Airlines accused of 'shamelessly misusing' fuel surcharges

Airlines accused of 'shamelessly misusing' fuel surcharges

The United Federation of Travel Agents Associations (UFTAA) has written to global aviation body Iata accusing airlines of “shamelessly misusing" fuel surcharges.

In an ‘open letter’ to Iata, the agency group points out that fuel surcharges, that have a special YQ code on airline tickets, were meant to cover unexpected rises in fuel prices.

However, the organisation said during 2014 the cost of oil has gone down from over $110 per barrel to as low as $40.

The UFTAA points out that according to Iata’s own sources the savings for the airlines in 2015 will be in the region of $4 billion.

Despite this most airlines are still charging a fuel surcharge ranging from €25 to €450 per ticket, the UFTAA claims.

The open letter stated: “Generally the cost for the fuel should as soon as convenient be included in the general operation cost eg. air fare (no airplane can fly without fuel).

“However, airlines continue shamelessly to misuse this ticketing loophole and thus manipulate the transparency of the ticket price.

“The "tax box" on the tickets has increasingly become a vehicle for various extra charges not included in the basic air fare either to distort the price transparency or perhaps to serve as a loophole for tax evasion? How long will this charade be tolerated by the consumers?”

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