20 February 2008

Unbundled Pricing Everyone is doing it! MORE INSIDE

But wait - don't order yet - there are more fees and taxes we can charge you....

Many people (HM Government in particular via the OFT) have been railing on the Low Cost Carriers about their pricing practices. In their defense I provide evidence exhibits A and B both concern British Airways.

Exhibit A. British Airways has been fined on both sides of the Atlantic for Price Fixing on Fuel Surcharges. The fact that they get charged at all rather than put into the ticket should be reason enough to demonstrate my point - but there is more.

Exhibit B. British Airways offer of discounted Business Class. (Email dated 2/20/08)

Here is the fine print:

Terms and conditions
* New Club World is available on most flights from IAD, JFK, LAX, MIA, ORD, PHX, SEA, SFO and currently rolling out across the rest of the long-haul fleet. Fares shown are each way based on round-trip 42-day advance business class purchase for outbound travel June 1 — August 31, 2008 from select US gateways to London on British Airways only. Higher fares apply for other travel dates and from other US departure gateways. All fares subject to government approval and do not include government fees and taxes of approx. $265 plus $2.50 September 11th Security Fee. Minimum stay Saturday night. Maximum stay of 11 months. Valid for new bookings only made February 12 — March 13, 2008. Subject to availability. Other significant restrictions apply. Full terms and conditions (click).

Ah but I thought I would check and see what other airlines charge on their special business class. I checked with Delta (who just also happen to be having a biz class sale). Here is Delta's fine print:

Fares do not include a $3.40 ($3.50 for tickets issued on or after January 1, 2008) Federal Excise Tax, Passenger Facility Charge(s) of up to $4.50 for each flight segment, or the September 11th Security Fee of up to $2.50 for each flight segment. A flight segment is defined as a takeoff and a landing. International fares do not include U.S. International Air Transportation Tax of up to $30.20 ($30.80 for tickets issued on or after January 1, 2008) and U.S. and foreign user, inspection, security or other similarly based charges, fees or taxes of up to $280, depending on itinerary. These taxes and fees are the responsibility of the passenger and must be paid at the time the ticket is purchased.

So - its the same for everyone. It makes the LCCs look not so bad.

So anyone who complains about the LCCs in future - please look at the whole trend.

I thank you for reading


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