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Air Passenger Duty scrapped for kids

07 May 2015 09:28

APD has been scrapped for under-12s

APD has been scrapped for under-12s

Families will be forking out less for holidays from now on, after an airport departure tax was scrapped for youngsters.

Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been abolished for under-12s, making long-haul flights considerably cheaper.

It means parents will have more money left over to spend on getaway necessities like travel insurance.


APD is a charge on outgoing flights from the UK, not on inbound ones, and is included in the ticket price.

Parents with two youngsters stand to save as much as £142 on trips to far-flung destinations like the USA, Thailand and Australia, while the saving on short-haul holidays will be £13 for each child under the age of 12.

Air travellers are already feeling the financial benefits from a recent reorganisation of the pricing bands for APD.

The changes put an end to the two-highest APD rates, leaving just two rates for economy-seat travel - Band A and Band B.

The former is a rate of £13 per passenger on flights of less than 2,000 miles, while the latter is a rate of £71 per passenger on flights of more than 2,000 miles.


Most airlines and travel companies have refunded or will refund APD on flights for under-12s that were booked and paid for before the reductions were announced in last year's Autumn Statement by Chancellor George Osborne.

Holidaymakers should contact their travel company or airline to find out about getting a refund.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of travel organisation Abta, says the tax reduction is good news for flying families.

But he points out that UK travellers still face the highest taxes on air travel anywhere in Europe.

Countries like Germany, France, Italy and Austria charge a comparable tax on departing flights, yet in each case it is much cheaper than the UK.

The abolition of APD for children under the age of 12 only applies to seats booked in economy class at present.

From March 2016, however, it will be extended to all children under the age of 16.