Higher air taxes threaten flight chaos

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The Independent Online

Air passengers face chaos over higher taxes that will come into force next month. The imposition of the duties will mean that people could lose their flights unless they pay the extra tax, even if they have already booked and paid for their tickets.

British Airways has pledged to cover the discrepancy for passengers who paid for their tickets before the 1 February deadline, when the increased levy comes into force.

But budget airline easyJet is asking passengers to pay up before tomorrow, and Ryanair has warned that those who don't meet the extra charge will not be able to travel.

The Chancellor, Gordon Brown, announced the higher air passenger tax in his pre-Budget speech in December. Air passenger duty will rise from £5 to £10 for economy passengers taking domestic and European short-haul flights, and from £20 to £40 for economy travellers on long-haul flights.