News Alert: Corporate Business Travelers: Beware of Possible New Airline Fees

As experts in corporate housing and business travel, we wanted to inform you of new possible travel fees [maybe] headed your way.

Airline Credit Card Fees

Airlines may start charging passengers a “credit card surcharge” for purchasing airline tickets. Typically, when tickets are purchased through travel agencies, the airlines pick-up the credit card fees. Now in Europe, Lufthansa and its group carriers have started charging their passengers a surcharge of $4.56 per transaction to recoup some of those fees.

Tickets for flights departing from airports in Germany, Belgium, Finland, the United Kingdom and Switzerland will be subject to the surcharge. U.S. travel agencies with multinational clients will be affected if they purchase tickets issued in one of the six countries. Negotiated corporate fares will be exempt until March 31, 2012.

Credit card surcharges are common for low-cost carries, but it seems lately they have been making their way to network carriers such as British Airways and now Lufthansa.  Airlines in the U.S. are watching closely to see what happens in Europe.

Government Proposed Airline Fees

In President Obama’s recently proposed “New Jobs Program” legislation, there are items that would effect the cost of air travel including:

–       Imposing a $100 fee on each commercial airliner and corporate jet every time one takes off.

–       Raising the per-passenger security fee, which helps pay for TSA’s airport screening, from the current $2.50 for each leg of a flight to a maximum of $5 for a one-way trip.

Increases would be likely passed on to passengers through ticket prices.  Business travelers who routinely fly connecting trips wouldn’t see an immediate price increase if Congress approves the legislation and raises the $2.50 fee. However, anyone flying direct each way on a trip would see the tax double immediately and triple in the following five years.

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