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More British Airways fuel surcharge shenanigans

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As the oil price drops back below $100 a barrel, you may well begin to wonder when British Airways will be reducing the fuel surcharges which (together with Air Passenger Duty) add such a whack to the cost of your ‘free’ Avios flight.

Whilst pondering this, you may also wish to think about this interesting paradox:

  • Reward flight in Club World from London to San Francisco:  taxes £561
  • 2 one-way reward flights in Club World to/from LHR and SFO:  taxes £366 + £288 = £654
  • Reward flight in Club World from SFO to LHR:  taxes £748

British Airways BA

Quietly, British Airways has added a massive premium to passengers looking to travel FROM the US to the UK.  This is, remember, an identical trip to the first one, just done in the reverse order, yet it attracts £187 of additional fuel surcharges per person!

There are potential reasons for this.  One reason may be to deter American Airlines frequent fliers from redeeming their miles on BA flights instead of AA ones, but as there are no fuel surcharges at all for AA members on AA redemptions, I think the existing taxes number (of which about £400 is fuel surcharges) is enough to put them off.  Another reason may be that US airlines generally make a surcharge or co-pay for using miles to upgrade to business class, and BA is adding a random figure to its own redemptions because US fliers are used to such payments – although the BA payment is made by everyone, whether on a full redemption or upgrading from World Traveller Plus.

All very interesting, and certainly worth noting if you were tempted to book your redemptions as 2 x one-ways on separate ticket numbers rather than as a return.