British Airways No Longer Adding Fuel Surcharges to Awards Originating in Brazil

Last month I wrote that one of the many ways to avoid fuel surcharges when redeeming British Airways Avios points is to start your trip in Brazil, because fuel surcharges are contrary to Brazilian law.

Shortly thereafter British Airways started adding fuel surcharges to awards starting in Brazil and there was much handwringing, including speculation that blogging about this ‘loophole’ killed it.

Perhaps British Airways had figured out that award travel was exempt from Brazilian law? Certainly I am not expert on the subject.

Turns out, though, that it really must have been a glitch. Because fuel surcharges are no longer being added to British Airways Avios awards originating in Brazil. It was a short-lived phenomenon to say the least!

Taxes on a first class award are showing up at only $36, which is what they were a couple of weeks ago before the glitch.

Note, though, that the mileage cost and taxes is only one of two interesting things in the screenshot below:

… the other, to me at least, is that I burned nearly all of my points before the gutting of the award chart in November.

Sadly I still have about 70,000 bmi miles and no great ideas on how I want to use them before May 31, the last shot to redeem for (non-Lufthansa group) Star Alliance awards. Those will likely, ultimately, revert to Avios.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] In past Updates posts, I have mentioned the topic of fuel surcharges on flights originating in Brazil. It was reported that Brazilian law forbids the addition of fuel surcharges and that this was a great way to avoid these charges on British Airways awards specifically. (If you can take a quick visit to Brazil before the rest of your trip) Shortly after this was reported, British Airways started adding fuel surcharges on these awards and many of us were a bit confused. Well, I am happy to say that View From the Wing is now reporting that British Airways has once again removed fuel surcharges from awards originating in Brazil. You may now start planning your next vacation fuel surcharge fee free. Details HERE. […]


  1. So, if we can earn miles, and pay for a ticket for the same price as the tax from the USA, we should fly to Brazil first. Then fly to London. Humm….. What about flying on from London to say Sweden? Tax go back up?

  2. @Delta Points as long as the ticket originates in Brazil you can fly onward to wherever you wish without fuel surcharge

  3. @Gary – Txs! I see Delta fly’s direct night flight DTW-GRU and would rack up 10188 Delta MQM’s rather than paying tax to BA. Plus we can enjoy some time in Sao Paulo! Love this.

  4. readers considering a pitstop in Brazil should know Americans need to get a tourist visa in advance, through a Brazilian consulate in the US. You’ll need to search online to see which consulate applies to the state you live in, then mail your passport, forms and payment (~$140)to that consulate at least a month in advance.

  5. @n/a yep I’ve just done that recently myself, though you do not need a visa to remain in transit in Rio or Sao Paolo.

  6. @n/a – You actually have to mail your passport to them? I don’t know if I’d be comfortable doing that. I hate jumping hoops to spend my tourist dollars.

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