FRIDAY, JUNE 8: If you’re travelling on business and have to keep track of expenses for the accounts department, you probably know some fees are more troublesome than others
The Global Business Travel Association Foundation, the educational arm of the Global Business Travel Association, released its 2012 Ancillary Fee Handbook, Who Charges What, When & Where.
This provides an overview of the various types of ancillary fees associated with air travel, car rental and hotel stays.
The Troublesome Ten
GBTA researchers found that the fees that cause the most problems for companies and travel managers are those that are least predictable, can’t be paid in advance, and are difficult to track individually.
According to these criteria, the study reveals the ten most troublesome ancillary fees:
- Airline fees for soft drinks
- Airline fees for headset use
- Airline fees for movies and videos
- Airline fees for food
- Car rental fees for toll passage
- Hotel related fees for Internet use
- Hotel related fees for parking
- Car rental fees for late returns
- Car rental fees for drop-off of a one-way rental
- Car rental fees for fuel charge.
Even for vacation travellers, these fees can cause problems.
You think you have priced out the cheapest option, but when the added fees are tacked on, you are actually paying more.
On my most recent trip, I stayed in three hotels and all advertised they had Internet.
Hotel one had free Internet in the lobby and two business centre terminals; hotel two charged $13.95 for in-room use, but had two free terminals in the lobby and free wifi in the lobby; hotel three charged $14.95 and a pay-as-you go option for the business center.
The interesting thing is hotels two and three were both Renaissance, but with widely different policies.
Car rental fees for fuel charges can be very expensive.
You’re always going to be better off cost-wise to find a gas station on the way to the car rental return.
The Hilton chain of hotels (which includes Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Homewood Suites, Waldorf Astoria and Conrad) is having The Greataway sale where you can save up to 40 per cent — generally speaking it is going to be less than 40 per cent.
The best you can get in the Americas is up to 20 per cent — but there are deals to be had in Europe — the minimum discount is 15 per cent up to the full 40 per cent.
You have to book between now and July 23 and you must book seven days in advance of travel and you have to travel by September 30.
AA is allowing members to transfer miles to friends and giving a 20 per cent bonus on the transferred miles.
The maximum amount allowed to transfer in one transaction is 25,000 miles, which would earn an additional 5,000 miles bonus. The cost is $280 including the transfer fee.
If you were looking at it as a way of giving someone a free ticket, it’s probably a bit cheaper.
I’ve seen online where someone has advocated transferring the 25,000 miles back and forth to the maximum 100,000 share allowance.
By that time, each party has paid $1,120 and earned 20,000 bonus miles.
That hardly seems the best way to go about getting extra miles.