APD Increase Comes Into Effect
As the calendar rolls over to February 1st, the increase in Air Passenger Duty comes into effect on flights from UK airports. All airlines, regardless of where they are based, are obliged to collect the tax for every passenger they fly out of the country. Uncertainty still surrounds how some airlines plan on collecting the extra tax, as even those who bought their tickets months ago may need to pay the extra charge before they can fly.
The increase was announced in the Chancellor's pre-budget report in December 2006 as the government do not feel the aviation industry is meeting its environmental cost. The Chancellor's decision met with fierce opposition amongst the airlines with easyJet, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic appearing before the Treasury Select Committee to criticise the increase. Airlines state that the tax is environmentally ineffective. While the Treasury hoped for the airlines to foot the bill, many, however, claim they will be running at a loss if passengers don't pay the increased duty. Many airlines have been emailing customers to collect payment in advance or arranging extra payment to be taken from the credit and debit cards used to book the tickets.
Passengers flying with easyJet that need to pay the extra upon arrival today will find airline staff dressed as 'tax collectors' on hand for advice and to take payment. British Airways, whose passengers are breathing a sigh of relief over the cancellation of the planned strikes, set aside £11 million to absorb the cost of the increase. Virgin Atlantic introduced the increased tax on tickets purchased from December 13th 2006. Passengers that have not paid in advance will be required to pay when the arrive at check in.
The rise in Air Passenger Duty should see income from duty increase to £2 billion to pay for extra resources in public transport and the environment sector.
The New Air Passenger Duty:
- Economy class flights in Europe, £10
- Business and first class flights in Europe, £20
- Economy class long-haul flights, £40
- Business and first class long-haul flights, £80
Passengers that booked their tickets before December 6th 2006 are advised to check with their airline whether more payment is due before travelling. For all travel news and great deals on airport parking and airport hotels, remember to check back with Holiday Extras.