Death and taxes are the only two inevitabilities in life, but how much tax is yet to be decided. When you book a plane ticket using miles, particularly international plane tickets, you are quite often over charged, time and time again if you book as a simple round trip. Here's how to put some money back in your pocket when booking international tickets using miles....

How Do Airlines Overcharge?

Every country has different fees and mandatory tax charges added into plane tickets. That means the taxes charged in the US aren't going to be the same in the UK or any other country. Some countries like Brazil even ban certain airline surcharges. Airlines (lazily) often go with the higher sum and just double it, rather than charging the taxes correctly, which means you over pay. 

So What Can I Do?

You can do a minimal amount of research. Before you book your next international ticket using miles, even for short trips, price it up as a simple round trip and then price it as two separate one way tickets. For example, using British Airways miles to Brazil, you'll see a price of $737 for a round trip. If you book as two one ways, you'll see the leg from the UK costs $480 and the leg from Brazil is only $36. That means you're being overcharged more than $200 in this instance. There are many, many instances with many airlines just like this. Investigate for yourself....

Is This Going To Change?

Short answer, yes and no. I don't think airlines will ever voluntarily just do what they're supposed to and change the way they assess taxes. On the other hand, they really enjoy assessing those extra taxes and it's been rumored that they will make rules to prevent one way bookings or penalize them in the future. Not fair, I know...