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I wrote earlier that British Airways wasn’t charging their high fuel surcharges – ~$200 in coach and ~$400 in business/first class per long distance segment. This is a great way to use Avios points for multi-continent trips and avoid paying the high fuel surcharges.
Million Mile Secrets reader Charlie commented that he was charged fuel surcharges on British Airways award tickets from Brazil to Europe.
It looks like that BA is starting charging higher taxes even on flight from Brazil. Have you noticed the change?
So I performed a test search for a one-way coach award from Rio De Janeiro in Brazil to London on British Airways
British Airways did charge $209 in fuel surcharges on the award ticket from Brazil to London in addition to a $37 International Embarkation Tax from Brazil.
I was curious to see if these surcharges were charged to folks living in Brazil so I changed my address in my British Airways Executive Club account to a Brazilian address, as a test for this blog post.
With a Brazilian address in my profile, I was charged NO fuel surcharges and only had to pay the $37 International Embarkation Tax from Brazil.
As an aiside, I WAS charged fuel surcharges for British Airways flights from the US to Europe with a Brazilian address, so there still isn’t a way to avoid paying the surcharges on British Airways flights from the US to London.
American Airlines Website
I was curious to see if American Airlines was charging fuel surcharges on British Airways flights leaving from Brazil, so I searched for a British Airways award on the American Airlines website. American Airlines is a oneworld partner of British Airways.
I chose a random one-way first class ticket, and found that American Airlines was NOT charging me any fuel surcharges, even though I had a US address in my profile.
You can still redeem Avios points without the exorbitant fuel surcharges from Brazil if you redeem your British Airways Avios points with a Brazilian address in your British Airways Executive Club profile. Or if you redeem American Airlines miles for British Airways flights.
However, there could be risks involved with changing your address to a Brazilian address if you don’t actually live in Brazil, such as potentially losing the British Airways Avios points in your account or being prevented from boarding your flight in Brazil. As always, do what you are comfortable with.
But this could be useful for those of you with family in Brazil!
PS: I’m on vacation so I won’t be able to get the comments and email soon!