MSE News: Today's air tax rise 'will make family holidaying unaffordable'

edited 1 November 2010 at 1:44PM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
32 replies 3.9K views
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  • mmillie wrote: »
    Shock horror! People who fly are expected to pay a relatively minor amount of tax on the fuel that is used

    Actually if it was on the fuel, it wouldn't be so bad. Fuel is only part of the input cost to a ticket. Aircraft, crew, airport facilities, security, IT networks, agents etc are also significant. Hence when fuel prices more than doubled, air tickets rose more modestly (though admittedly forward buying smoothed things a bit and profits were squeezed).

    For the time being, AFAIK treaties prevent fuel being taxed or VAT being levied. But APD seems disproportionate and blunt (as you say planes flying empty don't pay it). Also doesn't apply to cargo!
  • If a family of four can afford to holiday in the Bahamas they can afford the extra tax which is less than the cost of a tank of petrol in the family car these days. Nothing to panic about.
  • If a family of four can afford to holiday in the Bahamas they can afford the extra tax which is less than the cost of a tank of petrol in the family car these days. Nothing to panic about.

    What has the cost of the extra tax on a holiday in the Bahamas got to do with filling a car with petrol?
  • What has the cost of the extra tax on a holiday in the Bahamas got to do with filling a car with petrol?

    They're apparently similar orders of magnitude.
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  • DigForVictoryDigForVictory Forumite
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    The air tax hike will make little difference to us - the cost of renewing 5 passports is £300 & that is keeping us (& our holiday money!) in the UK.
    Worrying about discouraging incoming visitors though - a sort of hidden ESTA in reverse?
  • sarfleesarflee Forumite
    375 Posts
    Agree with much of the above! I am certainly not going to lose any sleep over a student on a gap year or a family of four holidaying in the Bahamas having to pay a few extra pounds for, what in my world would be, a luxury holiday. It's not like it's an every day expense that can't be avoided. Now the increase in food/petrol is a different matter! A family not being able to eat now that it worthy of the headlines.
  • can i just ask, as im not too clear on this ok as me and the girlfriend are going to oz next year but have already paid in advance for our tickets and insurance etc about two months ago, would we incur any extra charges now???
  • MobeerMobeer Forumite
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    I have to wonder, given Russia is in 2 separate bands, why could the same not be done with the US.
  • edited 2 November 2010 at 2:15AM
    chattychappychattychappy Forumite
    7.3K Posts
    edited 2 November 2010 at 2:15AM
    welsh_79 wrote: »
    can i just ask, as im not too clear on this ok as me and the girlfriend are going to oz next year but have already paid in advance for our tickets and insurance etc about two months ago, would we incur any extra charges now???

    The tax is not on tickets, it is on departures and is by departure date. The airline should have been aware of the rise and included it in the ticket cost. (It was announced over a year ago.) Most airlines have as a condition of their ticketing that you will make good any increase in tax - but as I say, they should have already included this so they shouldn't come back to you.

    The previous rise was announced at fairly short notice causing a right 'ole mess where tickets had already been issued. Airlines had to either try and collect tax from passengers at the airport or absorb it themselves.
  • Worrying about discouraging incoming visitors though - a sort of hidden ESTA in reverse?

    Yep - my colleagues already have to pay £70 for a visa to come to the UK. This sometimes involves a day out of the office to attend an interview only to be told at the interview it's unnecessary because they've been (and left!) the UK before. Then on arrival a wait at LHR T3 for up to 90 minutes at the immigration queue to be given some pointless attitude (signs about "not assaulting our staff" and stupid questions etc) before finding their luggage has been dumped on the floor because the carousel is needed for the next flight.

    One colleague intended to bring her husband and family over this spring - they wanted to do "Europe" including London whilst she had some business meetings. The cost of flights ex-UK (even before the current rise) and UK visas for everyone put her off. Instead they flew to Paris and travelled around mainland Europe from there (Schengen visa gets you most of Europe and is "only" £50). She left them just for a day whilst she alone day-tripped to London for her meeting (£70 UK visa cost about the same as the Eurostar ticket!). So no tourist spend for the UK - no hotel, no meals, no tourist attractions.

    So that is my spin on air tax making "family holiday unaffordable". No problem with Brits having to cut back. But for foreigners, especially non-EUs, looking where to spend money on their family holiday - this combined with the other charges is just an encouragement to go elsewhere.
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