Open Jaw: 'Business travellers don't pay for tickets, so shouldn't grumble'
Where readers write back
Saturday 29 October 2011
In recent years, we have seen the proportion of "taxes fees and charges" escalate to represent well in excess of 50 per cent of the total cost of many airline tickets. This is due to rising APD and, in particular, the fuel surcharges. The airlines have been able to devalue the worth of miles, as they recover revenues from the charged elements – namely fuel and to a lesser extent the airport charges and government taxes.
Frequent-flyer schemes can still represent excellent value for money if you redeem the miles on premium cabins such as Premium Economy, Business and First. I used my BA Miles in 2010 for a Club World return fare to South America, paying around £400 in cash for the taxes, fees and charges and points for the fare. Buying that ticket at the lowest price available at the time was around £3,500, so in my eyes great value.
So redeem wisely: use the schemes for items such as long haul/premium cabins or upgrades, or for car hire and hotels if you are not collecting enough points to fly further. Don't become obsessed with points collection, but instead use them as a bonus – not the raison d'être for booking in the first place.
Bob Atkinson, Travelsupermarket.com
What absolutely stinks about BA is their fuel surcharge, which is completely unacceptable, as this is an operating cost...
Brian Matthew Peers
You say, "Business travellers have long grumbled about the diminishing value of free tickets for loyal passengers". Business travellers do not pay anything for their tickets which they use for earning these points, so they really have nothing to grumble about. If they think that they should get some extra compensation for having to travel, they should talk to their boss instead and ask for more pay, or find a new position with less travel.
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