Qantas Fuel Surcharges Remaining High

20th May 2015

Even though oil prices have been getting lower throughout the year, Australian carrier Qantas is yet to lower its fuel surcharges. The airline has promised to "gradually restructure" its tariffs four months ago.

Right now, Qantas' fuel surcharges are at A$715 for an economy class ticket to London and A$1355 for a business class ticket.

The same surcharges apply for Qantas' partner Emirates.

Particularly "Galling" Surcharges

According to Geoff Trotter, of the monitoring group FuelTrack, fuel surcharges have been "particularly galling" following Qantas forecast for this year and higher fuel savings for the next fiscal year.

Qantas has predicted last week that its fuel bill will be as much as A$690 lower than it was last year.

Here's what Mr. Trotter said:

"We know that they have had a significant drop in the cost of fuel, and we know that they have locked in the low prices with their fuel hedging arrangements, so let's see them pass on the benefits to their customers and frequent-flyer members. They have to declare their credit card surcharges throughout the booking process bur not their much more onerous fuel surcharges."

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been investigating passenger's surcharges since the beginning of this year. So far, it has not officially revealed if any carrier, Qantas including, was misleading or tricking its customers.

"Restructuring Fares Takes Time"

Asked when the changes will take place, a spokeswoman for Qantas said:

"Restructuring all of those fares takes time but we are working as quickly as possible to do this. We announced in January that we'd be removing our fuel surcharges and folding them into the all-inclusive base fare, and we're working through that process now. Given the size of the Qantas International network, we have literally thousands of fares in scores of markets with multiple partners."

Surcharges Most Expensive for Frequent Flyers

Lowering fuel surcharges will appeal the most to Qantas frequent-flyer members who pay for their flights with loyalty points.

Qantas cannot increase its overall ticket fares too high by raising surcharges, unless it wants its passengers to switch to another airline. What it can do, however, is gain revenue from frequent flyers, which have to pay for the fuel surcharge of their fare in cash or in loyalty points.

So far, Qantas has lowered charges for FF redemption bookings in January by A$163.