BA additional charges are a rip offBack to Forum
Anonymous10 Mar 2009
I’m sorry to rant on about a subject that is discussed frequently on these forums but the more I try to redeem flights with BA, the more annoyed and cheated I feel. I have recently successfully redeemed Virgin Miles for a Business Class return with Malaysia Airlines (LHR to KUL) for a mere £110 in taxes….115k miles and I have just made another booking with Virgin, using their miles on SIA A380 in economy from LHR to SIN return for 70k miles and £70 in tax…how can BA justify charging £300 for an economy BA miles ticket for the same route and worse still, £350 for a Business Class BA miles ticket for the same route…..BA are ripping us off here and I see very little value with their current BA miles programme….I’m going to swap my BA Amex card for the Virgin one….
GTR_Skyline10 Mar 2009
Indeed, I used to travel a lot with BA in the past, but try to avoid them now, as I never got enough miles for a bonus ticket, as BA said to me:
only certain booking classes qualify for miles !!!! Since then I travel with other cariers and have never had this problem. I also try to avoid LHR (London Heathrow) as it is the most annoying airport with long queues everywhere.
Note: as airlines have cut down in services they have to have some sort of income, and this comes by all the charges.11 Mar 2009
I fly very little with BA but collect significant miles through credit cards, shopping, groceries, hotels, car hire, etc. Then combined with the Amex Companion Voucher every myself and my g/f manage to book long-haul flights in Business or First paying on for taxes (£300-£400 each).
The BA scheme is more geared up to giving better value for miles by flying in premium classes where you pay only marginally more in taxes.
Personally I would never consider using my miles (unless forced to for a specific reason) to fly anything other that long-haul in Business or First – even if it means only one flight every couple of years.11 Mar 2009
Have you written in or phoned in and asked what the charges are for?? Im sure they will be more than happy to give you a break down of what you are paying for and then ask the same for the other airlines. Taxes should be the same for all airlines leaving the same airport. The government does charge more tax for premium cabins plus apd. Would be interesting to see the differences between the airlines and compare the charges. BAA probably charge a higher services charge for the use of T5. Plus the airlines mentioned will have different fuel surcharges.11 Mar 2009
Hi, yes, I called them yesterday and the lady on the phone’s reply was “errr, errmmm, thats a fuel surcharge cost”…so when I said how other airlines didn’t charge this much, the response was “its a special cost due to flying out of Heathrow”…so when I mentioned MAS and SIA fly from the same airport, there was a silence on the phone. Martin George (previous BA Operations Director was sacked due to bad price fixing…I say no more).11 Mar 2009
BA include fuel charge in taxes as I believe a number of European airlines do. I don’t think many Amercian Airlines do. I recently booked an ANA awards ticket with BMI miles and had to pay a fuel surcharge although ANA have recently announced this will be removed from April.
Personally I don’t mind the taxes being so high – it still works out cheaper than paying for the ticket in full cash. In November we booked 2 return flights to BKK using BA Miles. Taxes were £378 each. The cheapest economy ticket (not direct) was £450 with Qatar. The cheapest economy ticket (direct) was £700.
You will always get poor value for your miles flying with BA unless you fly Business or First. If you’re set on using your miles to fly Economy then fly another airline.
I personally like the BA scheme. I get long-haul premium classes for minimal cash (taxes) by accumulating BA miles through everyday spend.11 Mar 2009
The BA scheme is also a scheme which is centred round regular travellers, rather than infrequent ones. The higher tiers allow for faster accrual of miles, however these tiers are set at a level that would be difficult for most leisure travellers to achieve.
Personally I find the BA scheme to be very good. The real bargin that you can get is upgrading from World Traveller Plus to Club World. This uses half the miles of an economy reward ticket, plus obviously the WT+ fare, which is not always that high.
As for the comment of queues, I recently flew in Club World out of T5 and got from front of terminal to lounge in about 10mins. That included checking in 3 bags (one of which was out of gauge) getting through security and buying a book enroute. There aren’t many airports that you can do that at.11 Mar 2009
Ok…well I have been investigating. I just looked at a lhr-sin rtn on ba.com. (can’t compare exactly because you are using 2 different airlines out of different stations). In economy taxes etc are £209.50. £66 of which is fuel surcharge each way so thats…£132. £2.50 each way insurence…so another £5.00 in total. APD (air passenger duty) is £40 from the UK in economy…..grand total of £177 which means BAA/SIN airport user fees etc….cos you pay for airport toilets trolleys etc are around £32.50. Thats your breakdown for taxes….plus if you travel in premium cabins you’ll probably pay more fuel surcharge and apd. Im guess that although you’ve used VS miles….you haven’t actually used VS flights so the other airlines prob dont have a fuel surcharge etc. Im guessing if you actually booked onto Virgin services the taxes and fee might be higher. All this info was on ba.com.12 Mar 2009
“As for the comment of queues, I recently flew in Club World out of T5 and got from front of terminal to lounge in about 10mins. That included checking in 3 bags (one of which was out of gauge) getting through security and buying a book enroute. There aren’t many airports that you can do that at”
In the last 2 weeks, I did this at
The only other airport I used in this time period was LHR T4 and I didn’t manage it there, as the BAA personnel were balancing the lengths of the normal and fast track queues, which seems to defeat the mission of the fast track system.
My only T5 departure this year saw a 35 minutes elapse from walking through the front door to lounge, made up of an efficient check in and appalling fast track service, in fact a BA cabin crew member in the same queue suggested we all moved out of fast track, as it would be quicker to use a normal queue.
So I believe that one can achieve 10 minutes through many airports, when they are not overloaded, but will face longer waiting times at peaks.
I also believe that the fast track arrangements at Heathrow are a disgrace.12 Mar 2009
Hang on a sec? Why is there still a fuel surcharge??? With oil now well below the price it was a year ago, surely there is no longer a justification to pay surcharges?12 Mar 2009
I have just been charged 810 pounds per each ticket (for two) plus 40,000 airmiles to travel to London/Florida return inits equivalent of business class.
It is some years since I have used BA and at this price rate and miles given I am not sure they will be getting my business in the future!12 Mar 2009
I must be extremely lucky given some of the comments above. BA had a promotion last year whereby they offered redemption flights for half the normal BA Miles for a limited period of 7 days. They also allowed Amex Companion Tickets to be used in conjunction with this. I picked up 2 return 1st Class flights from a Regional UK Airport to SFO via LHR for the total sum of £880 and 75,000 BA miles. Normal price for these tickets would have been approaching £13k.13 Mar 2009
How right you are, about saving your BA miles for Club long distance. We have managed Barbados (twice), Accra (twice), Tokyo (once), Bermuda (once) in Club with BA miles and companion voucher. I made the mistake once of surrendering 40000 BA miles for a Club class in Europe. Poor value. You can use Tesco vouchers to get more BA miles13 Mar 2009