Saturday 19 June 2021

Airline “Surchages” Explained

Airplane-refueling-at-gate-featured-imageAirlines fees are mystery to most travellers. It seems that airlines are done absorbing the costs of things like airport check-in, printing boarding passes and the cost of maintaining their website.

I have decoded for you some of the mystery behind these surcharges that can easily almost double the cost of the lowest advertised airfare.

Me, I prefer one rate: this is what it’s going to cost me, rather than US$299 plus, plus, plus, plus. And for some things I have no control over, like a boarding pass – can’t board a plane without one. Or fuel surcharge when the price of oil is half of what it used to be when the habit of the surcharge popped up.

- Advertisement -

Airlines have made so much profit from these extras and are constantly looking for new ways to help themselves, and screw us over.

Airport Tax Fee
Leaving the San Jose (SJO) and Liberia (LIR) airport will cost each passenger US$29. In most airports around the globe the airport tax is incorporated in the price of the ticket. This is now starting to happen in Costa Rica, with more airlines joining the airport tax included fee.

Fuel Surcharge
This one gets me, airlines charing us extra for fuel. Wait, isn’t the fuel calculated as part of the overall cost of operations in determining ticket prices? Supposedly, “fuel surcharge” was meant to reimburse the airlines for high oil prices. As oil prices have fallen, this fee has remained. Some airlines are calling it now “airline surcharge”, confusing the s**t out of customers.

Boarding Pass Fees
Some airlines, in particular the budget airlines, are charing passengers for services once complimentary, like seat assignment and the printing of a board pass. The biggest rip-off is the Irish budget carrier RyanAir, which charges an additional US$108 for airport check-in. RyanAir is a principal investor in the new low-cost airline, Viva Airline, that will start operations in Costa Rica soon.

- Advertisement -

Other airlines charge passengers for the right to choose their seat, a service that can easily add US$25 or more per passenger. Don’t like the seat assigned you by a computer?

Credit Card Fees
Credit cards are the universal payment option. However, airlines increasingly charge passengers extra for the privilege when making their online booking. Charges vary, from a flat fee to a percentage. The charge can be avoided by going to the airport and make the reservation there.

In Costa Rica, this is totally the reverse.  Some carries (Avianca, for instance) charges an extra US$25 for reserving at the airport or its offices, but no fee if the booking is done online.

Admin Fees
What exactly is an admin fee? Mysteriously these fees pop up (on top of the advertised price) on international flights. Mainly, these are fees to pay for things like the airline’s website.  When looking at an advertised price, read the fine print and add up all the extras, which can almost double the price advertised price.

- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Cynthia Ann Telles named new U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Today, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his nomination of...

Simple to request certification of vaccines against covid-19 applied in Costa Rica and abroad

QCOSTARICA - The Ministry of Health issued a new guideline on...


Central America is back in the news for the wrong reasons, Costa Rica is once again the exception

QCOSTARICA - Osta Rica has been the epicenter of regional diplomacy in recent days. The successive visits of the Secretary of State of the...

American woman found lifeless in hotel bathroom in Sabana

QCOSTARICA - A sad discovery occurred this Thursday morning in a hotel located in La Sabana, in San José, the lifeless body of a...

The “rebound” effect boosted growth in Costa Rica’s economic activity

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rica's economic activity registered in April 2021 a year-on-year growth of 8.8%, a figure affected by a “base” or “rebound” effect,...

13 Powerful Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is considered to be one of the most common skin ailments on the planet, with a record 60 million people being afflicted by...

“Caso Cochinilla”: Name arose when comparing parasite with hidden corruption

QCOSTARICA - On Monday, the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ) moved to the raid, seize and arrest of their investigation into corruption of public...

Since 2018 MECO has received contracts from the State for more than ¢139 billion

QCOSTARICA - Almost ¢140 billion colones (US$227 million dollars) is the amount the MECO construction company was able to snare for public works contracts...

Cynthia Ann Telles named new U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica

QCOSTARICA - Today, U.S. President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Dr. Cynthia Ann Telles as United States ambassador to Costa Rica. According to the...

Internet speed decreases during peaks in service

QCOSTARICA - Ever wonder why your surfing on the Internet slows down, to even a crawl, mainly in the evenings? This is due to...

Construction companies that paid alleged bribes would be disqualified for ten years

QCOSTARICA - If it is proven in a final judgment that they did pay bribes to Conavi officials, several companies could be disqualified from...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.