Passenger Tax to Double After Novermber 2009

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  VintageKrug 31 Oct 2009
at 18:08

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  • Anonymous


    Gordon Brown doubled the Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax two years ago, making the UK one of the most expensive places to fly from in Europe, and pushing transfer traffic away from UK Airports.

    This increased costs for business, harmed the competitiveness of our airports and airlines, and impacted the holiday aspirations of hard working families.

    On 1 November 2009 another rapacious tax grab will be implemented by the Labour government.

    APD will now fall into four bands with passengers being charged according to how far they fly. Medium- and long-haul travellers will be hit hardest.

    A family of four flying to the Caribbean, South Africa, Kenya or Thailand next winter, will pay £300 in APD, while those families planning trips to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia or Australasia will pay £340 – more than double the current rate of £40 per economy passenger/£80 for premium cabin travellers.

    Currently, a return World Traveller Plus ticket to Sydney attracts about £390 (yes you read correctly!) in taxes and fees. With the new arrangements, this is likely to touch £500 PER TICKET, with further increases slated for 2010.

    Another incentive if ever there was one to redeem your frequent flier miles – on which you still pay these taxes and fees – before the new regulations come into force.

    The stupidity of these further increase is made apparent when you compare the high level of tax with the amount required to offset the carbon emissions generated by the flight, which most airlines now offer as an added option when booking.

    This almost never exceeds even the current APD rates, proving the tax levy is a money raising effort and not motivated by environmental concerns.

    No similar taxes are proposed for other much more serious polluters such as heavy industry and shipping. Could this be to do with their highly unionised workforces?

    You can read more on the government’s plans here:


    VintageKrug, we have to tolerate your pompous, condescending, pretentious blether (indeed, your pseudonym says it all), but would you mind keeping party politics out of the Discussion Board? Many thanks. I could state that we have to raise revenue to redress a crisis largely caused by the short-termism and greed of those within the finance industry; however, if I was to do this I would be being a hypocrite and stooping to your level by making cheap sideswipes. So I won’t.



    Please ignore these two total choppers VintageKrug. You seem to be the font of all knowledge and I hang on your every word. keep up the good work

    Simon if you are going to be pointlessly and artlessly abusive perhaps you too should use a tag; may i suggest mindlessidiot. Travel is the world’s biggest business and taxing it is obviously a political decision.


    If the tax were reasonable, I would pay it, but it’s not. It’s daylight robbery.

    Here’s my suggestion to get around it if flying long-haul, especially in Business Class.

    Book the cheapest Economy return ticket to Brussels, Zurich or Milan (for example) paying just the £10 tax.

    Then, using a local agent, or an Internet booking site (or the airlines website) , book the long haul return from that airport to S. Africa, Australia or wherever.

    Advantages: Low APD and, cheaper fares than from London.
    Disadvantages: You have to check in twice, so have to allow some extra time for transiting. Friends who have done this though, tell me that on the return the check-in staff will check you all the way through if traveling with the same airline.

    As an example compare Emirates (or other airlines such as Swiss) from Milan with BA direct. Then add the London – Milan part and you will see what I mean.

    Double savings achieved, less for the exchequer and more in your pocket, same airlines, same standards of service etc for some slight inconvenience.


