Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

More bad news – BA now adding fuel surcharges to US Airways flights

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

At the end of March, US Airways joined the oneworld alliance following its acquisition by American Airlines.

This opened up some attractive new routes from the UK and Ireland to the United States.  One of the reasons they were attractive is that British Airways was not levying fuel surcharges on these redemptions.

Instead of the standard £550 taxes and charges for a business class return, you only needed to pay:

Dublin to Philadelphia – £28

London to Charlotte – £194

London to Philadelphia – £194

Manchester to Charlotte – £165

Manchester to Philadelphia – £165

Edinburgh to Philadelphia – £162

Glasgow to Philadelphia – £161

This is effectively just the UK Air Passenger Duty plus a few tiny add-ons.

Sadly, these deals are no more.

Take a look at the screenshot below:

US Airways screenshot

This is for a Dublin to Philadelphia flight.  The tax charge used to be £28 but is now £223.

This is not BA’s fault, per se.

As One Mile At A Time explains here, US Airways is now filing its fares differently in the central airline pricing databases.  Instead of just filing a base fare, it has split the base fare into a smaller base fare and a big fuel surcharge.  ba.com is simply doing what it is programmed to do, which is to add on any fuel surcharge shown in the pricing database.

I hope that a lot of you managed to get some US Airways redemptions booked whilst the fuel surcharges were not being added.  This was never going to last beyond the start of 2015 anyway – once the US Airways name was dropped and all flights converted to American, it was 100% certain that American-sized fuel surcharges would start to be added.  I was just hoping it would last a bit longer.

If you DO have US Airways transatlantic redemptions booked, you cannot now change the dates.  If you do, British Airways will reprice the taxes and you will be forced to pay an extra £200 per person (plus the change fee!).


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up 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

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

(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.)

Comments (22)

  • Philip says:

    I fail to see why the so called surcharges apply , we have had a period of relative stability on the fuel cost , it always used to be priced in , why no longer ?

    • Rob says:

      A friend of mine did some calculations based on the new A380s, which admittedly are very fuel efficient. The fuel surcharges collected on a full BA A380 to Los Angeles would actually raise MORE than the entire fuel bill.

  • Mrtin says:

    I just looked up a one way NYC-MUC and ba.com showed me a US Airways flight LGA – PHL – MUC for 29500 Avios + £ 13 (Economy) or 54500 Avios + £ 13 (Business).

    Is the fuel surcharge only charged ex-Europe?

    • Martin says:

      MUC-PHL-LGA with US Airways is 29500 Avios + £ 188 (Economy) or 54500 Avios + £ 212 (Business)

    • Rob says:

      Hmmmm …. interesting. I will dig further.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.