Emirates, Qantas “solve” fuel surcharge differences

Just a couple weeks ago there was discussion bout how to beat the Qantas fuel surcharges on many awards, thanks to their new partner Emirates. It should come as no surprise, really, to learn that the two carriers have come to an agreement on resolving the split in their charges. Also, no real surprise that the agreement is not entirely in customers’ favor, though it also isn’t all bad, depending on how astute a customer you are.

Photo from the Qantas/Emirates flyover of Sydney Harbour courtesy of Qantas

Emirates and Qantas have agreed to match their YQ fuel surcharge fees in shared markets. For customers this means no more using the EK flight numbers to avoid the fees, even if redeeming Qantas points. The change will take effect with tickets issued from 1 July 2013. For Sydney to London the fee will increase from $150 to $460, quite a raise. That rate is still #300 lower than the current Qantas rate, however. And Qantas has agreed to drop their fees to match the now raised Emirates numbers; that’s the silver lining in this, at least as much as there is one.

Qantas will also be changing the calculations for their charges to account for the cabin of travel as part of the fee. Premium class travelers will now pay more than customers traveling in the back of the plane. In some cases (notably Oz-SE Asia and Oz-Africa) this change means an increase in the fee paid for premium cabin customers. Australian Business Traveller has a chart with the new numbers on their site.

For the uneducated this change might appear to be a good thing. After all, many QFF redemptions just got cheaper than what their customers thought they could get. For those in the know, however, this is just another loophole closing and fees going up. Bummer.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.