Stop the Tax Ripoff

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by aasz1978, Sep 20, 2005.

  1. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    Last year I travelled with QF via an agent and was given an airfare inclusive of tax. At the time, the tax seemed high (I can't recall now) so I enquired QF directly and was advised the breakdown of all those taxes.

    To cut the story short, I was overtaxed by about $25-$30 and has since been reimbursed by the agent.

    This year, I went to another agent and this time the tax seemed to be correct but I enquired SIA to provide the breakdown.
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    The Cust Serv initially refused to provide breakdown because (a) it's using internal codes that only they could understand and (b) they don't have to. I asserted that it is our right to know the breakdown and this is what they provide.

    Melbourne - Singapore - Jakarta SQ228
    (current as at 19 Sept)

    (FI?) Fuel Surcharge $176.60
    (AU) Alpha Uniform (WTF is this?) $38
    (WG) Whisky Girl $4.1
    (WY) ???? $21.64
    (SG) Singapore Government tax $33.80
     
  2. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    I don't like this practice at all of not being able to break down taxes and charges. Maybe it shows that your TA really isn't as good as you hope? You can get a better breakdown yourself using this website:

    http://www.consolidatedtravel.com.au/qf/taxes.asp

    Look, compare, then talk to your TA if you don't think things are right.


    Now, on this same topic... Here is an example from a certain online booking engine for the breakdowns of charges on a domestic flight.

    (Bne-SYD)
    Taxes, Charges and Commissions $ 43.73
    Noise Levy Tax $ 3.74
    Insurance Levies $ 32.59
    Passenger Services Charge - Domestic $ 4.95
    Safety and Security Charge $ 2.45

    (I've rearranged it to make it clearer).

    The Insurance Levies total is misleading. $26 of that is an airline imposed fuel surcharge.

    When will TA's get it right? When will airlines come clean and advise correct break down of taxes and surcharges.

    Another example. Try booking a ticket online with one of the carriers and finding the breakdown of taxes, imposed surcharges etc. Very hard!!!!!
     
  3. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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  4. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    Fuel Surcharge is usually listed as YQ in the calculations

    AU is the Australian Government imposed Departure Tax (the only true Australian tax in your calculation)

    WG is the Australian Airport Safety and Security Surcharge imposed by the airport and it varies by the airport used.

    WY is the Australian Passenger Service Charge, to cover procision of various airport facilities and varies by airport used.

    SG is the Singapore Government's equialent of the AU charge in Australia.
     
  5. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
    1
    Does that mean I am being ripped off of all other taxes except AU?

    Also how do you calculate sectors between countries because I am paying $176.60 in YQ and the ticket is issued before 14 Sept 2005?

    Sounds like I am not the only one having this trouble.

    Thanks in advance.... :eek:
     
  6. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
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    Just as a side...

    It is depressing to see the best airport in the world, Changi Airport only charges $33.80 (for dept and arrival) yet our Australian airports are charging at $38 plus Safety charges and Passenger Services Charges as well as baggage screening charges.

    Very very depressing.
     
  7. Platy

    Platy Guest

    A related issue...

    when you redeem frequent flyer points for an award flight you are charged all of these taxes INCLUDING the fuel surcharge so a one way domestic award flight costs around $45 over the points you use...so much for a free award flight!!!

    Oh yes...and you pay tax on tax because GST is levied on the taxes...go figure...
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    The A$38 AU departure tax is nothing to do with provision of the airport or its baggage handling facilities. It is for the provision of the immigration processing etc. Singapore has one international airport at which to provide these facilities, while Australia has to provide this service at many more locaitons.

    The airport imposed charges are the way the airport owners (now mostly private companies) earn their profits. Since the airports have been privatised, these charges have continued to rise. Complaints about the airport charges should be directed to the airport corporations or the ACCC. The airlines don't have much of a choice.

    [soapbox]
    But in my opinion, these non-government charges (including the fuel surcharges) should be included in the fare and not added on as extras.
    [/soapbox]
     
  9. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    I don't see any rip-off happening here. This is the way the extra charges are calculated at this time. We might not like it, but it is the way it is done.

    WG for MEL international departure is A$4.01
    WY for MEL international round-trip is A$21.64
    AU is always A$38.00

    Fuel surcharge is imposed by the airline and the amount is set by them. I do not have the SQ fuel surcharge amounts. If you were flying on that route in QF (MEL-SIN-CGK-SIN-MEL), you would be paying for 4 x international sectors at $75 each = $300. Prior to 2nd Sept that would have been 4 x A$60 = A$240.
     
