Air Passenger Duty refunds are an ìadministrative nightmareî



Air Passenger Duty refunds are an ìadministrative nightmareî

As of 1 May 2015, parents will no longer be required to pay air passenger duty (APD) for passengers less than 12 years of age.

This upcoming change will save parents anywhere between £13 and £71 per plane ticket.

However one side-effect of this development is that there are plenty of people, who have already booked flights that depart after the 1 May, who are now entitled to a refund from their airline.

One problem that is being faced by those who are attempting to claim their refund is the fact that each airline seems to have a different policy when it comes to paying these reimbursements.

There are many airlines who have decided to pay back this refund automatically, whereas others are doing so only on request.

ìAdministrative Nightmareî

"[Some airlines] are operating a refund by request system and this could be one extra job that many parents never get around to doing, leaving much of the money stuck in APD limbo," said Hannah Maundrell, of comparison website

"Airlines are already awash with consumers trying to reclaim money for delays, these new applications for APD refunds could simply add to the administrative nightmare.

"The important point here is that anyone that's booked a flight for a child aged two to 11 for after 1 May must check whether they paid APD. If they did, they need to make sure they get the money back from either the airline or the travel agent."

The variation amongst airlinesí policy on this matter is huge.  Some airlines are asking for a claim to be placed over the internet, others are asking passengers to email such requests.

One explanation for these differences has been offered by the British Air Transport Association (BATA). They state that many of these inconsistencies have come about as a result of the various ways in which airlines carry out their booking procedure.

Some airlines asked for passenger details at the point of booking, which means that they can make refunds automatically as they are already aware of the passengersí age.  However some do not ask for this confirmation until further down the line and as a result will need to be informed of the age of each passenger before they know who is eligible for a refund.

APD cut

The cut to APD was revealed in the December Autumn Statement.

This duty has previously been charged on all flights from airports within the UK.  There is no one uniform level of duty that is set to be paid.  The rate of the duty changes depending on the location of the flightís destination and in which class the passenger is travelling in.

From 1 May 2015 APD will be abolished for all children under the age of 11, this then extends as of May 2016 to remove APD for all those under 16.

It is estimated that this duty cut will come at a cost of around £40m to the treasury in its first year.  This is then predicted to rise to almost £100m by 2019-20.