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Air Passenger Duty Abolished For UK Kids

Posted by Nicole West on 24/04/2015
holiday planning

It’s time to celebrate savings on flights with Air Passenger Duty scrapped on economy class children’s seats from the 1st of May! This means UK families could potentially save £100s on holidays, especially to long-haul destinations like Australia and New Zealand.

What is APD?

Air Passenger Duty is a tax added to the cost of your airline ticket, paid by all passengers departing from a UK airport. Since it came into effect in November 1994, many people in the airline industry have lobbied against it.

As one of the world’s highest flight departure taxes, it’s been argued that it inhibits the growth of UK tourism, disadvantages UK families by making travel less affordable and increases the costs of UK goods and services.

Over the past year, there have been a number of changes to APD, including the abolishment of some of the higher fares to long-haul destinations on the 1st of April. Along with the current reform on the 1st of May, with APD no longer being charged on economy seats for children aged under 12, 2016 will see this extended to children under 16, from the 1st of March.

What Does This Mean For You?

Depending on your destination, this could mean fantastic savings on your next getaway. The APD has been simplified, meaning there are now only two bands, rather than four, determined by the distance between London and the capital of your destination country. This lowers the cost of travelling to countries such as China and Brazil.

If you’re travelling to Band A destinations, such as The Czech Republic, The Canary Islands, Turkey, Spain, Morocco and Greece (under 2,000 miles) you’ll save £13 per child and if you’re travelling to Band B destinations, such as Canada, the USA, Thailand and The Caribbean (over 2,000 miles), you’ll save £71 per child.

What If You’ve Already Booked Your Holiday?

Good news! It’s possible to get a refund, if you’ve been charged APD, for travellers aged under 12 on the date of travel with economy class seats, for flights departing from the UK on or after the 1st of May 2015.

Check the refund policies for the airline you’ve booked with, as conditions differ in terms of policies. Here are some of the policies for popular airlines:


You’re entitled to a refund of the APD for a child aged over 2 and under 12 with EasyJet, if you’ve made a booking for travel on or after the 1st of May. All you need to do is visit EasyJet’s APD page here and confirm the birthdates of your children.

British Airways

British Airways is making it easy to receive your refund for travel booked on or after the 1st of May, by refunding it automatically to your payment card. You can find out more here.


Login to your account with Monarch and, if you’re entitled to a refund, the finance team will process it by refunding it to the card you used to make the booking. Find out more details from Monarch here.

Thomas Cook

You’ll automatically receive your refund with Thomas Cook and an email with details of how it will be processed. Visit their site here for more information.

Virgin Atlantic

You don’t need to contact Virgin Atlantic, as they’ve already processed refunds for eligible passengers. You can check out the details here.

A tip from us at Simply Holiday Deals for future bookings, is that the bands are based on route, as well as distance. Therefore, although some destinations are further away than others, the APD could fall into a lower band if the flight takes, for example, a northbound route, so it’s worth it to review the destinations in each band. Find out more information here.

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