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What a rip-off....

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Well-known member
Nov 13, 2003
....$130 ramp fee or 80 gallon min @ $4.36/g.
We pay 3.19 at home. All we did was a QT.
4.36-3.19=1.17X80=93.60....So did I save the boss 46.40?

Oh yes...this was at MERCURY AIR CENTER-FWA

Called ahead and said we were a QT and asked for the 130 to be waved.....I got a NO.
You don't think you should have to pay for services at an FBO? How do you think they will stay in business? IMHO, either buy some courtesy fuel or pay the ramp fee, even on a quick turn.

Usually I can't take the amount of fuel they require to waive the ramp fee, so I just take what I can and negotiate away the ramp fee. Works most but not all of the time.
Landing fees, I can understand. But these Ramp fees for a QT drop off or pick up are ridiculous. These "public use" airports, mostly paid for by government money should have sort of a carpool lane somewhere that you can pull in, PU or Drop without ever having to deal with people like the spunknuggets at Signature or any other of these other companies that do the same thing. Did PU in BOS a while back and it cost us over $900 bucks I think for "convienence" of letting our passengers walk through their doors. They didn't wait there, they showed up and walked straight out to the plane. Ok, Rant Out!

I don't think a QT fee (if no fuel) is unreasonable, maybe 50% of normal ramp fee? As long as you are there for less than 15 minutes.
The landing fee I don't mind (most of the time). It's the gosh dam service fee that gets me, $175 for me to park my own plane, ask for papers at the desk (in which they give me right there, so I now have to walk back to the plane to put in), start up engines in a conjested ramp and have to plead to get someone out there to marshall me out. It's f-ing ridiculous what they charge for the $hitty service you get in return!!!!
We had a similar experience at SDF. Called ahead, didn't complain when we were told we had to pay a fee. Gave them the credit card over the freq so we could drop, sign and leave. We got there, no one to park us. Had to wait 10 minutes for them to ring up our bill, and during the 10 minutes asked US to move are airplane cause we were in the way. So we got nothing for our 150+ ramp fee.
We ran into a similar problem with Mercury at Nashville. They wanted to charge us a ramp fee of like $150. We had that option or we could buy a minimum of 200 gals.

One thing about our flight department is that we NEVER pay so-called service fees. As a rule we avoid FBOs (to a reasonable extent) that have minimum fuel purchases and/or ramp fees.

If the fuel price is fair (we pay around $2.90 at home) we don't mind buying courtesy fuel. We realize that FBOs have overhead etc, but when an FBO starts to dictate to operators that they HAVE TO BUY X ammount of gas or pay a fee, we draw the line.

Again, we don't mind buying a splash of gas, but if we only fly 30 minutes from where we came and are going right back, we tanker fuel, and use the minimum ammount of services.

One of our owners is looking into a possible class-action suit against Signature-FS for violation of the anti-trust laws. His lawyers have been discussing going after them for "Forcing A Sale." Part of the argument is that operationally we as pilots/aircraft cannot safely/legally buy the 200 gallon minimum and are thus forced to pay the ramp fee.

Apparently he likes to make waves because he is planning something big in the last quarter of 2005 with full-page ads in BC&A and AIN.

All I can say is we shop fuel, use contract providers and try our hardest to get any fees waived, or avoid them all-together.

Most of the time you have to talk to the right person, and ask them if they would rather sell Jet-A and keep a customer, or rip us off this one last time around and never see us again.

Also, we contribute comments to Airnav.com, and you might be suprised how many GM's actually read these.

Don't be afraid to say "NO!". Remember we are the customer, and we do have a choice. (most of the time)
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If you are getting charged ramp fee's for bad service, then you have a right to complain. The FBO I work for charges ramp fee's, but in return we provide awesome service, in fact we are one of the top ten independant FBO's in the country. We have very high overhead, and if someone is using our services, we need to see some sort of return. If you buy fuel, we don't charge the fee. There is another FBO on the field that has really cheap fuel, and doesn't charge ramp fee's, but their service is really awful, and they don't do very much business at all.

If you use an FBO on a regular basis, and never buy gas, how does the FBO benefit? We are in the business of making money, so why should we give our services away for free?

Again, if you are getting bad, or even no service in return for your fee, then you should complain, but don't expect something for nothing.

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