Jerseyguy
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Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:43 am

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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davidho1985
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:17 am

I really don't care how much is the fare and how much is the fuel surcharge.
I only look at the "Total price"
 
BarryH
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:45 am

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.
 
WROORD
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:05 am

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'.
 
FDH
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:58 am

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
 
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qfvhoqa
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:20 am

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.
 
michman
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:25 am

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]
 
spacecadet
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:05 am

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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ssteve
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:12 am

If it helps avoid additional taxes, it helps the consumer.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:03 am

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".
 
offloaded
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:43 pm

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.
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Viscount724
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:17 am

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.
 
BD338
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RE: Why Is The Fuel Surcharge More Than The Fare?

Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:50 am

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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