Why is it that people want everything for *free*?
Honestly, I’ve been quiet about fuel surcharges up until now when a friend told me they’d rather redeem their miles for an iPad instead of paying $400 USD for fuel surcharges for travel in Lufthansa First Class. I thought I was going to kill him.
I’ve seen tons and tons of complaints about fuel surcharges from everyone – be it on FlyerTalk, on Blogs, from friends, family members, etc. and I can’t keep quiet because frankly it is really starting to annoy me.
You won’t get “free” flights using miles, there will always be some sort of payment involved – whether it is the taxes/fees, fuel surcharges, or even the “cost” to acquire the miles. Nothing in life is free.
Let’s take a look at the Lufthansa scenario – a normal First Class ticket costs anywhere up from ~$8k USD in most markets. An award ticket usually requires 60-100k+ miles for Lufthansa First Class (again, depending on the origin and destination), and then if booking through frequent flyer programmes such as Aeroplan or Miles & More, you will pay approximately $200-450 USD for taxes/fees and fuel surcharges. Usually the taxes/fees are under $100 USD and the rest are the fuel surcharges.
Now back to my friend – let me get this correct, you’re willing to waste your miles that you’ve earned hard for a “free” iPad instead of a $400 USD flight in Lufthansa First Class?! His response:
I like things for free and in this case I think it is obvious what to select
Umm, yes it is obvious for many, but not you – Lufthansa!
People just think that miles will get them flights for 100% free – that isn’t the case, perhaps others state that, but I don’t. No flight is free, and when you are getting a 90% discount by using your miles, you should be happy and not complain that you have to pay a few hundred dollars for an international first class ticket that retails for $10k+ USD.
I really just don’t get it. People who complain about a $400 First Class flight are just ridiculous in my opinion, I mean look at the incredible value you are getting from those miles – just because you have to pay a few hundred dollars for fuel surcharges isn’t a deal-breaker!
Now of course we are talking about First and Business Class in this post and in general. Because, I too, believe it isn’t worth using your miles for Economy Class and especially when fuel surcharges are involved. Why? Because Economy normally costs around $700 anyway (depending on the destination), and therefore the miles would be wasted – that’s why I believe in only redeeming miles for First or Business Class, which is usually much more than Economy.
Anyway, I really just can’t get my head around people complaining about fuel surcharges – they’re usually only two to three hundred dollars (in some cases, less), and you’re still getting an excellent value.
I guess when people/bloggers promote that miles are able to get you free flights, people get so turned on by this that they’re not willing to spend anything else – even when the value is great.
If you do want to avoid fuel surcharges, fly on airlines like United, where I’m sure you will experience true, international “First Class”.