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BA & Virgin fuel charges.

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Bob A Job | 16:35 Wed 01st Aug 2007 | News
11 Answers
So BA, Virgin, and now Korean Airways have admitted a guilty charge of price fixing in the area of Fuel surcharges, and combined, have already been fined around �300 million pounds.
So after admiting they have been stealing money from us, the actual customers, for the last few years the governments take huge chunks of cash from the shareholders (also us). but on every flight you book or have booked the fuel surcharge (illegally inflated) is still in place.
What on earth is going on here? ive got trans atlantic flights booked for November this year with a combined fuel surcharge of �140.
What legal rights do i have to refuse to pay this, or ask for a recalculation.

AND, with the similar fine for the BBC that was paid for not by the company but the people who fund it (us again) WHY OH WHY cant the Office Of Fair Trading not get things right and just restrict them from further price increases to the value of said fines.

Rant over, your opinions please...


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Because this fine had nothing to do with the Office of Fair Trading. It was the American Courts which dished out this fine.

"British Airways has been fined some �270m after it admitted collusion in fixing the prices of fuel surcharges.
The US Department of Justice has fined it $300m (�148m)."

No similar investigation has been launched in the UK. It would seem, the British Government were (and are) quite happy for this practice to continue.
Question Author
nope, the Office of fair trading imposed thier fine (�121.5m) this morning, the Yanks just followed suite.
You are right Bob A Job
I thought it was Virgin that grassed BA up?
Richard Branson and BA have never got on .

I think that Virgin deliberately colluded with BA in this shameful episode in order to drop BA in it - pure and simple - and not because of any Road to Damascus twinge of concience , in the way virgin operates
the full details haven't been given as there is still a criminal case under way, apparently. But it seems it was done by lower-level people; the lawyers at Virgin found and blew the whistle at once. The lawyers at BA didn't. Perhaps they didn't find out. In that case BA is being punished because its top people don't have enough of a grip on what the lower levels are doing, and Virgin escape because they had a better grip and owned up immediately. That seems reasonable.

The fuel surcharge itself isn't illegal or improper. Oil prices go up, so prices go up. What was illegal is that they agreed not to undercut each other. In a properly functioning market that sort of competition is vital, so the customer has a chance of a better deal from any airline which chooses to cut its fuel charge.
Branson has always been snidey, I blame it on the beard.....
jno - that is the excuse being put out by both companies - i dont buy that .

Something as major as that - and the people at the top didn't know about it ? - come on
you could be right, bazile. Fares aren't set by the people in the typing pool. On the other hand, they're unlikely to be set by top management either; they have bigger strategies to deal with than micromanaging the odd fiver. We'll have to wait to hear the full story (if ever). But I can't see that the whole thing was a Virgin set-up: the risk of someone at BA blowing the whistle first would have been far too great.
Question Author
but your all missing the important part, the price of the airfares has already risen to reflect oil prices, the fuel surcharge was added on TOP of this rise and the major airlines coluded to inflate this surcharge to a higher level than necessary to protect their profits.
I have a feeling that governments feel that the fuel surcharge should be lowered or removed, but think that forcing airtravel to become cheaper overnight would be going against all these "green" anti carbon footprint spin we've been fed. and to reduce fares, ergo increase travel would be political suicide. Therefore its us as consumers (AGAIN!!!) that has to cough up.
This is not the first time British Airways has been involved in some illegal activity and probably won't be the last.
Since it was privatised in the 1980s, it seems to have been run by a bunch of crooks.

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