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Old 10-21-2008, 09:40 PM   #1
FFR
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Default Airmiles Flight Fees

So I just booked a flight to Vancouver with my airmiles and I was taking a quick look at the email confirmation they sent me. And I noticed that the fees they are charging are ridiculous!! I mean I know that they charge $20/ticket as an administration fee, and I'm ok with that. But they have charged me $184.00 Navigation Insurance Fee. (For two tickets). As a comparison, if i booked and paid for the exact same flight through WestJet, the Navigation Insurance fee would be $36 each, so $72. How in the world can they get away with that!? That isn't the only fee I was overcharged on...the others are all higher as well, just not as big of a difference.

Does anyone know if there is anything we can do about that? I mean it's a difference of at least $112.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:13 AM   #2
ken0042
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When I book a flight with Airmiles to Vancouver for Grey Cup '06 I paid around $140 in fees all together. My buddy who went with me happened to get a seat sale and without any sort of points program paid $155.

Airmiles will tell you the fees are based on the "full fare" price, but that still manages to set off my BS detector.

So now I use my airmiles to buy gift cards.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:05 AM   #3
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I don't know what to use mine on. I had enough to get a TV but though I was getting hosed on it, so I just bought one instead. Are gift cards the way to go? Or should I still save for flights?
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:10 AM   #4
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What on earth is a navigation insurance fee and is it compulsary to purchase it?

Never heard of it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:12 AM   #5
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Yeah, after doing a few calculations, I find that gift cards are the best way to go. You can get between $0.12-$0.16 for each Air Mile. And the gift cards have very few catches. If I wouldn't buy an Air Miles reward for $0.12 x the number of Air Miles, I don't do it. In the case of flights, the math gets ridiculous.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jtfrogger View Post
Yeah, after doing a few calculations, I find that gift cards are the best way to go. You can get between $0.12-$0.16 for each Air Mile. And the gift cards have very few catches. If I wouldn't buy an Air Miles reward for $0.12 x the number of Air Miles, I don't do it. In the case of flights, the math gets ridiculous.
no flights are by far the best value, just not to the common destinations. For some flights you can get upwards of .50$ per air mile. Of course if you don't fly to these destinations the flights aren't always a good deal.

Here's a exerpt from a previous post I made on the matter. While it doesnt deal with the higher fees(not sure if all of them are mandatory, i know the wifey keeps buying this stupid travel insurance which drives me bonkers, sure on a expensive vacation go for it, but for a cheap trip home it ain't work it) but at those savings the extra fees still don't decrease the value enough to make flights a poor choice.

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Originally Posted by Dan02 View Post
This is almost always incorrect. Assuming you plan on buying both the DVD player and the flight, barring seat sale you will almost always save more money by paying for the flight with your airmiles.

For example, if i were to say want to fly to Vegas next Wednesday and return the following Tuesday even though I booked mid week when flights tend to be cheaper, the best fare from West jet is roughly 550$ round trip, and because it is "high" season right now, the flight would cost 3000(2250 during low season) airmiles. Which gives each airmile a value of 18.3 cents.

Now quite often you can find a fare sale to Vegas because of the large number of flights down there every day from various airlines, so lets look at the smaller routes where your choices are significantly fewer.

I burn my airmiles on a couple flights every year Calgary/Castlegar. The only flight is through Air Canada and costs 174$ each way, chances of getting any fare discount, negligible. Airmiles cost, just 1100 in the high season and 900 in the low season. This gives each airmile a value of 31.6 cents in the high season and 38.6 cents in the low season. This is actually a very cheap price for the flight as demand is down in Summer, the usual price this flight is at is 249$ each way, giving us a value of up to 55.3 cents per airmile during the fall/winter.

Last edited by Dan02; 10-22-2008 at 08:56 AM.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Dan02 View Post
no flights are by far the best value, just not to the common destinations. For some flights you can get upwards of .50$ per air mile. Of course if you don't fly to these destinations the flights aren't always a good deal.

Here's a exerpt from a previous post I made on the matter. While it doesnt deal with the higher fees(not sure if all of them are mandatory, i know the wifey keeps buying this stupid travel insurance which drives me bonkers, sure on a expensive vacation go for it, but for a cheap trip home it ain't work it) but at those savings the extra fees still don't decrease the value enough to make flights a poor choice.
But it is the fees that make the value diminish substantially. That is how they make people think they are getting a great deal. Can you give an example that includes all the fees you paid? The first two posts are real examples that show how much extra cash you have to pay when you book with Air Miles, which really diminishes the value you get from the Air Miles cashed in.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:08 AM   #8
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But Dan, in your examples you make no mention of the fees that Airmiles charges over and above your points redeemed.

Using your $174 savings example, if they charge you $90 in fees, then you only save $84, so those miles are work 9.3 each. And this thread is all about the fees that A/M charges.
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Old 10-22-2008, 09:23 AM   #9
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i just booked two tickets Calgary to Montreal
1 ticket I paid cash at Westjet.ca -- $685.00
1 ticket I had to use 3000 airmiles + 190 cash

That $190 didnt even include the stupid insurance they want you to buy! I refuse on principle, they claim if I cancel a flight without the insurance I lose the airmiles, but if I pay $90, I will get my airmiles back. Ugh.

In this example, the airmiles were worth $0.165 each (685-190)/3000

I wasnt too happy with the value, but at least I saved about $500.00 in real cash.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DementedReality View Post
i just booked two tickets Calgary to Montreal
1 ticket I paid cash at Westjet.ca -- $685.00
1 ticket I had to use 3000 airmiles + 190 cash

That $190 didnt even include the stupid insurance they want you to buy! I refuse on principle, they claim if I cancel a flight without the insurance I lose the airmiles, but if I pay $90, I will get my airmiles back. Ugh.

In this example, the airmiles were worth $0.165 each (685-190)/3000

I wasnt too happy with the value, but at least I saved about $500.00 in real cash.
I think that is pretty good value out of your Air Miles. The most I have generally been able to squeeze out is about $0.16/Air Mile.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ken0042 View Post
But Dan, in your examples you make no mention of the fees that Airmiles charges over and above your points redeemed.

Using your $174 savings example, if they charge you $90 in fees, then you only save $84, so those miles are work 9.3 each. And this thread is all about the fees that A/M charges.
thats why i said

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan02
no flights are by far the best value, just not to the common destinations.


If i may use the last example, total fees including their insurance despite my protestations, was around 220$, costing 1800 airmiles. To purchase return tickets on this flight would have been 996$ plus 163$ in fees. So the fees are roughly 60$ higher on this flight but they included airmiles insurance for if you were to cancel. So my net savings was 939$(roughly) for 1800 airmiles or 0.52$ value per airmile. Currently this flight would only cost me 728$ resulting in a after fee value of rouhgly 0.37$ per air mile. Much better value then anything you can get in terms of merchandise.

I don't think you get your moneys worth on any of the popular routes like CGY/VCR/EDM but if you're flying on the small jets(Tango) to destinations that one have 1 flight per day you can save a ton of money even after fees are included.

Last edited by Dan02; 10-22-2008 at 03:09 PM.
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