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Aeroplan taxes and surcharges

 
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  #1  
Old Jan 5, 2009, 9:58 PM
markc markc is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2

I took the liberty of pasting my planned trip to London, England. What a joke after sifting through a ridiculous amount of suggested flights on aeroplan.com, I arrived at the confirmation page only to find they wanted over 600 of my "hard earned" dollars to book the flight on aeroplan points! what a Joke (I say again), who on earth (in their right mind) would redeem their points (thinking they've covered the cost) and then pay 600 bucks. Listen, I get the usual small surcharges, but 600 bucks??? Ridiculous!!!
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you have:
96,720
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STEP 1
Summary
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STEP 3
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WINNIPEG To TORONTO PEARSON
Departs: 13:05Mon, Jan 19, 2009Winnipeg MB, CA
Arrives: 16:33 Same day Toronto Pearson ON, CAFlight#: AC266
Cabin: Business Stops: 0 Duration: 2 h 28 min Meal:
Aircraft: E90

Change plane in Toronto PearsonTime to connect: 1 h 42 min
TORONTO PEARSON To LONDON HEATHROW
Departs: 18:15 Same day Toronto Pearson ON, CA
Arrives: 06:25Tue, Jan 20, 2009London Heathrow, GBFlight#: AC856
Cabin: Business Stops: 0 Duration: 7 h 10 min Meal:
Aircraft: 763
------------

Winnipeg To London Heathrow Total travel time: 11 h 20 min
LONDON HEATHROW To CALGARY
Departs: 13:30Sun, Jan 25, 2009London Heathrow, GB
Arrives: 15:25 Same day Calgary AB, CAFlight#: AC851
Cabin: Business Stops: 0 Duration: 8 h 55 min Meal:
Aircraft: 77W

Change plane in CalgaryTime to connect: 3 h 05 min
CALGARY To WINNIPEG
Departs: 18:30 Same day Calgary AB, CA
Arrives: 21:23 Same day Winnipeg MB, CAFlight#: AC8338
Cabin: Business Stops: 0 Duration: 1 h 53 min Meal:
Aircraft: CRA
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London Heathrow To Winnipeg Total travel time: 13 h 53
Total connections/stops: 2 Summary: Total travel time: 25 h 13 min
Aeroplan Miles Required
1 Adult - ClassicFlight - Business85 000
Total Aeroplan Miles Required 85 000

Review fees and taxes
Air rewards are subject to fees and surcharges to which taxes apply. The following are applicable to your flights:
Delivery Fees(Electronic Ticket)$0.00
Total fees and taxes ()$0.00

Review airport taxes and surcharges
Air rewards are subject to airport taxes and surcharges. The following are applicable to your flights:

Airport taxes, charges and fees - adults$604.40



Total airport taxes, fees and surcharges (CAD)$604.40
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  #2  
Old Jan 5, 2009, 10:41 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Posts: 1,366

I took the liberty of duplicating your exact itinerary on AC.com. Here's the breakdown of the fare, taxes, surcharges and fees for a paid business class ticket from Winnipeg to London Heathrow on the same dates and flights in CAD:

Quote:
Fare Summary Passenger Type Adult Base Fare (C7M0GB,Z14M0GB,C0EXB) 8231.01 Surcharges NAV 17.99 Fuel Surcharge YQ 380.00 Taxes, Fees and Charges Canada Airport Improvement Fee SQ 28.00 Air Travellers Security Charge (ATSC) CA 17.00 U.K. Passenger Service Charge UB 34.63 Canada Goods and Services Tax (GST/HST #10009-2287) XG 1.40 U.K. Air Passenger Duty GB 140.65 Total airfare and taxes before options (per passenger) 8850.68 Number Of Passengers 1 Grand Total - Canadian dollars $8850.68 CAD
So, if you add up all of the taxes, surcharges and fees, it totals $619.67 CAD. You are not being asked to pay any more in taxes and fees than any other person purchasing a business class ticket to London with the exception that you are "purchasing" your base fare with miles instead of money.

Last edited by PHXFlyer; Jan 5, 2009 at 10:45 PM.
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  #3  
Old Jan 5, 2009, 10:55 PM
markc markc is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 2

ummmm...yeah, thanks for doing all of that math. I guess you missed the obvious point! So I will clear this up for you and others that might not get the complaint.

I'll paraphrase what I have previously stated, getting "dinged" a little for service fees is one thing, but to use (remember now) REWARD points to book or buy something and getting "gouged" over 600 bucks is (as I have said) RIDICULOUS!

But again, thanks for doing the math!
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  #4  
Old Jan 6, 2009, 12:54 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by markc View Post
ummmm...yeah, thanks for doing all of that math. I guess you missed the obvious point! So I will clear this up for you and others that might not get the complaint.

I'll paraphrase what I have previously stated, getting "dinged" a little for service fees is one thing, but to use (remember now) REWARD points to book or buy something and getting "gouged" over 600 bucks is (as I have said) RIDICULOUS!

But again, thanks for doing the math!
Wow. A bit hostile, aren't we?

With the exception of the $380.00 CAD fuel surcharge, the remainder of the taxes and fees are simply collected by Air Canada and paid to various government and airport authorities.

Who is missing the obvious point here? How does the old saying go? "...death and taxes." I was merely pointing out that you are paying the same taxes and fees as anyone else on a business class ticket from Winnipeg to London. If you believe that somehow you should be exempt from paying the same taxes everyone else does then that's between you and Air Canada.

I find it amusing that you aren't happy that you're getting a ticket which would have cost over $8200 CAD in base fare in exchange for the miles which were given to you for free. Perhaps you're a "the glass is half-empty" sort of person?

Last edited by PHXFlyer; Jan 6, 2009 at 12:57 AM.
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  #5  
Old Jan 6, 2009, 4:22 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

I am afraid PHX that it is misleading to say that

Quote:
With the exception of the $380.00 CAD fuel surcharge, the remainder of the taxes and fees are simply collected by Air Canada and paid to various government and airport authorities.
The airlines have become adept at creating artificial mechanisms to divide the price of their service up, in order to mislead consumers as to the true price of the service. Many of the "fees" which airlines charge, are in fact standard costs of business. If I go into Target to buy a towel, and it is priced at $20, I don't expect at the till to be be asked for $32, which is $20 for the towel, $3 for road tolls, $2 for Workers Compensation Tax, $5 Freight Fees, $2 Fuel Surcharge. This bogus pricing is deliberately deceptive and should be regulated. Fuel is a basic cost of doing business and should be incorporated into the price, as is landing fees, airport security charges, etc. It is time to stop this nonsense. Furthermore, if airlines have "incentive programmes" (which are paid for in the airfares) these should not imply that they are free or subject to a vague "charges and taxes". The amount should be transparent and the terms clear. Instead, airlines deliberately obfuscate and confuse, making it difficult to determine the true cost and frequently making the "free" flights unavailable. This customer is a frequent flyer.. this is how he amassed the miles in the first place.. and now they have alienated a good customer. The incentive programmes should be scrapped or made more transparent.. that is the bottom line.
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  #6  
Old Jan 6, 2009, 5:26 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
I am afraid PHX that it is misleading to say that



The airlines have become adept at creating artificial mechanisms to divide the price of their service up, in order to mislead consumers as to the true price of the service. Many of the "fees" which airlines charge, are in fact standard costs of business. If I go into Target to buy a towel, and it is priced at $20, I don't expect at the till to be be asked for $32, which is $20 for the towel, $3 for road tolls, $2 for Workers Compensation Tax, $5 Freight Fees, $2 Fuel Surcharge. This bogus pricing is deliberately deceptive and should be regulated. Fuel is a basic cost of doing business and should be incorporated into the price, as is landing fees, airport security charges, etc. It is time to stop this nonsense. Furthermore, if airlines have "incentive programmes" (which are paid for in the airfares) these should not imply that they are free or subject to a vague "charges and taxes". The amount should be transparent and the terms clear. Instead, airlines deliberately obfuscate and confuse, making it difficult to determine the true cost and frequently making the "free" flights unavailable. This customer is a frequent flyer.. this is how he amassed the miles in the first place.. and now they have alienated a good customer. The incentive programmes should be scrapped or made more transparent.. that is the bottom line.
Last time I went to Target the sales tax was listed on the receipt separately. So if I buy a towel for $20 I expect to pay $20 plus some tax. If I use my miles for a ticket, I expect there will be some taxes and fees collected based on my destination.

Fact remains the OP is getting a ticket which would have cost him over $8800 CAD in total for miles plus just over $600 in taxes, fees and surcharges. If he doesn't like paying the taxes and fees he doesn't have to use his miles. My point in breaking down those taxes and fees was to illustrate that regardless of the form of payment (miles or cash) he would pay the same taxes and fees regardless.

If Air Canada wanted to they could eliminate the fuel surcharge and raise the number of miles required for the ticket. Since the OP has 96,720 miles in his account and this business class ticket to London requires 85,000 any substantial increase would put this ticket out of his reach anyway.
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  #7  
Old Jan 6, 2009, 9:20 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

You havn't addressed my point. You may in some states (although not all) pay a sales tax. But my point was that standard costs of providing a service are treated as special fees/charges.

Do you think it would be legitimate for Target to list a price for a towel at say $20, then charge separately for their property taxes, fuel costs, toll charges, freight costs, workers compensation etc. If not, why not? If all goods and services were charged the way airlines charge for their tickets, pricing would be chaotic. It is designed to mislead
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  #8  
Old Jan 6, 2009, 10:02 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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With the exception of the fuel surcharge, all the other taxes and fees vary by itinerary so therefore couldn't be included in the fare.
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  #9  
Old Jan 7, 2009, 2:18 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: NY NY
Posts: 510

I didn't wanna jump in, but things are getting a bit off track with the "target/towel" thing. What Markc is looking to do is have his trip "completely" free (that is my understanding from reading the complaint) as a frequent flyer (and you have some nice miles that Mark, 96,000) you should already know that your flight is never completely free when you use miles as you STILL have to pay taxes and surcharges. You're never gonna avoid that charge (as PhxFlyer has pointed out). I don't think anyone has missed the point, your complaint is not valid as you're trying get something for nothing and you should've already knew that before you booked the flight that you would have to pay a tax.

And come on Jim... REALLY? Your using the price of the towel as your argument? Retail 101: How much does that towel cost initially if you buy it wholesale? 5 bucks? after Target adds in whatever costs they paid into getting that towel in the store it then becomes 20 bucks. They don't just markup the price for profit, they have to pay their workers, their rent, fuel (gotta put gas in the trucks that will deliver them towels), gas, electric, maintanence, repairs and renovations. So eventhough you don't SEE a breakdown on your receipt of the cost that went into the towel that would make it cost 20 bucks (other than the taxes) your still paying more for the towel than you should if you bought it direct from the factory.

So would it be legitimate for Target to list everything that goes into the cost of that 20 dollar towel? They could as could most retail store, but then that would be one heck of a loooooong receipt and quite frankly, I wouldn't wanna know.
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  #10  
Old Jan 8, 2009, 12:23 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
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Phx flyer..
Quote:
With the exception of the fuel surcharge, all the other taxes and fees vary by itinerary so therefore couldn't be included in the fare.
Typically in these threads, we disagree about lots of things, but I can usually follow your logic and understand your point. I rarely agree with it, but I get the point. This is a mystery. All fares vary by itinerary... indeed, virtually all airlines use dynamic pricing software, so they don't only vary by itinerary, they vary from hour to hour, minute to minute. What has that got to do with the debate? It is a spurious argument trying to defend the indefensible.

Silent Bob
Quote:
So would it be legitimate for Target to list everything that goes into the cost of that 20 dollar towel? They could as could most retail store, but then that would be one heck of a loooooong receipt and quite frankly, I wouldn't wanna know.
This makes my point. The different elements that go into the price of goods or services are varied and complex for all products and services. I cannot imagine why the airlines are a special case... who care's what they pay for landing fees, airport taxes, federal ATC charges... not me. Just tell me the honest price of getting from A to B. Instead, they post fictional prices and then add all the baloney on top, to deceive the customer and this is one reason (amongst many) why these robber barons, abusing virtual monopolies need to be re-regulated.

Now, it is over 10 years since I lived in the US, but I lived there for 12 years. During that time I was a member of the Piedmont Frequent Flyer Programme (later US Air). At the beginning of that programme, when I cashed in my miles, the ticket was genuinely free. Later, they started adding taxes. Still possibly legitimate. However, once they started slicing up their costs (as outlined in Silent Bobs Retail 101), and added them as "fees", they are effectively withdrawing the incentive which was offered in the first place to get you to buy the product. We seem to accept airlines behaving in a particular way, which we would not expect from other providers of goods and services. I am asking why? Why should we accept this?

If Target is offering a towel on a BOGOF.. (Buy One, get one free), would it be ok if you got to the till and they said you have to pay fuel surcharge, fees and charges on the towel, but the towel itself is free? I am using this example, simply to illustrate the point. The airlines are being deceptive. They get away with this because they are not truly competitive.

The barriers to entry for new competitors are huge, and so they have built up "fortress" hubs, in which they dominate the city pairs from that hub. Once they have established an effective monopoly, they begin to abuse their customers. This is exactly what the robber barons of the railroads, steel industries, telephony companies etc did 100 years ago. At some point, these behemoths should be broken up and more aggressively regulated to stop this abuse.

Markc's complaint is legitimate (not to PHX of course, who will defend anything the airlines do), but the free offer he was promised has been stripped away by the introduction of bogus "fees" which are just, plain and simple, the cost of doing business. His free flights are not free at all....they are discounts.
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  #11  
Old Jan 8, 2009, 3:24 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
Phx flyer..


Typically in these threads, we disagree about lots of things, but I can usually follow your logic and understand your point. I rarely agree with it, but I get the point. This is a mystery. All fares vary by itinerary... indeed, virtually all airlines use dynamic pricing software, so they don't only vary by itinerary, they vary from hour to hour, minute to minute. What has that got to do with the debate? It is a spurious argument trying to defend the indefensible.
Spurious? Indefensible? Clearly you advocate "lump sum" pricing. When I or you or anyone else goes online to buy a ticket we should merely plug in our origin, destination, dates of travel and be presented with one amount which says "Here's what it costs. Pay or pass." An educated consumer likes to see exactly what he or she is actually paying for. I guess you're just not that educated.
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  #12  
Old Jan 8, 2009, 9:27 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Location: Shropshire, England
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No Phx, I like honesty and transparency in pricing. I do not like "switch and bait" in which airlines post prices which don't exist and then add endless fees and charges. It would be chaos of all suppliers of goods and services priced their goods this way, with an endless breakdown of all the elements of the price. Furthermore, to say it is not possible is ridiculous. British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa all charge the same types of "fees" and fuel surcharges. However, when you go on their website, you will find the full cost of the flight is shown from the first page. Amazing how these guys did the "impossible".
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  #13  
Old Jan 10, 2009, 9:25 AM
Silent Bob Silent Bob is offline
 
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but Jim they do charge you tax on buy one get one free items! (depending on the item and what state you are in). You don't see it on the price tag and you won't see the tax until they ring it up. So this doesn't legitimize your point, but if this were a court of law, the judge would rule this as a dismissal.

again going back to my previous post, as a frequent flyer he should know that his trip would never be completely free. This is not some deceptive practice done by the airlines, this same practice can be seen most anywhere from small grocery stores to car dealers and even some travel websites don't give you the total cost until just before you confirm to buy. If you were given a business first class seat and you had the choice of paying 8000+ or 600+ which would you choose????

I believe those taxes and fees are not something the airlines wish to impose on their frequent travelers using their miles, but it's a law of some kind. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but again there's nothing deceptive about it sir.
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  #14  
Old Jan 10, 2009, 1:00 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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Ok, I know people must be getting bored with this, but just to be absolutely clear. First of all, sales tax is charged as a percentage of the overall price for goods. If a shop is selling 1 can of beans for $1, and sales tax is 10% the price is $1.10. If a shop is selling the same can of beans on a buy one, get one free offer the price is still $1 and therefore the price including sales tax is still $1.10. However, I was not comparing sales tax in my example. I stated that the airline could potentially legitimately charge the passenger actual taxes that they have to pay. But that is not what our original poster was complaining about.

His complaint was all the other "fees". The airline wants you to think that these are taxes. They are not taxes, they are simply the normal cost of doing business. Target charges a sales tax, fair enough. But they do not also add on the cost of their property taxes, fuel charges, toll charges and other sundry expenses. These are included in the price of the item advertised. In this case, the fees were fuel surcharge, airport development tax, various passenger handling fees, etc. These are not taxes and the law does not require the airline to pass them on. They are part of the normal costs of the airline conducting it's business and they have been separated solely for the purpose of cuckholding people into thinking they are "taxes" imposed on the airlines by government. THEY ARE NOT. They are part of the normal costs which comprise their cost of business. I hope that clarifies the position.
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