Air taxes have been scrapped for children under the age of £12, but some airlines who were quick to take the cash from you, have been much less keen to hand it back. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be difficult to get your cash back, and one quick step could earn you a refund of up to £97 per child.
The scrapping of air passenger duty was announced in the March Budget, and kicked in on 1 May. However, those who had already booked tickets before March for travel after May, had already paid tax that should be refunded.
Some airlines have decided to automatically pay the money back, so if you have booked your flights through British Airways, Air France, Virgin, American Airlines, KLM, Thomas Cook, Thomson, BMI regional, Aer Lingus, and First Choice, you don’t have to do anything – the money will simply be refunded.
Others, however, have decided not to pay you unless you specifically ask for your money. As we reported last month, a survey by money.co.uk found that only 37% of people would be bothered to reclaim the £13 per child charged on the average short haul flight, and 34% couldn’t be bothered – regardless of the size of the refund involved.
The amount of duty payable changed at the end of March, and is now charged at £13 for short-haul flights and £42 for long-haul. Before then, the amount payable depended on how far you were travelling, and ranged from £13 to £97 per person. It means that some people will be able to get a refund of £97 per child.
How to get your money back
A major stumbling block may well be that people don’t know how to go about it. It doesn’t help that the airlines are taking slightly differing approaches. However, this quick rundown of how to claim from the some of the most popular airlines may help persuade you that it’s worth the effort:
Lufthansa: You will need to call customer services on 0371 945 9747
Air Canada: You should call customer services on 0871 220 1111
Cathay Pacific: You need to contact customer services in 0800 2747 2200
Wow Air: You need to call customer services on 0118 321 8384
Easyjet: You can apply for your refund using this online form.
Ryanair: you can claim using the online form. In fact, although the change was only introduced on 1 May, Ryanair is letting you reclaim the cash on all flights from 27 March
Flybe: You can complete the online form for a refund
Monarch: You need to log into your account through the airline’s website, enter your advanced passenger information, and the refund will be processed automatically.
KLM: You need to log into My KLM and enter your advanced passenger information then complete the online form.