APD rise puts overseas holidays at risk
Airlines should make it easier for passengers to claim back tax on unused flights, according to Which? Holiday (www.which.co.uk/about-which/press/product-press-releases/which-holiday-magazine/2009/10/reclaiming-air-passenger-duty-is-too-taxing-says-which-holiday.jsp)
The consumers' association said the fees charged by airlines to passengers for paying back Air Passenger Duty (APD) put many off making claims.
Rochelle Turner, Head of Research for Which? Holiday, said: We want to see all airlines either charge a proportionate fee for reclaiming Air Passenger Duty on unused flights, or charge nothing at all.
Airlines should not be the automatic beneficiary of any unclaimed APD. We think that any administration fees that put people off claiming back APD are unfair.""
Which? pointed out that APD is only charged once a flight has taken off, so passengers who do not use their flight are entitled to a refund, though research from Which? shows that some airlines charge up to four times the cost of APD in admin fees.
Already, the cost of APD, which went up by at least 10 per cent on Sunday, is putting people off flying.
In a recent industry poll, more than half of UK holidaymakers said they would take fewer overseas holidays due to the increase in APD and 13 per cent said they would ditch their overseas holiday plans altogether.
Families are being hardest hit by the rise in APD, according to ABTA. A family holiday in the United States will cost £180 in tax this month and £240 in tax in November 2010, when APD rises again.
""(The APD rises) will place an even greater financial burden on families and others on tight budgets as they book their holidays or visits to friends and family, said a spokesman.
They will undo a lot of the good work being done by the industry to keep prices at an affordable level.""