In yesterday’s post I mentioned that connecting through London was generally more expensive than connecting through other cities in Europe when you book an award ticket. Gary from View from the Wing noted that you don’t pay an extra charge when you connect through the UK, you only pay when you stopover in the UK. A commenter noted that London flights ARE more expensive (as I thought). Here’s the deal:
Gary is referring to the Air Passenger Duty, which you DO NOT pay if you are connecting through London (there is a 50+ page document that the British government has put out explaining the details of this rule, but let’s just say for the sake of this discussion that you don’t pay it when you connect through London).
However, airlines may still charge a UK Passenger Service Charge (United is charging $51.40, on an Athens-London-Newark award booking). This is basically the same as the $3 Passenger Facilities Charge (PFC) that airlines charge in the US to offset airline fees. Well, it’s the same except instead of $3 it’s $51.40. This is why connecting through London can be more expensive — there is an expensive facilities charged often baked into the ticket.
So, because both Gary and I are brilliant, we are both correct. Whew.
(I’ve also updated yesterday’s post to reflect this).