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Award Redemption YQ on LHR connections

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by lkar, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. lkar

    lkar Reader

    Hi Lucky -- A question that has come up on another message board that I wanted your view on to see if you've thought about it before. When flying on an AA award to Europe on AA metal, and connecting in LHR to another European destination on BA, AA collects a YQ charge on the EU segment. So, for example, if you book JFK-LHR-LIS, with the first segment on AA and the second segment on BA, you will pay about $100 in taxes and charges, of which a hefty portion is YQ for the LHR-LIS segment. However, BA no longer charges YQ on a stand-alone ticket from LHR to LIS. Is there something about the fact that it's a connection from a long-haul on a partner that brings back the YQ, or is it merely that AA's systems don't understand that BA recently got rid of the YQ surcharge?
     
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  2. Lucky

    Lucky One Mile At A Time

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    lkar, as far as I know they do still impose fuel surcharges on revenue tickets, it's simply that on awards they have "Reward Flight Savers," whereby they cover some of those surcharges. On revenue tickets and tickets issued through other carriers they would still apply, though.
     
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  3. lkar

    lkar New Member

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    Lucky -- if you have a moment to play around with it, take a look and you'll see that BA has done away with YQ surcharges for inter-EU flights. Using my example of LHR to LIS, for example, if you book a revenue ticket now on BA.com, you'll see that you only are charged the APD and the airport fee (the "UK Passenger Service Charge"). Matrix confirms the same. It appears that BA has simply increased their base fares to make up for the lost YQ, but that shouldn't matter on an award. It appears that with Avios bookings -- you are only charged the APD and the UB (Pax Service Charge), but no YQ. Of course, however, you're right that in this case it largely doesn't matter because of the Reward Flight Savers cap. (Although it's hard to tell what exactly comprises the reward fees.)

    It appears, though, that YQ magically re-appears when you book the inter-EU segment in conjunction with the transatlantic flight on AA. And, to make it a double whammy, when you add in that YQ, AA also tacks on a charge for the US International Departure tax (about $18) plus the US facility charge (about $5). The combined total of these charges makes it so that even though you're avoiding the APD when you connect through LHR for less than 24 hours, the addition back in of the YQ that BA no longer charges, plus the two new US fees, actually makes the taxes and charges on the EU segment higher as a connection than they would be if you simply booked it as a stand-alone segment and paid the APD.

    Edit: Just to add to this, if you try to book a stand-alone flight from LHR to LIS using AA miles, you are charged only about $65 in taxes. AA doesn't break it down, but it appears that this would correspond to the cost for the APD plus the pax service charge. In other words, no YQ when using AA miles on the EU segment. It's only when you add the longhaul AA segment that the YQ seems to reappear on the EU segment.
     
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  4. Lucky

    Lucky One Mile At A Time

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    Ah, whoops. Ultimately these are "carrier imposed surcharges" as opposed to fuel surcharges, and they're set between American and British Airways. So unfortunately I wouldn't expect them to disappear anytime soon even if they're no longer charged with BA directly. Would be nice, but they do use a slightly different mechanism for calculating them.

    Agree with you, though.
     
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