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Brits take measures to avoid Air Passenger Duty rise

A number of money-smart travellers are considering taking new measures to avoid the increased Air Passenger Duty (APD) fee, new research shows.

According to figures from Sainsbury’s Finance, 46% of Brits said they would now take APD-avoidance measures, such as taking long haul flights from European countries. On 1 April this year, APD increased from £12 to £13 for the lowest class of travel on journeys up to 2,000 miles. On journeys over 6,000 miles, APD increased from £85 to £92. For any other class this change meant prices jumped from £170 to £184 on flights over 6,000 miles.

Passengers flying from London to Sydney, in Economy Class, are now forking out more than £190 in taxes and fees. This jump means that the London to Sydney charge is more than £554, compared to just £362 from Amsterdam.

“Our research suggests that some families are rethinking their holiday plans because of the increased level of tax placed on some flights through Air Passenger Duty,” said David Barrett of Sainsbury's Travel Money. “It appears that many are willing to do all they can to get around it, from avoiding air travel altogether to taking long-haul flights from more competitively priced European airports.”

British travellers face higher taxes and fees than many other European countries, with passengers flying from London facing higher taxes than those departing from Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid and Rome. The study found that one in eight Brits would deliberately choose a cheaper APD band and one in five would try and get the best Economy Class cabin seats instead of going Business Class.

“At a time when household budgets are being squeezed, we would encourage families to spend more time researching ways to ensure they still enjoy their family holiday and at the same time, reduce their holiday bills,” added Mr Barrett. Shopping around for cheaper travel insurance could help to reduce holiday costs.

Date Created: 14 June 2012

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