US Airways Has Started Adding Fuel Surcharges Onto Award Tickets (Sometimes)

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!


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Comments

  1. does anyone remember the mistake fare EY had in february for $1700 CMB to DFW, oh boy, do I have stories to tell about this fraud of an airline, a total fraud they are, beware, I’ll post in the next few days

  2. I can attest to the truth of this. On hold with US now and a JFK-LHR-NRT BA trip in F is going to be about $800. If only it would have held out for one more day…

  3. Downgraded, twice, despite their email when the booking was made saying they would honour the ticket, full details will follow so every one can be alerted to the fraud this airline is

  4. Thanks to you, I got in under the wire on Tuesday with a TATL BA F award for me and the Mrs. Thus, your initial post on this saved me a little under $2,000. But I’m still outraged [ed.: OUTRAGED!] that you are making any money of this blog. 😉

    Thanks again and good luck to others!

  5. @robbo,

    Your not alone, Im having a hard time just cancelling my tickets. You’d think they’d rather not have you fly.

  6. Hi Gary,

    Considering that AA doesn’t really release any J award space on their ‘good’ business class routes (777-300ER)to LHR, how good are the airberlin and Finnair products? Are they worth the 50K miles one-way in J?

  7. I managed to book on Tuesday:

    YYZ > LHR BA F
    LHR > HKG BA F (A380)
    HKG > TYO CX F
    TYO > LHR BA F
    LHR > YYZ BA F

    120K miles and $194 in taxes

  8. @Hitesh – Most of Air Berlin is pretty weak and Finnair isn’t great but IMHO definitely worth 50k, that is, worth an increment over flying Y

  9. Gary
    An Asia award on BA F is now 120k miles + 1200$
    I was not sure whether to ticket it for the low miles or avoid it for the fees!

  10. i have an email from one of their bureaucrats offering an easy cancellation, if you want a copy of it for reference let me know

  11. If “almost” means I can’t put it on hold, and have to play games adding/removing segments, I think it’s fair to call it dead. That’s annoying enough to pay somebody else to do it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *