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What a rip-off....

Cowboypilot

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....$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.
 

English

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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.
 

El Bucho

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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!

EB
 

Flying Illini

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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.
 

say again

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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!!!!
 

LegacyDriver

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All I can say is SIGNATURE sucks everywhere....

I can't help but think that is what you guys are talking about.
 

ManChild

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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.
 

westwind driver

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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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Groundpounder

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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.
 

G100driver

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westwind driver said:
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.

We do the same as far as avoiding Signature and the like. But when you to SFO what are you going to do? Do not tell me go to OAK because this is not an option.

I will be the first to say the Signature in particular has crazy fees, HOWEVER, they are not a charity. Next time I suggest that you drop your boss off on the runway ;)
 

westwind driver

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G100driver said:
We do the same as far as avoiding Signature and the like. But when you to SFO what are you going to do? Do not tell me go to OAK because this is not an option.

I will be the first to say the Signature in particular has crazy fees, HOWEVER, they are not a charity. Next time I suggest that you drop your boss off on the runway ;)

Like I said we avoid to a reasonable and sensible extent. Sometimes we HAVE to go to Signature, or a non-preferred FBO. Our owners however try to take a proactive approach and at times do not mind driving the extra 10-15 minutes. For example, we regularly go to Baltimore, but instead of using Signature at BWI we go to Martin State. That is partly the owners' choice, influenced by us and our fuel price research.

Again, we don't mind buying fuel, we like to buy a little if we can justify it, but when it's $5.00+ a gallon, or pay a rediculous ramp fee, we start looking for another FBO or alternate airport, and try to make it work.

I can tell you we would buy 600 gallons of JET-A at the Ranger Jet Center in ISM versus buying the minimum at Marathon. We'll do that just to make a point. One day we were going into ISM and called Marathon for a QT. They advised a minimum fuel purchase or pay ramp fee. We promptly called Ranger and they said "oh yea bring it on over here, no ramp fee, good fuel price." The service at Ranger was incredible, and we bought 600 gallons of fuel we really didn't need. But it was a little cheaper than our home gas so we tankered some home with us. To drive home the point we called Marathon while on the ground and asked the GM how he liked watching the competition pump 600 gallons of JET-A into our aircraft.

BTW, we don't always acted like complete A-holes when it comes to fuel. Sometimes being told "you have to buy this much or else" wears on you.

I can only imagine how these poor guys in Lear 20 series feel when they have to buy $4.00/gal fuel every stop they make.
 

FNG24

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They have a history of that......We brought 4 fighters in there about a year and a half ago....asked them VERY specifically if they had "contract fuel"...the fuels guy said yeah....we show up and yes ...they take the government gold card, but charge full price, with a thanks and tuff sh$t...lol....
 

Prof. ATP

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G100driver said:
We do the same as far as avoiding Signature and the like. But when you to SFO what are you going to do? Do not tell me go to OAK because this is not an option.

What I really resent is the SFO "handling" fee for medical flights -- shoot, we don't even need to get out of the airplane! We go to SFO because it's closest to the hospital and time is VERY important.

Sometimes I'm tempted to keep the chocks, especially when I have to pull them myself.
 

G100driver

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Prof. ATP said:
What I really resent is the SFO "handling" fee for medical flights -- shoot, we don't even need to get out of the airplane! We go to SFO because it's closest to the hospital and time is VERY important.

Sometimes I'm tempted to keep the chocks, especially when I have to pull them myself.

That would be great!! My OCD moment would be to pull into the front row next to the Cherokee while they are marshaling us to park next to the BA 777 at the terminal when at BOS Signature. When they tell me I have to move my airplane I tell them to "handle it"
 
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bobs98tlr

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$130 OR 80 Gallons....at FWA? Total rip off. I work at an FBO and see QT's with no fuel all the time (most take fuel since we are 3.09 a gallon) but some will only be there for about 5-10minutes MAX. All i did was marshall them in and chock the airplane. To me there is NO good reason to charge for this service. Unless its a 727 picking up 40 people and all there cars are going to take up the parking lot for 4 days and they left a huge mess in the lobby with a cattering order. Then i can see a service fee but nothing for a lear or king air. Thats just my opinion. If you treat people right and do them a favor they will remember and keep comming back for the service, cheap fuel and courtesy.
 

Cowboypilot

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Update Update

Did the trip through FWA. On the first QT i ordered the 40g/side @$4.38/g to aviod the $130 ramp fee. Line service was on the ball. Helped with the luggage and had the power cart standing by.

The next day on the way back through, I gave the standard call on AIRINC (really 122.95) with the 40/side and power cart.

Got there this time and no one was there to marshall me in, no one helped with the bax, got the fuel order wrong.....80/side @$4.38/g. I called 3 times for the cart, then after a battery start on the -10 SW3, I had to call for someone to marshal me out (didnt need this, but I couldnt remember if I pull my own chalks.

Called the FBO Mananger this morning and we settled on the difference in his fuel price and our home price, for the extra 80g.

Im writting a letter to the City Government next to complain.

Out
 

Groundpounder

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bobs98tlr said:
$130 OR 80 Gallons....at FWA? Total rip off. I work at an FBO and see QT's with no fuel all the time (most take fuel since we are 3.09 a gallon) but some will only be there for about 5-10minutes MAX. All i did was marshall them in and chock the airplane. To me there is NO good reason to charge for this service. Unless its a 727 picking up 40 people and all there cars are going to take up the parking lot for 4 days and they left a huge mess in the lobby with a cattering order. Then i can see a service fee but nothing for a lear or king air. Thats just my opinion. If you treat people right and do them a favor they will remember and keep comming back for the service, cheap fuel and courtesy.

I am going to assume that your FBO has insurance, and pays some sort of lease for the land, and pays for you to work the front line, and has many other costs. So how does your FBO make money on aircraft that just do QT's and never take fuel? They are in fact losing money on those aircraft.

And hopefully you did more than marshall and chock the plane (i.e. help pax and crew with bags, put out the red carpet, and generally be a friendly smiling face at the a/c).
 

inthewind

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I've never been charged a ramp fee at any Piedmont-Hawthorne anywhere we go. I RDU great fbo with great service and people, no charges. I feel bad doing that but they act like it's no problem because they know we'll choose them over a-holes like Signature every time.
 
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