Parents urged to claim APD refunds ahead of March 1 landmark

Parents urged to claim APD refunds ahead of March 1 landmark

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Parents with advance air travel bookings are being urged to ensure they are refunded ahead of the abolition of Air Passenger Duty for children up to 15 years old on flights from March 1.

But financial comparison website Money.co.uk warns that the reclaims process is not standardised across carriers and tour operators.

The air tax is charged at £13 per person on short haul economy flights to most of Europe and £71 per person on long haul flights.

APD was removed for under 12s from May 1 last year and travel companies issued refunds.

This process is now being repeated and anyone who has booked an economy flight taking off after March 1 for 12 to 15 year olds will be due a refund.

EasyJet, First Choice, Monarch, Thomas Cook and Thomson are all identified by Money.co.uk as having implemented a proactive approach to the refund process.

But some, such as British Airways, Flybe and Ryanair, are asking people to fill out forms to request a refund.

Others are requesting passengers contact their customer service departments, including Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, SAS, South African Airways, Swiss, Virgin Atlantic and WowAir.

However, Abta stressed that the refunds are only relevant for passengers who have been charged the fee in the first place, as not everybody would have been.

Money.co.uk editor in chief, Hannah Maundrell, said: “As airlines breathe a sigh of relief having just completed the first batch of refunds, they now have to start the whole process all over again.

“This would be a straightforward process if all refunds were automatic.

“Sadly, some travel companies are asking people to ‘apply’ for a refund.

“This could lead to people being left in APD limbo as one in three parents claimed they would not apply for a refund.

“Just to add further complexity, parents that booked package deals will have to go back to the tour operator to make a claim, not the airline.

“On a brighter note, this will save a family of four with two kids £26 on a flight to Europe and £142 on a flight to the USA. Every penny counts when you’re bringing up a family so please do not leave this money with your airline. Do what it takes to get the cash back and put it back into your holiday spending pot.”

Reports estimate that APD abolition will cost the Treasury £40 million in 2015-16 and £80 million in 2016-17.

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