There’s just one week left to take advantage of Hong Kong’s fuel surcharge ban! From 1 November 2018, fuel surcharges on award flights departing from Hong Kong will no longer be regulated. This will likely lead to a sharp increase in the taxes and carrier charges you’ll pay when redeeming points out of Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong fuel surcharge regulations have been a great loophole for frequent flyers looking to save money on award bookings. By booking award flights that originate in Hong Kong, flyers could literally save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on fuel and carrier surcharges. (These are charged in addition to the points when redeeming for award flights.) Some clever frequent flyers have even managed to book entire round-the-world itineraries from Hong Kong, to minimise the fuel surcharges.
If you’re planning to use points for travel originating in Hong Kong, make sure you do so by Wednesday 31 October 2018. After this date, many airlines including Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Emirates and British Airways are likely to increase their carrier charges significantly.
Wondering how much you could save? Here’s an example. Qantas carrier charges on a one-way award from Hong Kong to Sydney are currently a reasonable $33. But if you’re flying from Singapore or Bangkok to Sydney, Qantas imposes $240 in carrier charges on one-way Business and First class awards. Once the Hong Kong regulations are changed, we expect the Qantas charges to be closer to those out of other Asian cities.
You also have only one week left to avoid paying hefty carrier charges when redeeming Velocity points for Etihad Airways flights departing Hong Kong.
Remember, you can redeem points for travel any time in the next 11-12 months!
Virgin Australia will continue not to impose carrier charges on flights to and from Hong Kong until 1 January 2019. But from this date, Velocity carrier charges of between $35 and $50 each way will apply to Virgin Australia reward bookings between Australia and Hong Kong.
In the meantime, you can still save on fuel surcharges by redeeming points for flights departing the Philippines or Brazil. Fuel surcharges remain tightly regulated in both of these countries.
Read more: Hong Kong Fuel Surcharge Ban Lifted