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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 ClassI thought I was going to kill him.

Lufthansa First Class

Lufthansa First Class

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!

Lufthansa First Class

Lufthansa First Class

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”.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.