UPDATE: A Skymiles representative has reached out via Flyertalk and has indicated that the surcharges were an error and all surcharges have been removed as was the case before this morning (H/T: edcho).
Historically, US Airlines have never added fuel surcharges on flights on their own metal. While it is standard practice for European and Asian airlines to impose a fuel or carrier imposed fuel surcharge, this has historically not been the case for flights on US based carriers Delta, American Airlines, and United. That did change last year when Delta started imposing fuel surcharges on flights originating in Europe but as long as you booked a one way trip from the US to Europe or a round trip starting in the US, you would only be responsible for paying just the taxes.
Unfortunately, as of this morning, it looks that is no longer the case. As I was pricing out flights for a client, I noticed the following:
I immediately called the Delta Diamond line to inquire about this change and the agent I spoke to spoke to one of her international ticketing agents and confirmed that this change IS intentional and that they will be imposing fuel surcharges on ALL flights to Europe, not just those originating in the US.
It still looks like Delta is in the “process” of imposing this fuel surcharge as there are still some dates where a fuel surcharges has not yet been implemented.
Here is what Detroit to Rome is pricing on July 21:
Here is what Detroit to Rome is pricing on July 22:
If you are looking to book an award ticket to Europe next summer and you see dates with no fuel surcharges imposed on it that match your plan, I would urge you to book immediately because otherwise, you may be out at least ~$150 per person on a one way ticket. As for the clients I was booking this morning, I called the Delta Diamond desk and pointed out that fuel surcharges were literally added this morning along with the discrepancies in the tax on various dates and after some back and forth with her supervisor, they were able to honor the prices without the fuel surcharges. Unfortunately, this is not something I can guarantee but definitely worth trying.
Unfortunately, this is NOT surprising behavior with Delta and another reason to not stock up on Skymiles.