AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

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AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Daria Knupp on Aug 29, 2017 10:59 am

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With the filing of official complaints to the FAA, AOPA rolled out the next phase of its ongoing effort to tackle egregious fees charged by certain fixed-base operations around the country. The move comes after months of effort identifying the worst offenders and attempting to work with local airport sponsors receptive to ensuring their communities offer pilots reasonable access to their airfields, often described as the local on and off ramps to the National Airspace System. Read more here.

Have you experienced any egregious FBO pricing practices? 
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Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Christopher Smith MD on Dec 26, 2018 11:38 am


I've flown into 750+ airports in a number of aircraft and I believe the frustration is at airports where pilots have no other option than to pay $7-8 for fuel and 'high' ramp fees.  

Case in point... Fontainebleau Aviation at KOPF is hands down unbeatably convenient to my in-laws. With a small child and a hectic schedule I have begrudgingly flown into KOPF as the fees have risen. I am able to make my round trip without buy $7.31 100LL and was willing to pay the $50 to park outside for a night. When it became $80, I was less willing. On Christmas Eve I was informed that the facility fee will now be $60 and the overnight ramp fee will be $75. This is clearly a message to take my trashy SR22 and go elsewhere with the other piston hicks. Well, wish granted. I'm done. I'll fly into an airport further away now and hope that I am not eventually too much of a commoner to land anywhere in Miami.  

This is what people are upset about. 

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Thomas Truett on Jan 22, 2019 6:17 pm

In yet another OUTRAGEOUS example of abuse, Signature Aviation continues to exercise its uncaring attitude toward the pilots and companies who are forced to use their facilities because there is no other choice. January 21/22, 2019 we traveled to KINT for an overnight for our company. The weather was quite cold and forecast to be colder overnight so we requested a hanger for the night. We left ahead of our originally scheduled departure time so I did not have time to review our receipt before we left so my initial reaction was only heard by me poor cats when I saw the hanger charge of $658.00 for ONE NIGHT's stay in their hanger for a Citation 501sp. I was told, when I called to complain, that during the cold weather months, October to February, that hanger rates are doubled due to "demand" but we were not informed of this when we requested the hanger space or I would have refused to avail myself of that service and will NEVER use that service from this FBO again.
My name is Thomas Truett, and I was flying for Mungo Homes in N610BD. Signature seems to go out of their way to invite and encourage this type of response and does not seem to have customer service in mind, only bottom line numbers.

Please add my loud voice to the chorus of pilots who feel violated by this practice. They; Signature, has been driven off of the KCLT airport and the KSAV airport got so many complaints about their abusive practices that they allowed Sheltair to build an FBO on the field to mitigate the damage they were causing. You would think this would tell them something but they seem not to care...

ps. their "handling charge" ($340.00) was waived because I topped off... $340.00 would have been the overnight "tie-down" fee...

Thomas Truett
803-603-1140
AOPA# 00905905

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Michael Tuck on Feb 9, 2019 8:04 pm

Being from the FBO world I can say that usually these event fees are used to defer the costs of additional equipment. There is usually: more fuel trucks brought in for a few days, additional staff - sometimes from other airports -, and other resources needed for the expanded operations for the few days. These costs, from my experience, can be a few grand to get another fuel truck in. I would ask that before you say they are over charging to consider these expenses which are used to provide the same level of excellent service during more demanding times.

Re: AOPA FILES OFFICIAL COMPLAINTS OVER FBO FEES

Posted by Ronald Levy on Feb 10, 2019 12:13 pm

Michael Tuck:
Being from the FBO world I can say that usually these event fees are used to defer the costs of additional equipment. There is usually: more fuel trucks brought in for a few days, additional staff - sometimes from other airports -, and other resources needed for the expanded operations for the few days. These costs, from my experience, can be a few grand to get another fuel truck in. I would ask that before you say they are over charging to consider these expenses which are used to provide the same level of excellent service during more demanding times.

This discussion isn't about "event fees", but rather exorbitant rates routinely charged for fuel and parking, even for a few minutes at airports where Signature (and others) have a monopoly (although Signature tends to be the worst by far about this).  There is no way to justify $7.50-8.00/gallon fuel along with a $40 handling fee and $25 ramp fee, when FBO's at similar airports in the area offering similar services are charging only $5.50/gallon and no fees if you purchase a reasonable minimum amount of fuel and just "gas and go" using no more of their facilities than the restrooms and maybe the water fountain.

As for big events, when you have so much demand that you have to bring in an extra truck and pay a few extra people some overtime, one would think that the extra volume of sales would cover those expenses.  In fact, at most fly-in events, the FBO's offer discounts, not surcharges, to encourage participation.  Of course, when the only fuel source on the field is Signature...