Fuel surcharges — those fees that airlines say they add to ticket prices to compensate for higher fuel costs — have increased twice as fast as fuel prices in the past year, according to a new study.
What’s more, most airlines have not reduced fuel surcharges since 2009, despite dips in fuel prices over that time, according to the study by the corporate travel management company Carson Wagonlit Travel.
Fuel surcharges can represent a hike of up to 40% or 50% on ticket prices, depending on the airline and the destination. The highest fuel surcharges are typically added to international flights, with surcharges on European flights ranging from $104 to $372, according to the study.
Since April 2011, fuel charges on U.S. airlines have risen 53% while fuel prices have increased 24%, according to the study.