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Four Questions About: Air Passenger Duty


Never heard of it, why should I pay any attention?

Air passenger duty (APD) is a tax on flights leaving from the UK. It's risen by 8 per cent and is expected to go up again, so it is starting to have a real effect on how much you'll pay to get away.

How much do I have to pay?

It has risen from £12 to £13 per passenger for short-haul flights, but if you're travelling long haul from the UK (more than 4,000 miles) you'll pay £92 instead of £85. That's £28 extra for a family of four. By 2016, plans for increases could see a family of four paying £500 in tax to fly long haul in economy class.

So it's just Brits who are paying extra?

Precisely. Research from Sainsbury's Finance shows that a passenger flying economy from London to Sydney could pay over £190 more in taxes and fees than those travelling from Amsterdam to Sydney, making it over £554 compared to £362 from Amsterdam. London passengers flying economy to Cape Town would typically pay £460 in taxes and fees, much more than the £347 for passengers from Rome, £326 from Amsterdam or £318 from Paris.

Does that mean I could reduce the cost by holidaying closer to home?

Yes. The research indicates that in an effort to reduce their APD bill or avoid it altogether, more than 7.5 million (16%) Brits would go to a short-haul holiday destination rather than long haul.

Can I save money by flying from Europe?

Possibly. Over 6.6 million (14%) Britons would book a short-haul flight to a non-UK airport, have a stopover and then take a separate, long-haul flight from there, Sainsbury's Finance suggests.