The cost of flying for kiddies will reduce dramatically next year when UK airport departure taxes are scrapped. Find out if your kids are eligible and what this means for your future travels, especially if migrating or heading back home to Australia.
From 1 May 2015, children under 12 will not have to pay airport departure tax, known as Air Passenger Duty (APD), when flying in economy class. What’s more, APD will be scrapped for all children (under 16) by 2016.
This means that on trips 2,000 miles or less, families would be saving approximately £13 in APD (per child under 12). For longer trips, families could save anything up to £97.
Air Passenger Duty has been labeled the ‘poll tax of the skies’. Chancellor George Osborne admitted that the charge, which was introduced as an environmental measure, has become a pure revenue raiser.
After 1 May 2015, a family of four flying back home to Australia could pay £198 in APD instead of a whopping £388 (and if the family flies around Christmas time in Premium Economy, they could pay £876 in tax at the moment!).
Who doesn’t benefit?
Anybody who flies premium economy, business or first class. However, in 2015, under 16’s will not have to pay APD in all classes of travel.
From May 2015, if the child turns 12 before departing from the UK, the APD will not be scrapped. Children have to be be between ages 2 to 11 when departing (not when booking flights).
An area of confusion:
It is still unclear whether families who have already booked flight from 1 May will receive refunds.
EasyJet and BMI regional said they would refund APD to any customers who had booked tickets for children on or after the 1 May deadline. However, budget airlines which do not ask for children’s ages at the time of booking, will probably not refund automatically.
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