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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

BA British Airways 787-9

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.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (January 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)