    Hi Black Tower. Couple of points. Can’t work out whether holding onto VK’s “every word” and treating him/her as the “font of all knowledge” is a point of supreme irony. If so, you are very clever. If not, you are very, very sad.
    Secondly, I wasn’t being abusive by referring to an individual’s views as being pompous etc. I was referring to the tone of the view, not the individual themselves. I did not, for example, call VT him/herself “pompous etc” However, you referring to me as a “total chopper” and a “mindless idiot” certainly is abuse. Try using a dictionary to determine the definition of “abusive.”
    At least I use my real full name and don’t feel the need to hide behind ego-centric pseudonyms like “Black Tower” to call other contributors “choppers” and ‘Idiots.” For example, if I were to call you a “pompous prat hiding behind a pseudonym that is a make of cheap and tasteless German wine, and whose views are equally worthless,” that would actually be abusive. So, of course, I would never suggest such a thing.
    Finally, BT, I run my own Company. I am solely responsible for when and where to travel, and in what class. I am also FULLY aware that taxation is a political issue (I have a first degree, two Postgraduate Diplomas and an MBA from Warwick Business School – not bad for a “mindless idiot”, eh? What have you got, apart from a pretentious pseudonym?). My point old chap, was to keep PARTY politics out of the Discussion Board. Clearly, you didn’t read my post closely enough to see that. Or perhaps you are mentally and intellectually incapable of making such a textual and contextual distinction?
    Finally, your knowledge of economics is obviously as weak as your overall persona; travel is NOT the “biggest business” in the world at all. It is certainly of crucial importance but I’m sure that if you read beyond the Daily Mail, Beano or whatever forms your daily literary fare, you may find that, inter alia, (that’s Latin for “amongst others” by the way) agriculture and oil (to name but the first two that have occurred to me) both have much larger global turnover than travel. Toodle-pip old chap.


    It seems such august online publications as “Internal Trade” have taken note of my perspective, quoting my post almost in full:

    As you can imagine, I am humbled by their interest….! lol

    As they state in their article, the government in the Netherlands realises the folly of such punitive taxation, and has rescinded its Passenger tax from July 1.

    When the tax level in the Netherlands became punitive, passengers voted with their feet and moved to different airports in neighbouring countries to commence their journeys.

    Perhaps it’s time the Labour Party anticipated the feelings of the electorate and followed the Dutch example.

    However, I think that’s unlikely as they are probably too busy filling in their expenses claims, or voting to exclude courageous Ghurka veterans from this country. Go Joanna! 😉


    Agreed. Ironic that those expenses may well include exactly these taxes! In the interests of political balance, it’s clearly not just MPs from one political party who are apparently up to the expenses malarky.

    VintageKrug, you make comment about passengers voting with their feet, and to some extent I can see your argument. Interestingly, however, no-one has touched on the fact that when transiting an airport (catching a connecting flight) one often pays the local tax twice (an arrival tax and a departure tax – plus often separate security levies). These taxes can be even more horrendous in terms of the percentage of the overall ticket cost; is there any evidence (anecdotal or otherwise) that taxation levels have affected pax choice (and therefore traffic levels) at the main hub airports (e.g. AMS, FRA, CDG, CPH etc)? Also, is it fair to suggest that, to some extent, LHR is protected from this as it has, I understand, a considerably smaller proportion of transit traffic than many of the key mainland European players? In turn, if this is the case, might this fact have influenced Government policy regarding the sustainability of high passenger tax levels – on the principle that most people will only be “hit once each way”? I’m sure that the effect of passenger tax levels on any airport outside London has never exercised the mind of any civil servant, in true Sir Humphrey fashion.


    It is indeed correct that AMS, for instance, was seriously affected by the Dutch government’s tax introduced July 2008:

    “The introduction of the Air Passenger Tax on 1 July of last year has contributed to the fall in passenger numbers. As a result of the tax, low cost carriers and various other airlines operated 25% fewer flights at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.”

    This €11 tax was rescinded in July 2009.

    Thankfully, IATA is now campaigning on this issue here in the UK:

    “……….The duty is currently £10 for short-haul flights and £40 for longer journeys, costs which airlines pass on to passengers.

    Under the government’s plans, the tax [for an economy flight] will rise to £85 for Australia and £60 to the US by November …….”

    For those of us flying long haul in premium cabins, or redeeming miles, the increase will be even more marked.


    Not much longer before this takes effect.

    Now Belgium, Greece and Spain can be added to the Netherlands as places which have reduced or abolished this heinous tax grab.

    According to this article, the increase in APD is one of the primary reasons Ryanair is culling services from Stansted STN by 30% from October:

    “Britain’s largest low-cost airline is to cut almost a third of its flights from Stansted this winter, blaming “unfair” passenger taxes for making the routes uneconomical.”

    Though actually I think that decision is more related to BAA’s landing fees, the cyclical and post-summer downturn and an opportunity to perform some fleet servicing.


    These swingeing tax increase take effect from tomorrow, Sunday 1 November…

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