Messed up BA Fuel Surcharges on Award Tickets?

I like to window shop sometimes when I look for award redemptions. I do think I learn a lot from doing that although most likely I could use my time better…

Anyways, I was looking around BA First tickets on their A380 (to HKG and LAX), and I was checking out the fees breakdown. As far as I know, BA charges their carrier imposed surcharge/fuel surcharge on their paid fares, but the award ticket I looked at didn’t seem to be the case. I know ex-GRU fares have had fuel surcharges on and off depending on where your address is with Avios, but this ticket just doesn’t make sense to me so I’d thought I’d share.

A Hong Kong – London one-way BA First ticket paid fare is around $8000, with $128.60 CAD in YQ (fuel surcharge):

ITA Matrix

ITA Matrix

Yet, the avios ticket is 90,000 miles and $335.77 CAD in fees:



Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 10.14.10 PM

The breakdown of the taxes shows $319.27 in carrier imposed charge.

Award Ticket Fees Breakdown

Award Ticket Fees Breakdown

This means the taxes and fees for an Avios ticket are nearly twice that of a paid ticket. Hong Kong regulates fuel surcharge so as far as I know that should mean that air carriers cannot levy more than the fuel surcharge they prosposed. In the link (PDF), British Airways sets it’s fuel surcharge at $935 HKG which is around ~125 USD/CAD, so I think that the paid ticket is right.

I’ve always thought that the fees on British Airways were fuel surcharges, which means that they should be equivalent to a paid ticket. But this is also the first time where I’ve seen the fees with Avios differ from the paid ticket. Does it seem to you Avios pricing taxes higher than they should or has my head turned into mush? I wonder if it’s an error not in our favour or if award programs don’t have to regulate fuel surcharge?

I’d love to hear what you think (especially smart bloggers!)

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  1. I just checked DSQ-YUL on AA via MIA with BA avios and was quoted a whopping USD302.22 on I think something is messed up with there booking system

    • Also, just to mention that award tickets aren’t governed by IATA, so airlines can set whatever price they want for these tickets. That’s why BA is getting away with charging YQ on ex-Brazil tickets

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