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Delta International Surcharge

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Something new I have recently noticed buried in the taxes & fees is a $500.00 International Surcharge. I think it is pretty steep, aactually kind of outrageous. I have been watching to see if the fare dropped significantly. I will be traveling between LAX-SYD, return PPT-LAX. The $500.00 International Surcharge is there on round trip too. I have already purchased my ticket and the TOTAL taxes then was $118.00 and base fare $1451.00. What are your thoughts? Is this typical and I just was not aware it was like this?

Taxes and Fees
Base Fare
1040.00
Passenger Facilities Charge
4.50
U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Fee
5.00
U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Fee
7.00
U.S. Custom User Fee
5.50
France Civil Aviation Tax
18.90
International Surcharge
500.00
U.S. September 11th Security Fee
2.50
Other Taxes/Fees
39.80
Total Fare
1623.20

The Base Fare may include surcharges.

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    I think all these fees and surcharges that aren't disclosed when you're comparing prices should be illegal.

    Actually, this should be a policy no-brainer for both left-wing and right-wing types (as well as authoritarian and libertarian types, too).

    On the left-wing side: This is just good consumer protection. Protect innocent consumers from getting ripped off by deceptive, greedy big companies.

    From the right-wing side: Free markets are good. Strong economic research shows that markets break down when the information is assymetric. By hiding the true market price of a transaction, these hidden surcharges and fees disrupt the invisible hand of the market.

    How can anyone argue in favor of hiding pricing information?

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    First, I just did a dummy booking and Delta.com did indeed provide the total price, including the international origin fee, at the first time a price was shown. So nothing is hidden.

    Second, Delta has this international origin fee which is applied to itineraries such as CDG-JFK-CDG. Why they have it is beyond the scope here.

    Now I haven't looked up mieages but the itinerary LAX-SYD//PPT-LAX has this huge distance in the middle, not in the itinerary. In order to actually be considered an open jaw, and thus a round trip, the length of SYD-PPT must be less than the length of PPT-LAX (the shortest segment of the itinerary) I'm willing to bet that it is NOT shorter and thus the entire trip is treated as two one way tickets, not as a round trip.

    And in that case, the second one way originates in another country (France) and so the international origin fee would apply.

    Note, however, that the price the OP purchased at ($1451) and the current price ($1623) are not all that far apart. Some of that can be attributed to normal price fluctuations and the rest to magic.

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    DL doesn't go to PPT. And many codeshared flights on international partners do incur heavy surcharges. I bet if you book a LAX-SYD roundtrip on DL, you won't see such charge.

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    Thanks for the quick responses.
    The good thing is I purchased my ticket before the inclusion of the $500.00 International surcharge. I am just amazed and in awe of this.
    I asked a Delta phone agent. The explanation was that each airline determines if the surcharges are part of the base fare or lumped into the fees & taxes. There is no convention, She was not able to give me a reason International surcharge is so steep
    No Fly Zone,
    I did not say hidden. I agree the total price is there, small font below a large base fare. What I said is buried, meaning that it is lumped together with many other fees & taxes. My point being that you have to make an effort to understand what the lumped together fees & taxes consist of. I am looking the International surcharge not International origin fee (which I have seen before.
    Ray, Right, I am on a DL code share with AF on return PPT-LAX. On a round trip LAX-SYD-LAX the International surcharge is definitely also. I just did a dummy RT LAX-SYD-LAX on DL. Here it is ...
    Taxes and Fees
    Base Fare
    1630.00
    Passenger Facilities Charge
    4.50
    U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Fee
    5.00
    U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Fee
    7.00
    U.S. Custom User Fee
    5.50
    International Surcharge
    500.00
    U.S. September 11th Security Fee
    2.50
    Other Taxes/Fees
    97.60
    Total Fare
    2252.10

    The Base Fare may include surcharges.
    Learn more about Taxes/Fees >

    Below is the dummy booking
    OUTBOUND
    Fri 09 Dec 2011
    DL 17 10:40pm LAX 8:40am SYD Nonstop

    RETURN
    Sun 18 Dec 2011
    DL 16 11:40am SYD to LAX 6:30am Nonstop

    Ooops,sorry for the long read.

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    NoFlyZone, OK, I stand corrected. I had assumed this was one of those surprises that pop up at the last moment when you're about to commit to a purchase (or in the really evil version after it's too late to choose an alternative, like those hotel "resort fees" that they sometimes don't tell you about until you check out). But if it had been clearly displayed as part of the total price of the flight, I've got no gripes...

