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What's the deal with International "taxes and fees"?

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Mar 5th, 2012, 01:07 PM
  #1
TC
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What's the deal with International "taxes and fees"?

Just looked at Delta/KLM tickets to AMS. The "fare" is $760 + $562 "taxes and fees" for a total of $1321.

If I booked the EXACT same ticket using my DL miles, the "taxes and fees" are only $62.

Does anyone know why? I looked at the breakout. There is $496 listed as an "International Surcharge".

Why don't they need the surcharge on a mileage ticket?
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Mar 5th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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It's a fuel surcharge. Some airlines (British Airways the biggest perp) break out a fuel surcharge from the base fare. When you redeem miles, it's the base fare that's "free," not the legitimate taxes nor the fuel surcharge, which they tack onto the mileage "cost."

It's simply another revenue stream to the airline.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 03:10 PM
  #3
TC
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Still a little confused, Gardyloo. Don't they still need the fuel surcharge, even if I use miles to pay. The plane still uses fuel....I hope. Run it by me one more time...slowly, if you please.

Thanks.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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It's a surcharge for those using miles. You can call it whatever you want. Makes no difference.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 03:18 PM
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When you purchase a ticket for money, the fuel surcharge is built into the final price, as are airport taxes etc. When you redeem miles for the ticket, the airline still hits you for the fuel surcharge.

In my view, the price of fuel is one of the cost components that should be built into the fare in the first place, like labor, debt service or lease payments for the airplanes, advertising, executive bonuses, etc. Making it a "surcharge" is like buying a car and being told you need to pay a "surcharge" for the wheels. It's just a mechanism for the airlines to get more money out of the consumers.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 04:17 PM
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Delta does not impose the YQ fuel surcharge on award tickets.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 08:21 PM
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TC
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It seems you are saying the opposite of the actual situation, Gardyloo and RKK. The big surcharge is listed on the purchased ($$$$) ticket breakout and not on the mileage ticket. The mileage ticket "fare" is "0" with $62 in tax and fees. The purchase ticket breakout is $760 for the fare + $562 in tax and fees of which $496 is listed as the Intl. surcharge. It just seems to me that the tax and fees should be the same on both regardless of what "currency" is used for the base fare - miles or dollars. It's probably a better bargain for me as I'll most likely use miles for this trip.
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Mar 5th, 2012, 09:29 PM
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Good for DL to not charge the fees. It is a practice mostly used by foreign carriers. What we are saying is that the surcharge is just part of the fare. They can call it pilot surcharge, bathroom surcharge, what not.

But in some international markets where the fare may be regulated, it can be afghanistan for airlines to adjust fares more quickly. Not the case in or to/from the U.S.
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Mar 6th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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The YQ/YR/fuel/international surcharge is a fee collected by the airline and the airline keeps the money. The taxes are collected by the airline and the airline pays the governments.

Here is an example (from ITS) that shows all the costs of a ticket. The beginning of each fee line tells who is getting the money, KL (the airline, KLM) or US or The Netherlands. On this ticket the govt charges are $99.

Fare 1: Carrier KL NKXP16US LAX to AMS (rules)
Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code N
Covers LAX-AMS (Economy) $223.50
Fare 2: Carrier KL NKWP16US AMS to LAX (rules)
Passenger type ADT, round trip fare, booking code N
Covers AMS-LAX (Economy) $248.50

KL YR surcharge (YR) $496.00

International Departure Tax (US) $16.70
US September 11th Security Fee (AY) $2.50
US Passenger Facility Charge (XF) $4.50
USDA APHIS Fee (XA) $5.00
US Immigration Fee (XY) $7.00
US Customs Fee (YC) $5.50

The Netherlands Passenger Service Charge (RN) $20.70
The Netherlands Noise Isolation Charge (VV) $2.70
The Netherlands Security Service Charge (CJ) $17.70

US International Arrival Tax (US) $16.70

Subtotal per passenger $1,067.00
Number of passengers x1

Total airfare & taxes $1,067.
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Mar 6th, 2012, 08:36 AM
  #10
TC
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mrwunrfl, I think you nailed it. Your's is my understanding. DL is collecting $496 from each "paying" customer on this flight and calling it a surcharge. They may (or may not) give some or all of that money to the Netherlands as a tax they are charged for flying in and out of AMS. They are over collecting enough from the cash customers so that they do no have to charge their non-rev fliers the same surcharge. We all have to pay the "real" taxes and fees that are collected on behalf of actual regulations -- amounting to about $62..

To sum......this is just another way for airlines to hike up prices (by a LOT) without admitting it.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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I found this too when I booked my Australia, NZ and South Pacific trip. I was fortunate that I had purchased my ticket just before this new surcharge started to appear.

This is a link to my post.

http://www.fodors.com/community/air-...-surcharge.cfm
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Mar 7th, 2012, 06:12 PM
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just read your old post hpeabody. By Australian law all airfares must be quoted in full ie with all surcharges included at least that way you can compare equally.
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