Cathay Pacific has announced that it’s removing fuel surcharges from virtually all tickets, effective 1 May 2020.
As per an update on its website:
The tl;dr version is that from 1 May 2020, you won’t need to pay any fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific flights departing from Singapore (or most of Cathay’s other destinations, for that matter). Only the poor guys originating in Japan (and the Philippines, in limited cases) will continue to be subject to a fuel surcharge of up to JPY 7,300 (~S$96) per flight sector.
I don’t actually see this reflected on the Cathay website just yet. For example, when I pull up this dummy itinerary between Singapore and Los Angeles in September 2020, I get the following breakdown:
Note the S$168.80 of carrier surcharges, which is the sum of the current fuel surcharges on the individual legs.
|Doesn’t the table above drive home just how ridiculous fuel surcharges are? They’ll charge you US$48.70 to go from Hong Kong to Los Angeles, but only US$10.90 to go the other way!|
So my guess is this only affects tickets issued from 1 May 2020 onwards; we’ll have to wait and see.
If you were intending to book tickets for travel on Cathay Pacific, I don’t think you necessarily need to hold off until 1 May 2020 though- it’s not like the prices will fall dramatically on this date. In all likelihood, Cathay is just folding the fuel surcharges into the base fare, with the total cost remaining the same.
No more fuel surcharges on awards too
|Update: A Cathay spokesperson has confirmed that fuel surcharges will also be removed from award tickets issued from 1 May 2020 onwards. I’ve updated the text below accordingly.|
While there’s no windfall for cash-paying passengers, the removal of fuel surcharges would lead to real savings for award travelers.
Fuel surcharges will be eliminated from Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon award tickets issued from 1 May 2020 onwards. Note how it’s “issued”, not “for travel”– if you were to book a ticket for November 2020 before 1 May 2020, you’d still pay the surcharges. So sit tight and wait for May to come before booking anything.
|Asia Miles will continue to pass on fuel surcharges wherever they’re imposed by partner airlines e.g Qatar, British Airways|
Assuming you don’t mind an extra stop in Hong Kong, you could save some miles by redeeming flights through Asia Miles instead of KrisFlyer.
|Round-trip Business Class, from Singapore to…|
|New York JFK||198K||170K|
There are particularly large savings to be had for flights to Frankfurt/Amsterdam (or basically anywhere in Europe that falls below the 7,500 miles boundary on Cathay’s distance-based award chart)
As a reminder, here’s the Asia Miles award chart for travel on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon.
The removal of fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific award tickets significantly increases the value of Asia Miles, and provides more Singapore-based travelers with the opportunity to experience Cathay’s Business and First Class products.
Here’s to the end of fuel surcharges everywhere!
(HT: Glenn on The Milelion’s Telegram Group)