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Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?  
User currently offlinejerseyguy From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2087 posts, RR: 0
Posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7162 times:
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I booked a UA ticket for my parents EWR-CDG AMS-EWR and found that the fuel surcharge labeled "International Surcharge" is more than the ticket. $516 vs $473. Why does UA charge it as a seperate fee? Are fees not taxable to the airline?

[Edited 2013-03-14 18:12:58]


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12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedavidho1985 From Hong Kong, joined Oct 2012, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7106 times:

I really don't care how much is the fare and how much is the fuel surcharge.
I only look at the "Total price"


User currently offlineBarryH From United States of America, joined Sep 2012, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7006 times:

The fuel surcharge isn't taxable. It's also not discountable for corporate contracts and other types of percentage-off fare discounts that are computed off the base fare. For example, the AA20 (20%) employee discount applied to a $800 transatlantic fare is about $50.

User currently offlineWROORD From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 972 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 6947 times:

This is another way of getting extra bucks by airlines. I booked two tickets on LH one adult and one child. The child ticket had a 15% discount for a child however the fuel charge was higher than the adult fuel charge. I called LH and noone could answer me why the fuel charge is higher on my child's ticket than on mine. One word comes to mind 'gauging'.

User currently offlineFDH From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6757 times:

Quoting davidho1985 (Reply 1):
I really don't care how much is the fare and how much is the fuel surcharge.
I only look at the "Total price"

Same here. As an end-customer, I don't need to know how the company itemized each expense. In other circumstances, it is useful to have this information, but in general, the end-customer only really care about the total cost of the ticket. I find it misleading to have a fuel surcharge because to me it is an essential part of a transportation cost.

FDH


User currently offlineQFVHOQA From Australia, joined Mar 2012, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6710 times:

It's also to do with commissions for travel agents. Commission is usually only payable on the fare not the taxes & fees. A way of them clawing back revenue from third party booking sites.

User currently offlinemichman From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 567 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 6697 times:

Quoting WROORD (Reply 3):
One word comes to mind 'gauging'.

Really? You might want to consult a dictionary. I'm afraid the word you used is not the one you intended. Perhaps you should consider replacing the 'a' with an 'o'.

In the end, if YQ/YR fees were banned, the airlines would just bump the base fares back up. It's not like everyone would magically be paying much less for their tickets.

[Edited 2013-03-14 21:37:23]

User currently offlinespacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3667 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6614 times:

Some online travel agencies at least used to (and I think still do) show only the ticket price in their price comparisons, not any additional fees. So this could also be a way for them to try to compete on price. It's particularly underhanded, though, but then this is pretty much what all the airlines are doing these days by separating out every individual service they provide as a separate fee. That's how they can lower their fares in relation to the competition, even though everybody knows you'll be paying a lot more in the end. But they intentionally make it impossible to really price shop.


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User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 733 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6600 times:

If it helps avoid additional taxes, it helps the consumer.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25983 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 6345 times:

It's a non-issue now in my opinion. Many countries now require that all taxes and surcharges be included in advertised fares so it makes no diffeence to me whether the fare is $5 and the fuel sucharge $100 or vice versa.

It's also faster and cheaper for airlines to change a uniform fuel surcharge that applies on dozens of routes than to have to change hundreds of individual fares.

Many if not most major airlines have stopped paying commissions so that's not as relevant as it used to be.

Fuel surcharges are often assessed for frequent flyer redemtpion bookings, in addition to government and airport taxes/fees, especially on non-U.S. carriers, so that's one case where an airline with a high fuel surcharge generates revenue from those tickets that were once advertised as being "free".


User currently offlineoffloaded From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 905 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6002 times:

It is, apparently, easier to leave the base fare where it is and just adjust the YQ/YR amounts in the GDSs. However, as airlines are loading fares all the time, and some airlines like EK have it in the fares anyway, I think that reason is a bit of a crock. The "surcharge" implies some notion of temporary state, yet its been around for over a decade. It also means that "free" (mileage etc) tickets are free + "taxes" so the carriers are still earning good revenue from "free" tickets.

Quoting QFVHOQA (Reply 5):
It's also to do with commissions for travel agents. Commission is usually only payable on the fare not the taxes & fees.

The agents association in Portugal took it to court and won, so we get commission on the base fare and YQ/YR now. However, as most airlines I deal with are 1% or 0% commission these days, its a moot point.

As fuel is necessary for flight, I think it is about time fuel surcharges were integrated back into the fares.



To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25983 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5962 times:

Quoting offloaded (Reply 10):
It also means that "free" (mileage etc) tickets are free + "taxes" so the carriers are still earning good revenue from "free" tickets.

Which is why you never see references to "free" tickets now. It's always some term like award, reward, redemption etc. If they used "free" they'd be accused of misleading advertising.


User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 5961 times:

DL adds an international surcharge to international flights (on top of a sometimes long list of various government/inspection/customs fees, charges and taxes etc.). What is that for? I'm booking an international flight, how far does the base fare get me if I'm going to LHR....JFK??? I emailed DL about it, and got a banal 'thank you for your feedback' response. So I'm still no closer to knowing how they can justify adding an international surcharge (beyond some possible tax dodge)...why is it a surcharge when I am blatantly booking an international itineray? . At least these days it is all included in the listed fare, unlike a couple of years ago when there could be a very nasty shock when that $600 RT advertised fare was really $1600....I'm glad that deceptive practice was outlawed.

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