Classic Award fuel surcharges

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Familyman1

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I've been a Qantas Frequent Flyer member for many years and have enjoyed many classic award flights including an around the world trip for my family in 2010. I have been a regular visitor to this Discussion Board but have only now become a member.

My wife and I have managed to accumulate 700,000 points and so we are thinking of doing another around the world trip during the 2012/13 Christmas school holidays. Since we will probably finish off the trip with a USA to Australia flight in late Jan 2013, I will need to book in late February (when the AA seats are released) to have the best chance of finding seats.

From my reading on this forum, I have now realised that the fees Qantas are going to charge us for these flights are much higher than I expected (over $1000 each = $5000 or $6000 for 5 people). This is making me reconsider our plans. I've been trying to work out why these fees are so high. Is it Fuel Surcharges? I did read in an old April 2011 news article stating that Qantas had just introduced a fuel surcharge of $10 for Domestic and $20 for Tasman Classic Award redemptions - but there was no mention of classic award bookings being hit with the high fuel charges for long haul flights (eg. $290 one way, for non-award bookings to the UK and Europe).

So could someone please explain why the fees for RTW Classic bookings are over $1000/person.

Alternatively, any advise on good overseas places to visit in December and January would be appreciated (or web links for info) - if you can recommend them highly, I might feel happier about spending the $6000 on the "free flights" for this trip. Thanks
 

lovetravellingoz

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I wont justify QFF's high fees, but all programs do charge some level of fees.

"free flights"

However one shoud never regard FF Awards as "free", as there is normally 1/ a cost on acquisition and 2/ a cost on redemption.

I regard award flights as "cheap" flights. Potentaially very cheap if you optimise things, and slightly cheap if one does not.

In your case it would appear that you are are gaining say $20K of flights for $5k. So not free, but still a very good deal, and a lot to be happy about if you focus on the $15K saved , rather than the $5K you will need to now pay.
 

Familyman1

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Yes, point taken lovetravellingoz about the $15,000 in savings.

But why have the fees escalated so much compared to when I did a similar RTW trip in 2010?
 

casanovawa

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I booked a 140k OW redemption in about Feb of last year and the taxes and surcharges came to about $570 or so, when i need to change a few flights about a month later they had to reassess the taxes and surcharges for all the flights and seeing there had been two fuel surcharge increase in that 1 month period the new taxes and surcharges were $820 or so... Not sure why it came in at less than $1,000 although i only transited LHR rather than stopped there and that is meant to be one of the most expensive airports to stop at???
 

rtyuiop

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From my experience last year, LHR bumps up the surcharges significantly. Unfortunately often there's not really a good way to avoid it!

Danny
 

serfty

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From my experience last year, LHR bumps up the surcharges significantly. Unfortunately often there's not really a good way to avoid it!

Danny
There are ways ... exit Europe from Frankfurt to Asia, or head out of LHR via a transit.

e.g. AMS-xLHR-SIN/Oz does not incur the onerous UK APD.
 

Familyman1

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Thanks Casanovawa, Rtyuiop and Serfty. I’ll try to avoid LHR. England in December would be pretty dreary anyway. Christmas in Germany or the Alps sounds more appealing.
I had never heard of “the onerous UK APD”. But a Google search revealed it is Air Passenger Duty and it would cost us about $180/person if we were to fly from the UK to New York. We’ll definitely try to avoid this by avoiding a UK stopover.
This is just the sort of info I need. If I can understand what the fees are for, I can try to lessen them. Do you know of other high-fee stopover countries that should be avoided?
Just out of interest: Am I correct that fuel surcharges will not be applied for long haul award flights? (eg. $290 one way, for non-award bookings to the UK and Europe).
 

lovetravellingoz

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Just out of interest: Am I correct that fuel surcharges will not be applied for long haul award flights? (eg. $290 one way, for non-award bookings to the UK and Europe).

QFF charges fuel fines for Award flights. This is on top of Aiport specific charges,

Some program such as AA do not, or are at least at lower rates.


On LHR..note that the APD is only charged on exit after a stopover, and not on entry. So fly in = no APD. Fly out = APD.
 

Familyman1

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QFF charges fuel fines for Award flights.

Yes, but are these limited to $10 for Domestic and $20 for Tasman Classic Award redemptions (or do long haul Classic Award flights also incur fuel fines).
I'm just trying to work out if these fuel fines make up the bulk of the total fees paid for RTW award itineraries.
 
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oz_mark

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Yes, but are these limited to $10 for Domestic and $20 for Tasman Classic Award redemptions (or do long haul Classic Award flights also incur fuel fines).
I'm just trying to work out if these fuel fines make up the bulk of the total fees paid for RTW award itineraries.

LOng Haul flights incur fuels surcharges. For example the surcharge for a flight SYD-LHR is $290. This is almost double the figure it was at the end of 2010 ($150).

The increases in 2011 were quite significant.
 

Familyman1

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OK, thanks Oz_mark.

I'm sure you are correct but I can't work out why several web sites are saying things like: "Tickets bought with Qantas Frequent Flyer points under the Classic Award seat redemption program will now carry an additional $10 in fuel surcharge for travel within Australia and $20 for flights to New Zealand. Classic Award tickets have previously been exempt from fuel surcharges. However, international travel made using frequent flyer points under the Classic Award scheme will remain exempt from the new charges, at least for the time being." (April 2011).

They seem to be suggesting that long haul award flights are exempt from fuel surcharges - maybe I am missinterpreting this or maybe the article is inaccurate.
 

serfty

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...

They seem to be suggesting that long haul award flights are exempt from fuel surcharges - maybe I am missinterpreting this or maybe the article is inaccurate.
That release relates to the changes to the domestic and T-T flight that it references.

Other international sectors were already high or have been increased since.

To get an idea of the current fuel fines, sear a booking using Qantas on ITA and check the YQ surcharges,

(Matrix - ITA Software)
 
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