Salvation: Northwest and Delta to drop fuel surcharges

During that whole oil debacle this past summer, airlines were levying fees left and right to recoup some of the massive losses they were incurring to pay for jet fuel. Charges included paying for checked bags, preferred seats and worst of all, heavy fuel surcharges.

The addition of fuel charges when oil was expensive made disappointing sense to most, but what really irked many frequent flyers was the inclusion of award tickets in these fees. To most, an “award” ticket booked with miles should be as free as possible — after all, we earned these miles with our cold, hard cash and time, right?

Now, as oil has returned to normal levels, many analysts (including myself) predicted that the airlines would keep the surcharges in place just because they milked some cash out of the passenger. But to our surprise, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and many others reversed their fees and returned the fare structures to normal.

Today, Northwest and Delta followed suit. Now when booking overseas and domestic reward tickets, the $20 – >$100 fees that formerly angered so many passengers is gone. The best part of the change is that for some, I’m hearing the change is retroactive. So if you booked an award ticket in the last month or so and had to pay the fee, you can call and get your money back. This may be one of the first times ever that I have called the airlines generous.

Your mileage may vary on the return of your fees (depending on who you talk to and what your “status” is,) but it’s worth a ten minute phone call, right?

You can read the full details on Delta’s website here.