On April 29th I wrote that US Airways wasn’t adding fuel surcharges to British Airways awards.
I said to ‘Act Now’ because since the news was ‘out’ the situation wasn’t likely to last.
And indeed, US Airways has sent a memo to agents telling them about the fuel surcharges. Auto-pricing may not include the charge, but tickets that go to the rate desk will certainly have fuel surcharges included.
Most US Airways award tickets which include travel on British Airways now include fuel surcharges, which can be as much as $900 on a roundtrip transatlantic award and $1500 on a roundtrip US – Africa award.
US Airways was supposed to add fuel surcharges to these tickets from the get go, as soon as they entered the oneworld alliance on March 31.
But as with many things, US Airways procedures and IT systems are hopelessly backward. Getting this fixed was pretty low on the radar.
Internally, my understanding is that they certainly knew about the issue and were surprised it took nearly a month to get ‘out there’. But once it did (which meant once the first ‘major’ blog post came out on the subject, which came from The Points Guy) they felt they had to increase the priority for this particular fix. (See also A Simple Theory of the US Airways-American Merger and How to Use it to Predict What’s Next.)
For now they’ve at least bandaged it, although some itineraries may still be possible to price without the charges.
If your agent can price the ticket themselves, and the fuel surcharges aren’t included, ticket immediately — don’t leave the award on hold. If the ticket includes these surcharges, leave the itinerary on hold and call back. The fare may not be stored and you may have another shot at pricing without surcharges. A final thing to try is to modify a single segment (and then modify it back if need be) while the award is on hold, because making a change will force the ticket to get repriced.
You may not succeed, but again any time you get a price without fuel surcharges included, that’s a fantastic deal and you should count yourself lucky for it!
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