airfreightrates vary a lot, e.g.two years ago I worked at a bigger airfreight forwarder at frankfurt airport and a normal rate from FRA
was at 1.10 EUR / KG
if you shipped a few 1000 kg a month. Today it`s down to 0,20 EUR / KG
. and that’s only due to competition, but all rates are + fuel & security which is an additional to compensate the up`s and down for the fuel cost (approx. 0.10 to 0.30 eur) – I don`t know how much the airliners charges for security today, but should be around 0,10 EUR
the official IATA Tact Rates mentioned earlier are normally no longer in use, only for special freight, e.g. live animals or personal effects.
the big rate difference are similar in the most markets, e.g. on the north atlantic freight rates to the US are much higher than as the rates to europe.
the profit split does not vary a much for the airfreight forwarders as they mostly add simple something between 0,5 up to 0,30 eur as profit to their buying rates (depends on the vol. from the shipper). the profit for the carrier vary a lot, as mentioned in above FRA
but one thing where airlines and airfreight forwarders can make some nice profits, it`s to consolidate shipments and to cut the volume, as the airfreight rates include a weight/ volume ratio -> 1 cbm max. weight is 166 kg, so if your shipment have a huge volume you have to pay the volume weight e.g.
a) one shipment 1000 kg with 10 cbm you have to pay freight for 1660 kg
b) one shipment 1000 kg with only 2 cbm you have to pay freight for 1000 kg
if can consolidate it and hand it over to a carrier together under one airwaybill you only have to pay for 2000 kg to the airline, but charge to the both shippers for 2660 kg.
but the really high rate you paid for your shipment should be because cargo from private person are not allowed to consolidate with standard freight and IATA rates are applied to, so in your case the airlines made some nice bigger profit, but that`s do not happened often.
IATA rate London – NYC = N= 4,03 GBP / KG
, so approx. 200,00GBP
Re. your claim, you do not have a good chance to get any refund as the airlines have no real deadline till they have to fly your shipment, only after approx. 30 days they can declare your shipments as lost. Some airlines offer a “must fly as booked service” e.g. LH
Flash, but that`s not possible for personal effects. And even if you know that they simple couldn`t find your shipment in their warehouse and they find it only days later and you have not got that written from the airline ( and you surly do not have it) -> no chance
Also if you send personal effects normally the most airlines do not even give you a confirmed flight, the called it “due to security” standby only