Yesterday Aeroplan began adding fuel surcharges on several airline partner awards. Previously they had been adding those charges only to awards on Air Canada flights.
Now they’ve dialed it back a bit, and are adding fuel surcharges only on Air Canada and Lufthansa flights.
Awards on All Nippon, Asiana, and Thai are pricing out without fuel surcharges.
Aeroplan has not made any statements about their intentions beyond that they are adding the charges to awards booked on Air Canada and Lufthansa — nothing about whether other airlines will be added in the future, or when. But they seem to suggest that fuel surcharges on other carriers may be coming down the pike.
Effective November 9th 2011 at 7pm, Aeroplan began applying, at Air Canada’s request, fuel surcharges to flight rewards on Lufthansa. Members making voluntary changes after the effective date to existing bookings with Lufthansa flight segments will also be subject to the fuel surcharges.
With the increasing cost of fuel, many airlines have started charging fuel surcharges on redemption tickets. All fuel surcharge amounts applied by Aeroplan are passed through to the ticketing carrier for settlement. Fuel surcharge amounts are based on the operating airline’s application of surcharges and may change from time to time. Aeroplan has applied fuel surcharges for flight rewards on Air Canada since 2004. The fuel surcharge amounts to be applied by Aeroplan for flights on Lufthansa will be the same as those applied by Lufthansa within its own frequent flyer program. Other Star Alliance member airlines will be added as applicable.
The key takeaways are bolded in the quote above by me.
- If you have an existing award booked with Lufthansa segments, and you make voluntary changes to that award and continue to have Lufthansa segments, you will be assessed the fuel surcharges.
- Aeroplan doesn’t keep the money, the funds are passed “to the ticketing carrier for settlement.” Of course, the ticketing carrier is Air Canada. I suspect they’ve included this statement to purposefully obfuscate, it makes it sound like no one involved is keeping the money, it’s forced upon them by other partner airlines (or was it Hezbollah?), which is a bit of a stetch.
- Other star alliance partner awards “will be added as applicable” which simply means they’ll add fuel surcharges to awards on other partners at such time as they choose to. I love the phrasing, “as applicable.”
For now, one simply wants to avoid Air Canada and Lufthansa metal. Although avoiding Lufthansa for transatlantic flying on awards when booking with a Star Alliance program isn’t always easy…