I’ve never been a fan of travel points programs which are not owned by the airlines. In the past I was a dedicated Air Canada Aeroplan member but we switched to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan a few years ago. I dislike bank based programs like Avion by Royal Bank of Canada because you get more flight options but you pay through the nose in taxes and fees. This distinction has been somewhat blurred to me now.
We recently booked our flights from Vancouver to London on British Airways using our Alaska Airlines points. The bulk of the charges and fees seem reasonable. $25 partner booking fee. $15 ticketing fee. Miscellaneous taxes. Oh, but wait: there’s also a fuel surcharge fee of $290 per ticket! Total cost above and beyond our points is over $900 US.
Who’s to blame? Terrorists? Corrupt corporate executives? Energy speculators? I don’t know, but thanks for screwing up travel guys.