Well that's one of the catcha's of "free" flights yes. Fees tend to be roughly similar for all A-level primary airports that an airline like AA/BA flies to, only secondary airports served by charter flights and e.g. Ryanair tend to have much lower fees.
All the best,
<Erik> & [Sandya]
I am surprised that AA doesn't show you the taxes owed when purchasing the award travel. I would be totally p'eed off! I only use Delta award miles and they show the number of miles required plus taxes due during the search and choice process. I am also shocked at the amount. I just checked something similar (JFK - Heathrow & AMS - JFK) with my Delta miles and the cash charges would be only $59 for "taxes, fees and charges"!
True it sounds excessive. I usually pay a lot less, unless you are talking about 4-5 tickets.
Really depends on the airline. With Lufthansa miles-for-tickets we generally also see that the normal (non-discount) ticket price for intra-European flights is only halved, apparently half of that normal price consists of taxes and fees (and that amount comes close to the discounted ticket price of Lufthansa themselves :-(
<Erik> & [Sandya]
There are no taxes applied here by either London or Amsterdam. APD (Airline Passenger Duty) is only applied in London for outbound flights and in Amsterdam APD was scrapped a few years ago so I suspect all of this amount is airline fees.
Seems a lot but not unusual. Free flights are a complete misnomer unless your Aunty Fanny buys them for you as a gift. $1100 is a lot but even then you are getting two open jaw tickets for I would imagine was the price of one.
AA don't fly from AMS Schiphol so is this a connecting flight back through LHR with BA?
This question would be better on the Air Travel Forum though.
Thank you friends. Today we call AA to ask well and later told them what we were told,
From Baltimore to AMS and return my FF ticket normally costs me in the range of $100 or less per ticket in taxes.
I believe $70 may have been my last trip.
Some airlines though I have heard can really soak you------maybe BA if I remember correctly?
I always know the taxes before I confirm my ff ticket. Always.
I am taking my granddaughter to Europe for her 18th B-day and graduation. I am using AA points for June trip to Europe (ATL to Dusseldorf via MIA) for $11.20 one-way. If through London ( my first choice) it would have been about $600 in taxes and fees for the one-way trip. Return from AMS using United points in July (AMS to ATL via Toronto) is $120 one-way. The taxes and fees are total for both of us. It took some work to maximize my points and save money. We have found flights to London have higher taxes. But our flexible schedule also helped. Our onward travel from Dusseldorf is to London, Paris, Bruges and Amsterdam. Good luck on getting better info from AA. Another issue is that if you are on British Airways they add "fuel charges" that other airlines do not.Edited: 16 January 2015, 20:31
Its a true mystery to me how they calculate the extras. For example, I use family Delta miles quite often to fly between Amsterdam and Boston and depending on circumstances have done it as a r/t AMS - BOS - AMS and sometimes r/t BOS - AMS - BOS.
Just testing it out for the purposes of this discussion, an r/t originating in Boston requires extra cash for "Taxes, Fees and Charges" of $59. If I do the same dates with the r/t originating in Amsterdam those "Taxes, Fees and Charges" go up to €360 while still utilizing the same airports and the exact same flights. Go figure!
It is truly confusing world and no one can audit where these taxes are being paid. But sometimes they give you an itemised breakup.
Sometime back I bought miles tickets from United from Amsterdam to San Jose, Costa Rica and back via Houston and it was a mere $103.2 in cash payable and rest was in miles. The USD103.2 was split as below and it was on the receipt clearly:
U.S. Customs User Fee: 11.00
U.S. Immigration User Fee: 14.00
U.S. APHIS User Fee: 10.00
September 11th Security Fee: 5.00
Netherlands Airport Security Fee: 16.30
Netherlands Passenger Service Charge: 19.10
Netherlands Noise Isolation Charge: 2.50
Costa Rica Common Area User Charge: 7.45
Costa Rica Security Fee: 2.96
Costa Rica Tourism Arrival Tax: 15.00