  10. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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  11. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
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    Well, I'm happily married, but $4.10 seems quite cheap for a Whisky Girl. :shock:
     
  12. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
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    Canberra ACT
    You say you are responding to NM's Changi Airport comment, but what he said was,
    Let me repeat that: it has nothing to do with airport facilities, so highlighting Changi's facilities is irrelevant. You are not getting "all this for $33", you are getting immigration handling for $33. When you leave Australia, you are getting immigration handling for $38. As NM pointed out, the infrastructure and staffing required to provide immigration handling in Australia is far more than it is for Singapore because they only have one airport, while we have a bunch of them.
     
  13. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
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    Yes, I realized the quote was from NM but for some reason, it came out as being from me... don't know why.

    Back to the topic, about the WG code, before I went to this forum, the lady said that's what WG was, Whisky Girl (and didn't elaborate). Plus the matter was made complicated the fact that she was adamant she didn't have to disclose tax information to passengers.
     
  14. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
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    It doesn't escape the fact that we only pay $33 to visit Singapore versus $68 to Melbourne Airport, if we isolate fuel surcharges.

    If you take the immigration charges out, then visitors are literally enjoying the facilities for free.
     
  15. NM

    NM
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    There is a very logical reason for this ...

    The Singapore government has to attract airlines such as QF and BA to use SIN as their tech stop for the Kangaroo route. They have to stop somewhere to refuel between Australia and Europe. In order to attract QF and BA to use SIN for this stop, they have to provide very good facilities at low cost, otherwise these airlines would choose to use HKG, KUL, BKK etc for this stop.

    The Singapore government makes a lot of money out of having QF and BA use SIN for this stop as many people take advantage of breaking the journey and spend a few days spending money in Singapore, where they collect plenty of revenue in the form of taxes etc.

    Melbourne airport does not have any such drivers, and certainly the Australian government does not have any such incentive to subsidise the airports of Australia in same manner as the Singapore government has to encourage airlines and passengers to choose SIN for their transit between Australia and Europe.

    So it makes perfect sense to me that the Singapore government would subsidise the one and only international airport they have, in order to attract transit passengers. It also makes sense to me that the Australian government would not provide such subsidy for all the Australian airports and leave that to the owners of the airports to decide how much the charge and what type of facilities they provide.

    Need to ensure we compare apples with apples.
     
  16. NM

    NM
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    She was trying to use phonetic alphabet but got it wrong. Should have been Whiskey Golf as the way to say WG. It has nothing to do with Whiskey, and for $4.01 you would not get much whiskey anyway ... at least not much of a decent whiskey. And I am not going to discuss the G reference at all :oops: .
     
  17. NM

    NM
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    Fuel surcharge rates are readily available. Just go look at the airline's web site. For SQ's latest surcharges, look here at their press release.

    According to that press release, the surcharge for SIN-CGK has risen to US$15 each way, so that is US$30 for your SIN-CGK-SIN portion of the trip.

    And its now at US$50 for all other flights, so that is US$100 for your MEL-SIN-MEL portion of the trip.

    So that makes it US$130 for the entire journey. These rates came into affect for tickets issued on or after 21st September. So if you had the toicket issued before that, your fuel surcharge would have been 2 x US$12 plus 2 x US$45 = US$114.

    The latest Qantas fuel surcharges can also be found on the Qantas web site under the section for press releases.

    The varying factor will be the rate of exchange that is used to convert between US$ and the currency in which you are paying. I believe this rate (known as ROE) is set by IATA on a regular basis. The current ROE for Australia can always be found here and is currently set at 1.304170 effective from 1st July.
     
  18. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
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    Oh I see,

    Per sector means per port which in my case, involves 2 sectors one way (or 4 sectors two ways.

    MEL - SIN 1 sector
    SIN - CGK 1 sector
    CGK - SIN 1 sector
    SIN - MELl 1 sector.

    Thanks NM.
     
  19. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
    1
    After trying to reconcile back to $176.60, I found out the surcharge should have been $148.67. USD$114 x ROE 1.30417 = A$148.67. An overcharge of about $28 (I excluded GST tax here. GST not supposed to be levied on international travel).

    Ticket issued 9 Sept 2005 and yet to be picked up. I smell a rat here.

    The sector thing is funny. If you're going Mel to Narita, it will still be USD$50 yet it's longer to go to Narita than to Singapore (I think.... )

    This is getting interesting.
     
  20. aasz1978

    aasz1978 Member

    Jan 12, 2005
    126
    1
    A very interesting reading.
    http://www.qantas.com.au/agents/dyn/qf/policies/FuelSurchargeFAQ08Apr05.pdf

    Point 5 in particular. It says Insurance levy and surcharge are combined as one YQ levy.
     
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