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    Extra fees like this are common on many if not all airlines

    www.ba.com is infamous for their famous "fuel surcharge"

    of hundreds of dollars per leg no matter what the price

    of oil is from $50-150 per barrel few others charge big rip off

    I got popped 4 this on 4 FF miles tips that were otherwise

    free with miles...but I had to suck it up they were cheapest.

    If you can find a better price on your route vote with your

    feet.... otherwise suck it up.

    cheapoair.com kayak.com/buzz couple of cheap scanner sites.

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    This is merely Delta moving $500 out of the 'fare' and into the 'YQ Surcharge' line. There are all sorts of explanations as to why some airlines construct their fares this way, versus putting everything into the 'fare', but I'm not sure which are true and which are not.

    From the consumer's perspective, it really doesn't matter. You are either willing to pay the full price or you are not. Delta lists the all-in price (including all taxes, as well as YQ and other carrier fees) when you go to book the flight, as do Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity (though United.com does not). Similarly, when searching for fares on ITA, the fuel surcharge is included in the pricing displayed.

    If you can figure out how to do a fuel dump (if you don't know what it is, go to Flyertalk or Milepoint and read the mileage run threads), then this type of fare construction can actually be GOOD for the (obsessive) consumer.

    The good thing is I purchased my ticket before the inclusion of the $500.00 International surcharge.

    Why is this a good thing? I have seen no broad-based increase in total cash costs (other than normal market fluctuations) since Delta switched to this method of building up and showing the price. Nor have I seen any significant difference in total cash costs between carriers that price in this way (most European carriers have done this for years) and those that bundle everything into the fare.

    Moreover, I would note that this is increasingly more of a presentation issue on the website than it is any actual difference in the fare construction. For example, here is the pricing for a United fare, as per ITA:

    Fare 1: Carrier UA KLXNC91S BNA to LON (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code K
    Covers BNA-ORD (Coach), ORD-LHR (Coach)
    $38.00
    Fare 2: Carrier UA KLXNC91S LON to BNA (rules)
    Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code K
    Covers LHR-IAD (Coach), IAD-BNA (Coach)
    $38.00
    UA YQ surcharge (YQ) $362.00
    US September 11th Security Fee (AY) $7.50
    US Passenger Facility Charge (XF) $12.00
    USDA APHIS Fee (XA) $5.00
    US Immigration Fee (XY) $7.00
    US Customs Fee (YC) $5.50
    United Kingdom Air Passengers Duty (GB) $97.80
    United Kingdom Passenger Service Charge (UB) $49.90

    Subtotal per passenger $622.70
    Number of passengers x1

    TOTAL AIRFARE & TAXES $622.70

    When you go to book this same fare on United.com, you get this breakdown:


    Traveler Fare(s) Additional taxes & fees* Fare subtotal(s)
    Adult 1 USD 438.00 USD 184.70 USD 622.70
    Total price*: USD 622.70


    Any discounts will apply only to the base fare and not to any taxes, fees or surcharges that may be included in the fare shown above.

    Additional taxes, fees and surcharges:
    (Award travel may be exempt from select taxes, fees and surcharges.)

    Travel within the 50 United States
    Fare does not include the following taxes, fees and surcharges:

    Airport passenger facility charges (PFCs) of up to 18.00 USD roundtrip
    September 11th Security Fee of 2.50 USD per enplanement at a U.S. airport
    International travel (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands)
    Fares include carrier-imposed fuel surcharges (YQ) of up to 300.00 USD per direction of travel may apply. For travel to some countries, additional airport, transportation, embarkation, security and passenger service taxes/surcharges may also apply depending on destination. Fare does not include the following taxes, fees and surcharges:

    Airport passenger facility charges (PFCs) of up to 19.50 USD roundtrip
    September 11th Security Fee of 2.50 USD per enplanement at a U.S. airport
    Other government taxes and fees of up to 140.00 USD based on destination; total may vary slightly based upon currency exchange rate at time of purchase
    Taxes and fees are subject to change without notice and at the discretion of each country’s government


    In this instance, United is breaking down the fare into the components and simply reassembling them when they present it on the website. If you go to book the same ticket on Orbitz, it will break down the price as ITA does. Same ticket, different presentation. I'd argue that the presentation at United.com actually provides less information than you would get if the YQ were broken out separately, but I also think this matters very little.

    Note, Delta also bundles the fare this way for ex-US fares, but they bundle the YQ into the published fares, rather than simply consolidating on the website, as United does, so Orbitz will match Delta.com in most instances.

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