Home Airlines How To Find The Breakdown Of Taxes On Airline Tickets

How To Find The Breakdown Of Taxes On Airline Tickets

by joeheg

Airlines have found a way to unbundle airfares to the point where you have to pay extra for almost everything. While things like seat assignments, checked bags, carry-on bags and in-flight refreshments used to be included in your fare, you’ll now often end up paying extra. With the introduction of basic economy fares, you’re relegated to boarding the plane last and might not even be able to bring a carry-on bag.

There’s one thing that airlines are forced to include in the published ticket price. Since 2012, all U.S. airline prices must include applicable taxes and fees. This prevents the airlines from promoting a $19 fare which happens to have an additional $200 in taxes.

When you pay for an airline ticket, you don’t have to worry about the breakdown of what’s a fare, tax or surcharge since you’ll need to pay all of them anyway. However, when you’re booking an award ticket, the amount of taxes and fees can make a huge difference.

For example, if you’re looking to use American Airlines miles to book a flight to London, you might find award space with oneWorld partner British Airways. A one-way economy class ticket will cost 30,000 miles PLUS $234.80 in fees.

American Airlines adds the taxes and surcharges to all British Airways awards. This means it’s helpful if you can find out these fees beforehand. The easiest tool to use is ITA Matrix.

Google purchased ITA Software a while ago and folded many of its features into Google Flights. However, some things are still easier on the old platform.

Once you’ve searched for a ticket, you can easily see the breakdown of fees by clicking on the fare.

It’s not always perfect, but it’s close. At least you’ll be able to see the surcharges (formerly called fuel surcharges) added to the ticket.

What can you do about this?

Fortunately, several programs don’t pass on the surcharges for award tickets. It won’t help much with the above-mentioned British Airways flight, but you might be able to find a flight using a different program or another airline with little to no extras. You’ll always need to pay governmental fees, like the $5.60 TSA Surcharge for US-based flights, but knowing the breakdown of the extras can make the difference between paying $5 and $500.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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