From 1 May 2015, children under 12 no longer have to pay airport departure tax, known as Air Passenger Duty (APD), when flying in economy class. Up until recently, children were paying the same APD rate as adults. What’s more, APD will be scrapped for all children (under 16) by 2016.
This means that on trips 2000 miles or less, families can now save approximately £13 in APD (per child under 12). For longer trips, families can save anything up to £97.
Air Passenger Duty has been labelled the ‘poll tax of the skies’. Chancellor George Osborne admitted that the charge, which was introduced as an environmental measure, had become a pure revenue raiser.
A family of four flying back home to Australia will now pay £198 in APD instead of a whopping £388 (and if the family had flown around Christmas time 2014 in Premium Economy, they would have paid £876!).
What better time than now to head back to Australia?
Who doesn’t benefit?
The APD rate for children flying premium economy, business or first class will not be scrapped. However, by 2016, under 16s will not have to pay APD in all classes of travel.
From May 2015, if the child turns 12 before departing from the UK, they will still have to pay APD. Children must be between ages 2 to 11 when departing (not when booking flights) in order to be eligible.
Refunding the charges for flights booked before 1 May
EasyJet and Virgin Atlantic will automatically refund the APD for overseas journeys. However, EasyJet passengers flying within the UK will have to apply online, reported The Guardian.
British Airways will only automatically refund the charges after the flight has left the UK.
Ryanair requires customers to apply for a refund after they have flown.
Wizz Air has asked customers to email using the complaints form on their website and attach a copy of their child’s passport.
Those who have booked flights using a travel agent may have a more difficult task getting refunded as some airlines demand that the agencies deal with the refunds.
IMAGE: Stock image via Shutterstock.com/Surkov Vladimir