keep away from gasoline surcharges on award journey

Gasoline surcharges — often known as carrier-imposed surcharges or YQ surcharges — are an vital difficulty for award journey lovers. In spite of everything, these additional charges could make your award flight price tons of (if not hundreds) of {dollars} along with your miles redeemed.

In 2022, a number of airways, together with ANA and Emirates, elevated gasoline surcharges. In some instances, gasoline surcharges are so excessive that they’ll match and even exceed the worth of an economy-class ticket.

In lots of instances, gasoline surcharges aren’t essentially associated to gasoline prices. As an alternative, gasoline surcharges typically embrace numerous further charges that airways add to their tickets.

Gasoline surcharges differ based mostly in your route, route of journey, working provider and the loyalty program via which you guide. This information will have a look at which loyalty packages add and do not add gasoline surcharges to award tickets and some methods you should utilize to keep away from paying gasoline surcharges.

Packages that do not impose surcharges

A handful of packages do not impose gasoline surcharges on any awards, together with flights on their very own planes and people operated by companions. Listed below are a few of the packages that verify this field.

JetBlue TrueBlue, Southwest Fast Rewards and Free Spirit


You need to use your factors and miles on JetBlue, Southwest and Spirit with out gasoline surcharges. Nevertheless, you are still on the hook for necessary taxes and costs, such because the $5.60 Sept. 11 Safety Payment for all flights departing from U.S. airports. Moreover, Spirit fees a $50 charge when you guide an award ticket inside 28 days of departure.

Most of those airways do not have widespread premium merchandise, so you have got minimal alternatives to maximise their respective loyalty currencies for outsized worth.

Other than JetBlue, these airways lack associate redemption choices. With JetBlue, you may redeem your TrueBlue factors on flights with Hawaiian Airways. Finally, you also needs to be capable to redeem TrueBlue factors for American Airways flights.

Associated: 6 award chart ‘candy spots’ that may prevent cash on home flights

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Air Canada Aeroplan


When Air Canada revamped the Aeroplan program, the airline eradicated gasoline surcharges on associate award tickets. This contains flights on Star Alliance companions that usually add excessive surcharges, like Austrian, Lufthansa and Swiss. That stated, you are still on the hook for paying a associate reserving charge of 39 Canadian {dollars} ($29) when flying with airways aside from Air Canada.

You may switch American Categorical Membership Rewards factors, Bilt Rewards factors, Capital One miles and Chase Final Rewards factors to Air Canada Aeroplan at a 1:1 switch ratio. Moreover, you may switch Marriott Bonvoy factors to Aeroplan at a 3:1 switch ratio, with 60,000-point transfers getting a bonus of 5,000 Aeroplan factors. This implies 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy factors are price 25,000 Aeroplan factors.

Associated: Extra versatile than ever: Why you must care about Aeroplan even when you by no means go to Canada

Avianca LifeMiles


Star Alliance member Avianca runs the LifeMiles award program. This program would not add gasoline surcharges to its award bookings, which is one cause why it is so common.

With LifeMiles, you will ceaselessly see profitable promotions on shopping for miles. This system is a switch associate of American Categorical Membership Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Capital One (1:1 switch ratio), Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio) and Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 switch ratio).

This system gives frequent switch bonuses that may make awards even cheaper. Nevertheless, LifeMiles provides a $10 to $25 reserving charge to all awards.

Associated: Cannot discover award availability with Avianca LifeMiles? Do not hand over till you do this trick

United MileagePlus


United MileagePlus would not add gasoline surcharges to award tickets. Once you redeem United miles, together with tickets on Star Alliance and non-alliance companions, you will solely have to pay necessary government-imposed taxes and costs.

United is a switch associate of Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for each 60,000 factors transferred), Bilt Rewards (1:1 switch ratio) and Chase Final Rewards (1:1 switch ratio).

Associated: 6 issues it’s essential find out about United Airways MileagePlus

Packages that add gasoline surcharges to some awards

Subsequent, this is an inventory of main airways that impose gasoline surcharges on some award flights.

Alaska Airways Mileage Plan

The Alaska Airways Mileage Plan would not cross on gasoline surcharges for many of its companions. Nevertheless, this system does add gasoline surcharges on award flights operated by British Airways.

Relying on which flight you guide, charges (or lack thereof) can differ wildly. For instance, examine your out-of-pocket prices when redeeming Alaska miles for a one-way economic system flight from New York to London.


Within the above instance, nonstop economic system awards operated by British Airways see $280 in taxes and costs whereas comparable flights operated by American Airways incur simply $19 in taxes and costs. In the meantime, one-stop awards on flights operated by Aer Lingus, Iberia and Royal Air Maroc all carry minimal taxes and costs.


