flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:41 pm

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!  
 
vfw614
Posts: 3194
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:48 pm

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).
 
davescj
Posts: 1121
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:46 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:50 pm

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?
 
flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:56 pm

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!  
 
fghtngsiouxatc
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:33 pm

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 9:58 pm

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]
 
jr
Posts: 1043
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:15 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:08 pm

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.
 
vfw614
Posts: 3194
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2001 12:34 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:08 pm

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?
 
flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:11 pm

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!  
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6185
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:16 pm

You would probably have been luck asking these questions over on FT versus A.net.
 
flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
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RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:18 pm

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.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6185
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:21 pm

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.
 
Wingtips56
Posts: 762
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:26 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:31 pm

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
 
flybry
Posts: 63
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:26 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:44 pm

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.
 
alasizon
Posts: 733
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:01 pm

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.
Ramp Unit Manager & Tower Planner
 
roseflyer
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:10 pm

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!
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13808
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RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:20 pm

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.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 6185
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:25 pm

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.
 
flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:29 pm

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...
 
flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:47 pm

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]
 
fghtngsiouxatc
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:33 pm

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:11 am

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.
 
toobz
Posts: 647
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 6:33 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:20 pm

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.
 
flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:00 pm

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?
 
fghtngsiouxatc
Posts: 159
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:33 pm

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:20 pm

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.
 
flyabr
Topic Author
Posts: 761
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:42 am

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Sat Mar 02, 2013 9:43 pm

According to Delta's email to me the seasonal transfer fee runs this year from june 14th to august 12th...fwiw.
 
PI4EVER
Posts: 632
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 10:29 pm

RE: Delta - Seasonal Transfer Fee!

Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:51 pm

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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