Save on UK passenger duty

The UK is a popular destination for Australian travellers, yet few may be aware that a simple route change could save you hundreds of dollars on your airfare.

Q. Tony

I’ve heard that the departure tax charged by the UK government for passengers returning to Australia is quite a lot on top on your airfare. Is this the case and if so, is there any way to save from having to pay it?

A. The UK is a popular destination for Australian travellers, yet few may be aware that a simple route change could save you hundreds of dollars on your airfare. This is due to the passenger duty collected on departure from all UK airports and is included in your airfare.

The good news is that from 1 April 2015, Air Passenger Duty (APD) on flights to Australia from the UK will be reduced. This is actually due to the abolishment of the higher bands, although it’s still a substantial tax on your fare. The rates are as follows:

Now

From 1 April 2015

Reduced rate (economy class)

£97 (AU$181)

£71 (AU$133)

Standard rate (premium economy,
business and first class)

£194 (AU$363)

£142 (AU$266)

Several other European countries charge less air passenger duty or departure tax, so shopping around for fares can save you quite a lot of money. For example:

Consider spending a few days in Dublin and departing to Australia from there. There is no departure tax from Dublin and there are plenty of low-cost airlines that fly between mainland UK and Ireland. Plus, you get the added bonus of seeing Ireland.

Enjoy a stopover in a European city such as Paris or Amsterdam. Take the Eurostar train and pay no departure tax at all. Or, if you do choose to fly, as long as you stay for more than 24 hours in Paris or Amsterdam, you’ll only pay £13 (AU$24) in APD from the UK.

Find out more about APD at AFairTaxOnFlying.org 


Written by Debbie McTaggart



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