You may earn Alaska miles by transferring rewards from Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for each 60,000 factors transferred) or utilizing an Alaska Airways bank card.

Associated: Maximizing redemptions with Alaska Airways Mileage Plan

ANA Mileage Cub

ANA Mileage Membership imposes gasoline surcharges on award flights it operates and on some partner-operated award flights. The airline even publishes a chart of gasoline surcharges for ANA-operated flights on its web site.

There are not any carrier-imposed surcharges on choose partner-operated flights, together with at the least some Air New Zealand, Avianca, SAS, Singapore Airways and United flights.

You’ll, nonetheless, pay excessive surcharges on flights operated by Austrian, Lufthansa, EgyptAir and others.

ANA Mileage Membership is a switch associate of American Categorical Membership Rewards (1:1 switch ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for each 60,000 factors transferred).

Associated: Fast factors: E-book mixed-cabin awards with ANA Mileage Membership to stretch your miles

American Airways AAdvantage

The American Airways AAdvantage program passes alongside gasoline surcharges for associate award flights operated by a number of airways, together with British Airways and Iberia.

Nevertheless, you will not pay gasoline surcharges when redeeming American miles for flights operated by American Airways or companions like Cathay Pacific and Finnair.

American AAdvantage is a switch associate of Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio) and Bilt Rewards (1:1 switch ratio). You too can use American Airways bank cards to earn American miles rapidly.

Associated: Maximizing redemptions with American Airways AAdvantage

British Airways Govt Membership

British Airways flights carry a few of the highest and most egregious gasoline surcharges of any airline. Fortuitously, there’s now a brand new reward possibility that provides decrease gasoline surcharges: Reward Flight Saver. This feature is obtainable on all British Airways-operated flights (and in each cabin besides firstclass).


In fact, $200 of taxes and costs continues to be lots to pay on a round-trip transatlantic economy-class award. So, contemplate all your choices earlier than reserving.

British Airways is a switch associate of American Categorical Membership Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Bilt Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Capital One (1:1 switch ratio), Chase Final Rewards (1:1 switch ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for each 60,000 factors transferred). You too can earn British Airways Avios with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card.

Associated: Fast factors: Save on gasoline surcharges by reserving awards via companions

Delta SkyMiles

The Delta SkyMiles program might be greatest identified for its lack of award charts. To make issues worse, you will have to pay a carrier-imposed worldwide surcharge for some awards that originate outdoors the U.S. For instance, this award originating in Amsterdam carries a 120 euro (about $131) worldwide surcharge.


Moreover, this award originating in Dubai carries a 50 United Arab Emirates dirham (about $14) worldwide surcharge.


This award from Beirut, Lebanon, to Paris additionally carries a $45 carrier-imposed worldwide surcharge.


These worldwide surcharges might encourage you to guide awards originating within the U.S. when redeeming Delta miles to keep away from paying additional charges.


Know, although, that this carrier-imposed worldwide surcharge would not seem on all Delta awards originating outdoors the U.S. For instance, this is a TAROM-operated award that does not carry the surcharge:


There are seemingly many awards you may guide with Delta miles that originate overseas and do not carry a carrier-imposed worldwide surcharge. So, preserve a watch out for these charges when redeeming Delta miles.

Delta SkyMiles is a switch associate of American Categorical Membership Rewards (1:1 switch ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio). There are additionally quite a few Delta bank cards that you should utilize to earn Delta SkyMiles.

Associated: Why (and the way) I earned 1,000,000 Delta SkyMiles in simply 6 months

Flying Blue

Flying Blue is the loyalty program for Air France, KLM, Transavia, Aircalin, Kenya Airways and TAROM. Sadly, Flying Blue provides gasoline surcharges to most award flights.

Delta- and Aeromexico-operated flights have little (if any) gasoline surcharges. Nevertheless, Air France and KLM flights have modest gasoline surcharges for economy-class tickets and far bigger ones for enterprise class.

Flying Blue is a switch associate of American Categorical Membership Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Bilt Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Capital One (1:1 switch ratio), Chase Final Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 switch ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for each 60,000 factors transferred).

Associated: Low-cost awards to Europe: This month’s Flying Blue Promo Rewards

Singapore KrisFlyer

Singapore KrisFlyer doesn’t impose gasoline surcharges by itself flights. Likewise, it would not impose gasoline surcharges on choose associate awards, together with these operated by Air New Zealand, Avianca and United.

Nevertheless, Singapore KrisFlyer passes alongside gasoline fees from most different companions, together with Copa, ANA, Thai Airways and Lufthansa.


Singapore KrisFlyer is a switch associate of American Categorical Membership Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Capital One (1:1 switch ratio), Chase Final Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 switch ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio with a 5,000-mile bonus for each 60,000 factors transferred).

