Airline charge for miles ticket

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  RichHI1 6 Jun 2012
at 02:06

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  • Anonymous


    I am amazed at the charges airline apply for miles ticket, it seems to be often higher than if you buy a money ticket with the same airline.
    I tested with Air France and BA.
    Any thoughts?

    Also, what do you reckon is the best airline for applying lowest airline charges on miles ticket? Air canada looks good for me, but I m sure there
    are better ones !

    Thanks all


    Virgin Miles + Money tickets are also best avoided. Usually about £50 cheaper than an all “cash” ticket, but without Tier Points or miles.


    Virgin flying club offers good availability on seats I found despite not having a gold card with them


    Hi Rachid,

    I met this case with AF recently.
    Frankly said, we were two pax in Business on a long haul trip for which we paid ‘only’ some hundreds of euros, not thousands as would have cost the tickets.
    Is the difference you noticed unfair? probably, but so far, there is no plan B..


    AA charges nothing for redemption. You are charged government taxes and airport security charges but nothing by AA.
    This is for AA and some other One World flights for BA there is a heavy penalty charge imposed by BA.


    Thanks for that!
    Interesting to know about AA.
    Do they charge on Cathay Pacific or Qantas?


    This has been apparent to me for some time, with award bookings on KLM / AF, and also VS as a Gold member in each.

    Shocking are the prices from European gateways, for a miles ticket.!
    Using VS to Hong Kong in Upper Class, leaves over £350 tax to be paid. From HKG to LHR leaves approx £50!
    VS are charging fuel surcharges out of LHR, but not out of HKG into LHR.

    Same with KLM, to Vancouver, the return flight is a small amount compared to charges over 5 x to fly out of the EU.
    Clearly charges from the UK add the Government taxes, but it seems to me that Airports in the UK are also ripping us off.
    It is pointless using miles for flights within Europe, when the fare can be as little as 10% of the total ticket cost, on say KLM Ex LHR- AMS, at £99.

    For some time, I have used miles for flights back into the UK or from other worldwide areas, where the Airports, Governments charge less, and fuel surcharges from that Airline, seem only to be levied one way on departing UK flights.


    Thy only charge if QF or CX would charge you, in other words they pass on the carrier penalty.



    I have had a similar experience while trying to redeem miles on Delta,(AF & KLM seem to be the same) huge taxes and fees for a return trip originating in the UK or Europe almost to the point of being cheaper to purchase a ticket, while a reverse itinery starting in the US has just the usual airport fees, government taxes etc

    It is not the huge amount of APD the UK government charge that makes the difference (as I was told by Delta reservations) as that would would have to be paid on one sector regardless of originating point, it is something called “international surcharge” which seems only to be levied on ex- UK / Europe redemptions. Annoyingly the ill informed Delta agent refered to this as a tax too, rather than the carrier/alliance self imposed fee it actually is.



    I recently redeemed two tickets using a 2-for-1 voucher issued by BA EC Visa card partner in Sweden. We are flying ARN-LHR in CE, LHR-IAD in First and returning from JFK via LHR to ARN in CW/CE. A total of 135,000 miles and a miserable £750 for the both of us in fuel surcharges and taxes.

    For simplicity, please assume £1 equals 10 SEK

    Government, authority and airport charges Per adult
    Passenger Charge – Sweden SEK158.00
    Passenger Service Charge – United Kingdom SEK484.00
    Customs User Fee – USA SEK37.00
    Transportation Tax(Departure) – USA SEK113.00
    Transportation Tax(Arrival) – USA SEK113.00
    Animal & Plant Health User Fee (Aphis) – USA SEK34.00
    Immigration User Fee – USA SEK47.00
    Passenger Civil Aviation Security Service Fee – USA SEK17.00
    Passenger Facility Charge SEK31.00
    Total government, authority and airport charges* SEK1,034.00

    British Airways fees and surcharges Per adult
    Fuel Surcharge** SEK2,846.00
    Total British Airways fees and surcharges SEK2,846.00

    Total taxes, fees and surcharges per person SEK3,880.00


    Just checked with AA, redemptions on One World, it looks like BA are the only carrier to add their surcharges into taxes. CX,Jl and QF should not involve surcharges. Non EXP ( AA version of Gold EC get charged $25 for telephone bookings as only AA, BA and Hawaiian can be made as miles bookings on line). Interestingly BA is normally available as no one wants to pay hundreds of dollars to fly free on BA. Hope this helps. Not sure AA would status match Gold to EXP but I think they have a challenge plan where if you prove to fly certain miles in certain time they will expedite status.


    One might also note that AA is bankrupt.

    QF is teetering on bankruptcy, and desperately restructuring to stay afloat.

    JAL is also very fragile, having very nearly failed last year.

    Having weathered recent storms, BA is in a stronger position than those three, the fourth (Cathay) being stronger for its proximity to (previously) booming China, but even that saw profits collapse 61% last year.

    BA doesn’t charge these fees for no reason….


    Poster who cannot be named, you know better than that. There is a difference between bankruptcy in the UK sense of the word meaning insolvency and Chapter 11 refinancing which as we all know is a provision to enable corporations to stay competitive through legally enforced renogiation of historic anticompetitive agreements with Unions and other third parties. BA has undertaken and is undertaking such practices using the provisions of English and Spanish commerical law much as AA is, it is just the terminology which is different. No airlines give you something for nothing, it is just that BA have managed to levy FFB awards in a way that would not be commercially acceptable in the US home market given the more advanced state of FFB’s in the US and the lack of dominance of 1 carrier in the US. I have no doubt if it were commercially viable the US carriers would charge it too. So, come on don’t dilute a reasoned argument with specious rhetoric that plays to the uninformed, there’s a good chap. By the way how was your view of the river Thames event? I saw on the news the weather was very British, good for character building and good cause for some libation to keep out the cold!
    As an aside, our local carrier who started their
    Non stop service to JFK yesterday, has returned to substantial profit growth with new services across the pacific and now to the east coast and they do not levy Award tickets either. It is really about carrier dominance. BA dwarfs VS and their freedom of commercial alternatives as the sole dominant UK carrier is much greater.


    View was very nice, thanks.

    I am not aware that BA “has undertaken and is undertaking such practices using the provisions of English and Spanish commerical law” as regards bankruptcy; it remains broadly profitable, even while paying off a huge pension deficit.

    The point stands; BA charges fees which ensures its cashflow offsets its rising costs, and is stronger for it.

    Some others don’t, or charge less, and have suffered financially for it.

    It should be noted that BA’s fees on shorthaul are very reasonable.

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