After my last article I’m starting to debate using cabs, but it was the easiest option on my corporate trip last week. When I sat down something else suddenly hit me: A big yellow Fuel surcharge sign on the car’s window.
Why don’t we benefit from the oil price decline?
Lufthansa is arguing that it will take some time to notice the low oil prices in the actual fuel costs of the airline, mentioning hedging as an issue. Even though a lower fuel bill can be projected, the amount is still “significantly higher than the cost of five years ago”. While the giant was spending about €7.4 billion in 2011, it is expected to save €1.6 billion this year and only pay about €5.8 billion for kerosene.
Germany's second largest airline, Air Berlin, even goes one step further and points out that the ticket prices should actually be increased due to the fierce competition. Customers wouldn’t compare fuel surcharges, but the final ticket price. Both airlines also assured that their ticket prices were about 4% lower in the fourth quarter of 2014 than they were in 2013. So we are talking about $20 dollars less for a ticket price of $500 which is okay, but not a really big difference for the end consumer.
The airlines’ shrewd move
When I think back to my corporate trip, I wonder how Uber handles this situation. Do they take fuel surcharges like cabs do at the moment? If everyone does it, why don’t Amazon, UPS or other carriers don’t charge us extra? Opinions?