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If you’ve ever tried to book a mileage ticket on a UK based carrier like British or Virgin Atlantic, you know fuel surcharges well. Often totaling hundreds of dollars, the extra fees are added to both revenue and award tickets alike, and they’re supposed to help the carrier make up for outrageous fuel prices. Back when oil was at $120/bbl that made sense. Now that it’s back to $65 though, people are starting to ask questions.

Considering the fee bonanza that airlines are currently on, I’ve long conjectured that airlines would be loathe to give up the icing on their cakes. At least one airline, though, has a conscience: JAL. Starting February 1, the Japanese carrier will be lowering their fuel surcharges to match the actual price of oil, ostensibly cutting into their profits but also providing an honest take on the fees.

Good on JAL. Let’s pressure the other carriers to do the same.

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Social Quote of the Day

@rafat temporary fuel surcharge magically became permanent cost of doing business

– ‏@ericjackson | Eric Jackson, Founder IronFire Capital LLC



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Every travel blogger on this side of a $4.99 WordPress theme was invited to the White House for a summit this past week. See the lukewarm-reviewed YouTube video summing it up here.

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Photo Credit: Yoshiharu Ueki, president of Japan Airlines, poses for photographs with a model of JAL's Airbus A350-900. Yuya Shino / Reuters