Associated: Now you can convert Singapore KrisFlyer miles to Marriott factors — however do you have to?

Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership

Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership doesn’t add gasoline surcharges to Delta award tickets.


That stated, gasoline surcharges are excessive on flights operated by Virgin Atlantic. For instance, you will pay greater than $800 in taxes and costs on a transatlantic one-way business-class award ticket operated by Virgin Atlantic.


Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership is a switch associate of American Categorical Membership Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Bilt Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Chase Final Rewards (1:1 switch ratio), Citi ThankYou Rewards (1:1 switch ratio) and Marriott Bonvoy (3:1 switch ratio with a 5,000-point bonus for each 60,000 factors transferred). You too can switch Capital One miles to Virgin Purple (1:1 switch ratio).

Associated: When and the best way to guide Delta awards with Virgin Atlantic Flying Membership

Tricks to keep away from gasoline surcharges

Whether or not you should pay a gasoline surcharge is determined by numerous components, together with the airline you fly, the loyalty program you guide via and your routing. Fortunately, there are a number of methods to keep away from hefty carrier-imposed surcharges when reserving an award ticket. Listed below are some easy methods to make use of.

Think about all of the various kinds of Avios

Even with British Airways’ Reward Flight Saver, you should still need to contemplate the opposite airways that use Avios — Iberia, Aer Lingus and Qatar Airways — earlier than redeeming.

There are positives and negatives to every sort of Avios. Better of all, you may switch Avios between accounts for gratis, which can assist you maximize every program’s Avios foreign money.

Associated: Is it higher to redeem Avios via British Airways Govt Membership or Qatar Airways Privilege Membership?

Earn rewards with transferable factors packages


A number of main rewards packages permit profitable transfers of factors to airline packages. These packages embrace:

The most effective factor about these packages is the flexibleness. Particularly, you may switch rewards from these packages to a loyalty program that allows you to guide awards with minimal or no gasoline surcharges.

Associated: How (and why) you must earn transferable factors

Search out locations, origins and transit factors with decrease surcharges

There are a lot of locations the place awards do not incur gasoline surcharges. Moreover, some departure, vacation spot and transit airports might unlock decrease charges.

Finally, you must go the place you need to go. Nevertheless, it generally is sensible to place to a close-by nation or transit via a special airport to attenuate the charges you should pay on an award. Briefly, decide the one with decrease charges when you’re attempting to resolve between two in any other case equal choices.

Associated: Full information to taxes and costs on airline tickets

Journey on a provider with low or no gasoline surcharges


Even when a program does impose gasoline surcharges, the associated fee can differ dramatically relying on which provider operates the flights.

So, if the flight you need has excessive gasoline surcharges via one loyalty program, verify how a lot the charges could be via associate airways. Particularly when you’ve got transferrable rewards which you could switch to a number of associate airways, it is sensible to cost out your reward via every program earlier than transferring any rewards.

Associated: guide your first award flight utilizing airline miles

Use a bank card that reimburses you for journey bills

Some bank cards, together with the Capital One Enterprise Rewards Credit score Card and the Capital One Enterprise X Rewards Credit score Card, help you redeem miles for journey bills that you just cost to your card.

When you’re caught paying gasoline surcharges on an award ticket, you should utilize the miles earned from these playing cards to cowl the associated fee. This reduces your out-of-pocket bills.

Different playing cards, just like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, provide an annual credit score for airfare or different journey purchases.

When you’re flying British Airways, you should utilize the British Airways Visa Signature® Card to stand up to $600 in surcharge rebates yearly. Pay your award ticket taxes and costs with the cardboard and you will get a $100 assertion credit score for economic system tickets or a $200 assertion credit score on business- and first-class tickets, as much as 3 instances per yr, on flights to London.

Associated: The highest bank cards with annual journey assertion credit

Use reward factors to pay for the airfare immediately


Many transferrable currencies additionally provide the flexibility to redeem rewards immediately for paid tickets via their journey portals. By doing so, you may guide flights that do not have gasoline surcharges (or already embrace the surcharge within the worth) and earn frequent flyer rewards in your flights.

Redeeming rewards to guide flights via a transferrable foreign money’s journey portal normally will not provide the perfect redemption worth. However doing so can assist when you’re attempting to attenuate the money price of your award journey — particularly in case your journey plans “drive” you to take an airline that imposes gasoline surcharges.

Associated: Do you have to guide flights on a journey portal? Evaluating fares via Amex, Capital One, Chase and Citi

Backside line

Excessive gasoline surcharges can considerably lower your worth when redeeming factors and miles for airfare. However, as mentioned on this article, avoiding or minimizing pesky gasoline surcharges is normally doable.

Further reporting by Ethan Steinberg, Ryan Smith, Katie Genter and Andrew Kunesh.

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