According to Delta's email to me the seasonal transfer fee runs this year from june 14th to august 12th...fwiw.

User currently offlinePI4EVER From United States of America, joined May 2009, 655 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (1 year 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2248 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

In addition to the "companion fare" fee charged for Platinum AMEX certificates, those Gold certificates expiring this year will be accessed a $99 "companion fare" plus tax charge regardless of travel dates. A family member just discovered this additional fee/charge when attempting to redeem their certificate for travel in April before it expires June 30.


watch what you want. you may get it.
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