Qantas To Lower Fuel Surcharges On Awards (Again) – USA Travellers Big Winners

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If you’re new to the world of award travel or, for some other reason, haven’t come across the concept of fuel surcharges before, take a look at this brief explanation before you continue reading.

Airlines have, on the whole, been terrible at making an effort to continue the pretence that fuel surcharges and the cost of fuel are in any way linked. To all intents and purposes they’re now openly admitting that it was a lie all along. Why do I say this? Well, quite simply, because the price of aviation fuel has dropped over 40% in the past twelve months and we haven’t seen nearly that much of a drop in fuel surcharges.Qantas Award Travel

Image courtesy of eosdude via Flickr

IATA and Platts monitor the cost of aviation fuel and publish the results regularly. If you take a look at their most recent figures you’ll see that, compared to this time last year, the cost of aviation jet fuel is down 41.4% (on average).

Aviation Fuel Price Comparison

Towards the beginning of the year British Airways brought down their long-haul fuel surcharges but it was nothing more than a token effort – 12.5% reduction for economy class travel and 8.4% for premium cabin travel.

Qantas joined in the beginning-of-year fuel surcharge cuts (on some tickets) with its own reductions in fees. Between 6%-16% reduction on economy class travel and between 0%-14% on business/first class travel.

Qantas Fuel SurchargesImage courtesy of Australian Business Traveller

Fortunately Qantas has decided no to stop there. Australian Business Traveller is now reporting that the airline is about to reduce fuel surcharges even more – and the big winners will be flyers booking award tickets to/from the US.

The reported savings will be between 3% and 25% (depending on route) with the average saving being around 12%, according to the airline.

As with the cuts in January, the biggest drop in fuel surcharges (25%) will occur on economy awards booked to/from the US resulting in an expected decrease in the surcharges of up to $140. Flights to/from Honolulu will be an exception to this, they’ll only see a drop of around 9% in the fees. Premium Economy redemption bookings will see a smaller, 9%, drop on flights to/from the US.

Award tickets to/from London will see a cut of around 12% for economy awards (a saving of approximately $70 return) and a smaller, 6% ($50 return) saving for premium economy awards.

There’s no mention, as yet, of any decreases in fuel surcharges for business class or first class travel – hopefully these will be announced soon. I’ll post an update as soon as I see anything mentioned.