Increased flight taxes of up to £55 on an economy class ticket will take effect from this weekend as all flights departing from 1st November will attract higher penalties. The new Air Passenger Duty (APD) took effect immediately after it was announced at the 2009 budget in April, so many travellers booked on flights in the coming months have already paid the higher charges. Luckily, we sorted out the m-i-l's flight in February of this year so we've saved some cash.
The new tax levels are graded by length of flight, with higher charges for passengers travelling in premium classes. For flights of less than 2 000 miles (Band A: most short-haul routes including Morocco and Tunisia) will be £11 on a return flight in economy class and £22 in premium classes. Band B (North America, Egypt and Russia) is £45 in economy and £90 in premium., Band C (Brazil, Caribbean, South Africa, India) is £50 in economy class and £100 in premium, and Band D (Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Peru) £55 in economy and £110 in premium. The British Airways customer services director, said:
“These huge tax hikes are very bad news for holidaymakers – and completely unjustified. The Government says the tax is environmental, but its own figures show that aviation already meets its environmental costs without any increase in APD.”
A travel expert at travelsupermarket.com is also sceptical of the Government's agenda. He told TTimes:
"Where is the money going? It's not about carbon emissions or improving airport infrastructure. It is pure revenue generating from the Government. It’s also important to note that for anyone travelling from the UK regions to connect at Gatwick or Heathrow, the cost will be even higher as they will pay APD on two flights."