Check if you’re due an air passenger duty refund

26 February 2016

Passengers travelling from 1 March with a child aged between 12- and 15-years-old should check now if they need to reclaim Air Passenger Duty (APD) worth between £13 and £73.

From 1 March, children under the age of 16 on the date of the flight and in the lowest class of travel – usually economy class – will be exempt from APD under plans first unveiled in the government’s 2014 Autumn Statement. 

Children under 12-years-old flying in the lowest class of travel became exempt from APD from 1 May 2015. Those below the age of 2 who are not allocated a separate seat before boarding the aircraft are also not chargeable passengers.

But some airlines, such as Flybe, Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic, have yet to update all of their booking systems, meaning that if you are set to travel from 1 March onwards, you’ll need to reclaim any APD charged. This could be a potential refund of £146 for a family of four with two children aged between 12 and 15, depending on when they travel.

Airline-by-airline APD reclaim position

Here’s what the major UK airlines told Moneywise when we asked whether or not people need to reclaim APD (click to enlarge the picture, information correct as of 26 February 2016):

How much does APD cost?

APD is a tax airlines have to pay to the UK government, but it’s usually passed onto passengers in ticket prices.

Until 1 April, APD costs £13/person if you’re flying under 2,000 miles in the lowest class of travel, and £71/person if you’re travelling over 2,000 miles.

From 1 April, the £13/person rate for flying under 2,000 miles in the lowest class of travel will remain; but if you’re flying over 2,000 miles the charge will increase to £73/person.   

These taxes apply to flights departing from the UK only (not arriving in the UK), and exclude Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands where different rates apply.

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