NorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1713 posts, RR: 1 Posted (1 year 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2192 times:
I suppose the question speaks for itself:
Once I've purchased a ticket, can an airline legally come back after the fact and charge me again to cover an increase in local airport taxes?
The question comes as a result of an email I recieved from Vueling informing me that there may be an increase in Spanish Airport taxes once the 2012 Spanish budget passes and that they will be sending me an email if that comes to pass giving me the option of paying the higher or taxes or i suppose canceling the reservation and refunding the ticket. I just have a very hard time believing that these kinds of retroactive charges to tickets that have already been purchased are actually legal. Maybe someone can set me straight.
I could have elite status if I wanted it, but flying the same airline all the time is boring.
airportugal310 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3069 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2172 times:
I know of other situations (jet fuel, for example) where taxes can be made retroactive to a certain date. It would apply to the company selling the fuel. Not sure how the end user ends up paying for it. My guess is its up to the company to figure it out, because re-billing every customer is a royal PIA and might cost more in the long run.
Just what I know...not sure how it applies to airlines.
However, that they give you the choice is probably the "legal" way to go about it.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 21495 posts, RR: 24 Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2153 times:
Quoting NorthstarBoy (Thread starter): I just have a very hard time believing that these kinds of retroactive charges to tickets that have already been purchased are actually legal. Maybe someone can set me straight.
It's covered in their Conditions of Carriage which you can find on their website. Excerpt below:
4.2 Taxes and administration fees: VUELING includes IVA [value-added tax] in all its prices, as well as fuel supplements – if applicable – and the administration fees that each airport authority establishes. Other operating service charges will be expressly notified and must be accepted by the Passenger before making payment. These fees are subject to decisions beyond the Carrier’s control, and may therefore increase or decrease after booking yet before the Passenger flies. The Passenger will have the right and the obligation – respectively – to accept such changes, and the Passenger expressly authorises VUELING to charge such increase or reimburse any decrease to the same card with which the Passenger paid for the Ticket or Connecting Ticket if such was the payment method. VUELING may cancel bookings of those Passengers who have not paid for their booking with a credit card, have been notified of a fee increase and have not paid the difference before flying. [/i]
eta unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2010 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2109 times:
Yes- it's legal. Happened to me in LAX years ago. The US ticket departure tax had increased since the ticket was purchased and QF collected the difference at check-in on departure. As QF would be billed the increased amount, only fair they pass it on.
rfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 6150 posts, RR: 25 Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2036 times:
Quoting NorthstarBoy (Thread starter): I just have a very hard time believing that these kinds of retroactive charges to tickets that have already been purchased are actually legal
If the government of Spain passes the tax increases to go into effect retroactively - of course the airline should not have to bear the burden of the extra taxes. (And that is legal in most nations - to impose retroactive taxes)
Collecting such a retroactive tax increase is not benefiting the airline in an illegal or unfair manner. Just the administration of the tax increase and collection of the extra taxes is going to cost the airline a significant amount of money more than the taxes collected.
Note in the Conditions of Carriage above - if the government of Spain were to lower the taxes, the airline is required to refund your credit card the amount of the change. I'm sure most folks would feel the airline is morally obligated to pay back such refunds. Then the same concept means the passenger is morally obligated to pay if it is an increase in the taxes.
blrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1227 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1961 times:
Happens in India too. If the airport regulatory authority increased airport fees from a particular date then anyone flying after that date(not the ticket purchase date), will have to pay the fees during check-in. for future purchases, that amount will be charged with your ticket price.
UALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2331 posts, RR: 2 Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1753 times:
Quoting NorthstarBoy (Thread starter): I recieved from Vueling informing me that there may be an increase in Spanish Airport taxes once the 2012 Spanish budget passes and that they will be sending me an email if that comes to pass giving me the option of paying the higher or taxes or i suppose canceling the reservation and refunding the ticket.
I got the same email from Vueling. I looked at point 4.2 in their conditions of carriage (which was conveniently linked in their email) and saw the snippet posted by Viscount724 above: it seems to be legal.
Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 4): If the government of Spain passes the tax increases to go into effect retroactively
The tax increase would not be retroactive, in the sense that it would only apply to flights taken from the date the budget provision passes on. This is an airport tax to be paid by the airline for usage of the airport facilities, and therefore cannot be related to the date the customer bought a certain ticket, only to the date the flight takes place. It seems only fair that the airline pass on this tax increase to its customers.
I actually like the fact that Vueling have informed me in advanced. Now, mind you, I also have tickets for near-future flights leaving BCN on LX, SQ, FI and LH, and none of them has sent me a similar email. I don't know if this means that they won't be passing along the possible tax increase, or that they just haven't bothered to warn me...
richcandy From France, joined Aug 2001, 696 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1645 times:
This has also happened in the UK.
UK government increased APD at short notice. The increase was applicable to passengers travelling on or after a set date regardless of when the ticket was issued. Lot of unhappy people! (including airlines)