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Travel Retailer Slams Fuel Surcharges

25 August 2005

Travel Retailer Slams Fuel Surcharges

New Zealand’s largest travel retailer is speaking out against the continued separation by airlines of fuel surcharges from the main body of their fares.

Flight Centre general manager Jeremy van de Klundert says as surcharges continue to escalate, consumers have to deal with additional costs that are in some cases more than the advertised airfare, and this is causing considerable frustration among the travel retailer’s customers.

Mr van de Klundert says it is understandable that the increased price of fuel is hitting many businesses hard, and that price rises in some areas have been inevitable.

But he points out that fuel is still just one cost of production, and one that is not separated out in other industries.

“We have no issue when airlines genuinely need to raise the fares to cover costs, but we believe the advertised airfare should definitely be inclusive of fuel costs,” he says.

Mr van de Klundert says Flight Centre has welcomed the move by some airlines to include fuel surcharges within its advertised airfares, saying it is a precedent that other airlines should follow.

He believes this would save a great deal of the consumer’s frustration - frustration that is often taken out on Flight Centre consultants.

“When added surcharges, taxes and additional costs almost equal to original fares, some people are understandably annoyed.”

ENDS

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