Fuel surcharges imposed on Qantas Frequent Flyer award tickets will fall by up to $130 from tomorrow as the airline rolls the cost of fuel into the base fares on international flights.
As a result, travellers trading their frequent flyer points on an overseas ticket won’t need to pay as much in additional fees.
However, unlike Virgin Australia’s surcharge shift last week, Qantas says there won’t be a reduction in the price of standard fully-paid tickets “as prices advertised to customers already include taxes and charges.”
For frequent flyers, the savings will cut up to $110 from the cost of selected return economy award bookings and up to $130 in premium economy.
However, the separate fuel surcharges currently remain in place for flights on the joint Qantas/Emirates network to the UK and Europe.
Last week saw Virgin Australia roll its $680 fuel surcharge into its base fares on flights from Brisbane and Sydney to Los Angeles, although notably hadn’t been imposing the surcharge on travellers redeeming their Velocity Frequent Flyer points.
“In a highly competitive environment where customers are already paying less than they were several years ago, lower oil prices can help put the industry on a more sustainable footing” said Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce in announcing the changes.
“It means airlines are in a better position to invest in the new aircraft, new lounges and new routes that ultimately benefit customers.”
The airline also notes that “while global fuel prices have fallen in recent months, international air fares are extremely competitive and are significantly lower than when surcharges were first introduced 10 years ago.”
Using Qantas Frequent Flyer points for international economy travel has long been poor value, with a round trip from Sydney to London currently setting travellers back 128,000 points and $954 in government taxes and carrier surcharges.
To compare, economy sale fares on the same Qantas flights can frequently be found for around $1,600 – giving a mere half a cent of value per point redeemed.
Source : Australian Business Traveller