Middle East carriers have excellent premium cabin products.
UPDATE: my workaround was updated.
As I posted yesterday, JAL recently imposed fuel surcharges on Emirates award flights. As TTM reader Josh pointed out, JAL published their award surcharges (maximum rates) online. Here is JAL’s new fuel surcharge policy for partner award flights and my analysis on how to minimize these fuel surcharges.
JAL Partner Award Fuel Surcharge Policy
TAXES AND FEES:
Each award is subject to government-imposed taxes and fees which must be paid by the customer when award travel is ticketed.
These fees are calculated based on the customer’s specific itinerary.
Partner Airlines Award Tickets are subject to, and the passenger is responsible for, the September 11th Security Fee, applicable departure taxes, federal inspection fees, passenger facility charges, and any other taxes and fees imposed by a government entity (U.S. or foreign), as well as any fees or surcharges (including fuel surcharges if applicable) imposed by the carrier.
Following are example of TAXES and FEES and Carrier-IMPOSED FEES (if applicable) charged to the customer in addition to JMB Miles for travel on single carrier departing from U.S. to gateway city on direct flight on round-trip basis (single round-trip, two segments basis).
AMERICAN AIRLINES (AA): U.S. to Japan round-trip: maximum US$45.26.
BRITISH AIRWAYS (BA): U.S. to U.K round-trip: minimum US$568.26 maximum US$916.86.
CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS (CX/KA): U.S. to Hong Kong round-trip: maximum US$162.36.
FINNAIR (AY): U.S. to Finland round-trip: maximum US$396.66.
IBERIA (IB): U.S. to Spain round-trip: maximum US$183.16.
LATAM (LA): U.S. to Chile round-trip: maximum US$52.06.
LATAM (JJ): U.S. to Brasil round-trip: maximum US$58.36.
QANTAS (QF): U.S. to Australia round-trip: minimum US$825.76 maximum US$942.96.
QATAR AIRWAYS (QR): U.S. to Qatar round-trip: maximum US$46.96.
ROYAL JORDANIAN (RJ): U.S. to Jordan round-trip: maximum US$94.96.
AIR FRANCE (AF): U.S. to France round-trip: minimum US$84.66 maximum US$132.36.
EMIRATES (EK): U.S.(JFK) to Dubai round-trip: maximum US$1,716.09（as of November22, 2017）
CHINA EASTERN (MU): U.S. to China round-trip: maximum US$449.56.
BANGKOK AIRWAYS (PG): Bankok to Moldives round-trip: maximum US$189.80.
ALASKA AIRLINES (AS): Vancouver to Concun via Seattle round-trip: maximum US$138.13.
KOREAN AIR (KE): Narita to Jeju round-trip maximum US$45.10.
Above quotes listed are as of October 2, 2017, and subject to change.
Partner Airlines and award travel itineraries not listed above are also subject to TAXES and FEES if applicable. Final quotes are subject to award ticket issuing date.
How to Minimize Fuel Surcharges
As TTM reader Josh pointed out, he will now have to pay over $1,700 in fuel surcharges on a round-trip Emirates premium class ticket (JFK-DXB) booked through the JAL Mileage Plan. Assuming he can part with flying Emirates round-trip, he can still score great flights for under $500 in fuel surcharges for a one-way flight. As I posted yesterday, you can calculate fuel surcharges by using ITA Matrix.
Let’s assume that John really wants to fly an Emirates A380 in first class so he can experience the Emirates shower (yes you can shower on the plane!!). Using ITA Matrix, I see that JAL imposes less expensive fuel surcharges on the DXB (Dubai) to JFK (New York) route than the JFK (New York) to DXB (Dubai) route: $436 v. $817.
JAL imposes cheaper fuel surcharges on other non-US Emirates flights as well. For example, it appears that JAL will charge little to no fuel surcharges on a one-way Emirates premium cabin flight from HKG (Hong Kong) to DXB (Dubai) to JFK (New York). You could book your long stopover in Dubai and then book a second award flight from JFK – HKG (maybe on Cathay Pacific)? This roundabout method may not work for everyone. Another option is to fly from the Emirates A380 from YYZ (Toronto) to DXB (Dubai) where you would pay approximately $465 in fuel surcharges.
It’s certainly not cheap but it will get TTM reader Josh from Dubai to the United States in Emirates first class for under $500 in fuel surcharges. Now hopefully he can find availability.
Do these new fuel surcharges change your plans for using JAL miles?