DoT Comes Through Again: JAL Will Refund Fuel Surcharges Paid For Already Booked Emirates Shower Class Tickets!

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Last week I wrote about how the DoT forced JAL to refund SPG mileage transfers made to JAL before they added fuel surcharges to their Emirates awards.

That was great for DDF members like “rileywiles23” who made a transfer to JAL, but wasn’t interested in making an Emirates shower class booking when it involved paying massive fuel surcharges.

Back in November I wrote about the plight of DDF member “JayBerg.” He transferred enough Starpoints to JAL for 3 Emirates Shower class tickets in November, but by the time he had the miles and was ready to book, JAL had added fuel surcharges. JAL refused to reverse the transfer or waive the fuel surcharges, so he spent thousands of dollars in fuel surcharges to redeem the miles.

Upon my advice he complained to the DoT and JAL has now agreed to refund all of the fuel surcharges paid. Additionally, JAL has even agreed to return 10,000 orphaned JAL miles in his account back to Starwood!

Due to the 25% bonus on transfers from Starwood to airlines only working in 20K increments, leftover miles are often left “ophaned” in an airline account as there is no way to transfer them back.

This isn’t a one-off situation, another reader also emailed me that his DoT complaint has led to JAL refunding his fuel surcharges and returning his orphaned JAL miles back to SPG.

Did you transfer Starpoints to JAL before they added fuel surcharges to Emirates shower class awards? Share your experience if you also filed a DoT complaint in the comments.

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10 Comments On "DoT Comes Through Again: JAL Will Refund Fuel Surcharges Paid For Already Booked Emirates Shower Class Tickets!"

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Same with me, they emailed a few days ago that they will refund the $820. One of the accounts also had some leftover points, and will send it back. Thanks Dan.


how did jal Know he complained to the dot and why would they get pressured into refunding if it would only be one passenger any way? just curious to know if i would ever encounter a future issue like this how would i go about doing it?


DOT tells JAL.


Do they get to keep the ticket?


Do you think it’s worth trying to transfer now and book and still ask DoT to get JAL to refund the surcharge?


Why would you think that would be ok? You didn’t transfer before the date-of-change.


They just said they would work with me to return my points to SPG. I transferred these 2+ years ago speculatively for a JFK-MXP jaunt that I never took, I was lately thinking how else to use the points (they still have other good uses (like with AF)), but I will happily not let these be on the verge of expiration in 8/2018. If there was no hard 3 yr expiry, I’d happily have kept them there. DOT was pretty quick to get back.


I booked an itenerary with emirates thru jal that didn’t originate in the usa and although one rep told me when i called about availability that there with be no fuel after i transferred the points and called to book they added on the fuel and said there is no way around it but i should book and they will see what they can do. So i did that and I’m still fighting with them but no luck. Any chance a dot complaint will help ? And how exactly do i go about it.? Thanx !