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All Roads Lead to Rome

February 7, 2012

I was helping my father book a flight to Rome for later this spring. He’s got these Air Miles loyalty program points he collects from shopping at various stores and such. Hell, I’m carrying around a card for him and adding points to it too.

The points cover the cost of the air flight and only the air flight. They don’t cover airport fees and taxes and various other charges.

I plugged in the information and set everything up and told my dad that he had plenty of points for the trip but it would still cost him nearly five hundred dollars. All of that money was just fees and service charges and taxes.

Before confirming anything, we moseyed over to Expedia and checked how much that same flight would cost without using any of the Air Miles points.

$799 including all taxes and service charges.

That means the cost of the air flight itself is only three hundred dollars.

From Toronto to Rome and then back again. Three hundred bucks. Airport improvement fees, security fees, various taxes that sound like scams to me. Well, Canadian taxes, you know those are scams. Italian taxes, oh hells to the yes those are scams. Italians invented the scam. The word ‘scam’ is just the anglicized version of the Italian word ‘scamutto.’ The biggest scam charge of them all was the fuel surcharge. That alone was over three hundred dollars. That’s more than the cost of the flight. Am I stupid in thinking that the cost of the air flight should include the fuel. That shouldn’t be a separate charge. If that means double the price of the flight then so be it. But you know that in that three hundred bucks for the flight, some of that money goes to pay for the fuel. This fuel surcharge was just added when the cost of fuel went up because the airlines couldn’t make ends meet so they added this fuel surcharge.

Having used this Air Miles thing myself a year ago when I flew to Orlando, I’m slowly learning and noticed a few things. These Air Miles are probably the biggest scam of all. To cover my dad’s three hundred dollars worth of air flight, he has to cash in about four thousand five hundred points. That’s fifteen points for one dollar of air travel. To earn those points, he has to spend on average twenty dollars to earn a single point. Now to do some math.

$20 spent in stores to earn 1 Air Mile.
15 Air Miles to earn $1 towards a plane ride.
$300 worth of plane ride.
20 x 15 x 300 = 90,000.

Oh God I hope I did some math wrong. Ninety thousand dollars spent just to get something worth three hundred dollars for free.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2012 8:14 am

    Wow. Great eye spying those scamutto. Or is it scamuttizzo when there’s more than one? I’m lousy with Italian.

    something like that, depends on the dialect

  2. February 7, 2012 10:56 am

    Damn… that makes me like my other points programs even more.

    The good air plan program went out of business. My dad had that one before. Gee, wonder why it went out of business.

  3. February 7, 2012 11:11 am

    Your dad is the greatest consumer of all time to spend 90 grand on select stores.

    I helped.

  4. Riot Kitty permalink
    February 7, 2012 11:08 pm

    Holy shit, where did you guys spend that much money?

    Gas station.

  5. February 7, 2012 11:40 pm

    Wow, that’s a bigger scam than I realized!

    And for 90k, that ought to be one heck of a trip! He could take a thousand trips for that money, if he’d spent it on tickets instead of things to get points to apply to miles to get tickets.

    He could have even bought a ticket for me!

    I don’t think you’d like Italy. It’s full of Italians. We’re not good people.

  6. February 8, 2012 7:10 am

    i use my most frequent airline card to add miles to my account. 25,000 miles = free flight. no fees. sometimes costs me 50,000 points (like the time i went to Athens, Greece). the air miles cards are not that good of a deal these days – used to be, though.

    There used to be a really good air miles points system in Canada. Went out of business. Gee, wonder why?

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