Arrangements more expensive to reduce fuel surcharges?

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At the moment, surcharges, depending on the destination, amount to 70 euros, and it is completely uncertain how much they will grow by the end of the season.

This season, Serbia has agreed charter flights that should transport 150,000 to 200,000 passengers from our country to various destinations. As the price of fuel in the aviation industry, due to the global crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, increased four times compared to the period when the charters were agreed, it is expected that the prices of the package will cost passengers more. At the moment, surcharges for fuel, depending on the destination, amount to 70 euros, and it is completely uncertain how much they will grow by the end of the season.

Aleksandar Seničić, director of “Utah”, says for “Politika” that surcharges for aviation fuel have been collected so far, but they were not drastic, because the situation with fuel prices was different. This, he explains, is a complex situation that requires a revision of contracts with airlines. The agencies plan to increase the total price of the arrangement by the allowed eight percent, by increasing the ticket price, which would reduce the amount of current surcharges for fuel.

– If the fuel continues to become more expensive, we will have surcharges for fuel, but they will not be so high. I see that now the public is talking about passenger dissatisfaction again, but it is important for us to know that agencies cannot influence these circumstances in any way. According to the law, when such large changes occur on the market, agencies have the right to raise prices by up to eight percent of the value of the arrangement, and they do not even need the consent of the passengers – Senicic states.

When asked by passengers why surcharges are not charged on the prices of tickets in regular traffic, he answered that airlines should ask that. But he adds that it should be clear to everyone that charters are lines that are specially contracted and paid for. The costs of one rotation to Egypt at the time when they were contracted cost 33,000, and at this moment they are 44,000 euros.

– It must be paid and the agencies receive such a request from the carrier. That is why we are organizing a meeting to agree on how to define it in the total price of the arrangement. We believe that airlines should explain to the public exactly how much the costs have increased, because this creates a perception among passengers that agencies are trying to increase the cost of arrangements, which is not true – said the director of “Utah”.

The fact that a ticket on a regular line, for example, “Turkish Airlines” is cheaper for Hurghada than for a charter contracted by a travel agency, illustrates how much market disruption has occurred.

The surcharge for fuel of our passengers at this moment for Corfu, for example, costs 40 euros, because one rotation of airplanes with 140 seats has increased by 5,000 euros since January, when the charter was contracted. For Crete and Rhodes, the surcharges are somewhat lower, and the most expensive is for Egypt and Turkey and distant destinations.

Fuel participates in the formation of the total price of charter transport with 35 percent, and so far an increase of about 30 percent can be expected. Passengers have the opportunity to terminate the contract if they are not satisfied with the conditions, and in the general conditions of travel it is stated in which cases they are obliged to bear the costs because of that. If they do that 45 days before the trip, they can demand a refund, which the agency is obliged to return within 15 days. If they are in the notice period, then some penalties will be calculated, but the advice is to get informed about everything in time and find a solution in agreement with the agency. Passengers will also pay extra for arrangements that include bus transportation, but for now they are drastically less than on airlines, Politika writes.