Cutting air ticket fuel surcharges

By | Category: Travel rumblings
my ticket says it all; only price increases over the last few years!

my ticket says it all; only price increases over the last few years!

In a strange consensus both the printed versions of The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph lead with calls by George Osborne for energy companies to pass on the fuel price drop.

The Guardian mentions aviation fuel just once almost as an aside and then talks of oil costs; the Daily Telegraph adopts a similarly lazy approach. Why is no politician screaming about the failure of airlines to cut seat fares due to aviation fuel decreases?

Petrol forecourt prices drop because they are more visable to the public. Airline tickets stay where they are because few airlines reveal the true extent of them but keep them a few page clicks away from the billing or is that too cynical?

When I wrote last about this in November, prices were such that IATA estimated airlines would save $7 billion on fuel bills. When I wrote about it in 2011 when oil prices had dropped to $107 a barrel (twice what they are today) I asked the same question –when will airlines cut fares?

The OFT investigated back then and did nothing. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander called for a reduction last November. Now George Osborne has done the same and announced a Treasury investigation.

Will this investigation do anything or is it just a blind to suggest that politicians are doing something?

The airlines will say that they hedged the aviation fuel costs to iron out peaks and troughs so they are still in fixed term and payment contracts. That may be true in some cases but how many airlines hedge all their forward fuel costs? This is a lame argument to hide behind.

Airline passengers deserve better and politicians should restore some public confidence in themselves by actually stopping talking about it and start pressurising airlines to commit to reductions or say why they are not doing it.

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