The Brazilian Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) just introduced fresh legislation further strengthening the right of air travelers in the country and continuing to ban fuel surcharges (YQ/YR).
Previously these surcharges were already banned by law and airlines are not allowed to charge these frivolous fees to their customers while at the same time domestic passenger rights improved too.
A reader messaged us that there was this new law enacted and even commented that they would now allow fuel surcharges but from reading the text the opposite seems to be the case.
It appears that consumer advocates in Brazil managed to lobby the authorities in a way to strengthen domestic passenger rights while at the same time still banning all airlines (foreign and domestic) to cash in on the lucrative Fuel Surcharges (scam).
The Brazilian AGÊNCIA NACIONAL DE AVIAÇÃO CIVIL (ANAC) published a document outlining the new legislation (in Portuguese only).
The relevant passages are that fuel surcharges continue to be banned in Brazil which is a strong consumer right.
Here the translation of said text:
1. It is forbidden to collect amounts related to costs or services inseparable from the provision of the air transport service other than the tariff.
§ 2 For the purposes of this Resolution, inextricable costs or services are those without which it is not possible to perform the air transport service. Art. 4 The collection of amounts related to optional services offered by the carrier, separable from the provision of the air transport service, may: I – integrate the single rate value; II – be made prominently within the ticket of passage, being expressly forbidden its collection as fee; or III – be made separately from the ticket. Art. 5 Only amounts related to the payment of government taxes, taxes, airport charges or any other value that presents transfer characteristics to government entities may be charged as a fee when they are due by the acquirer of the ticket and collected through the carrier.
So far the worst offenders with these are the major European carriers (Lufthansa, Swiss, British Airways) that charge up to 250$ per long haul segment from markets where this is allowed.
At the same time GOL Airlines sent out an email to their members outlining further details of the new rules that are in fact beneficial to travelers.
Translation of these points per Google Translate is as follows:
- Hand Baggage – The change guarantees 10 kg of carry-on luggage for all passengers on flights operated by GOL, provided that the luggage is within the following dimensions: 40 x 25 x 55 cm (length x width x height). Before the new rules, passengers could carry only 5 kg.
- Correction of Name on Ticket – If your name was entered incorrectly at the time of purchase of the ticket, you can request the change at no additional cost, both on domestic and international flights.
- Skipped Segments – When buying round-trip domestic flights, if the one-way ticket is not used, your return ticket will be guaranteed. It is necessary to contact us in advance, until the time of takeoff of the first flight.
- Lost Baggage – If the loss occurs on domestic flight, the luggage must be returned within 7 days. For international flight, the maximum period is 21 days.
- Ticket Fare Advertisement – GOL has a new way of communicating the price you will pay on tickets. Now, on all fares, the values are already presented with government and boarding fees. It became easier to know the final value of each section.
- 24 hour Cancellation Rule – If for any reason you are unable to board and you wish to withdraw from the ticket purchase, cancellation can be made within 24 hours, provided that the ticket has been purchased at least 7 days prior to the flight date.
It appears that domestic travelers will gain a good amount of benefits from the new set of rules. I haven’t traveled domestically in Brazil before but I had friends tell me horror stories about lost baggage across all airlines. Question is what are the consequences if the airline doesn’t keep the mandated timeline to reunite passengers with their belongings!?
I’m sure this didn’t come out of the blue and there was intense lobbying involved that had this fuel surcharge restriction scrapped. Keeping in mind though that the European carriers are about the only ones that still levy them as it’s a real cash cow for these airlines. Most airlines in Asia have abandoned the Fuel Surcharge, commonly known/designed as YQ/YR.
It’s good that Brazil takes consumer rights in this respect seriously and that there are laws in place to keep airlines in check which especially extends to foreign carriers.