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The U.K. Piles on the Airfare Taxes

Effective April 1, the U.K. will again increase its unpopular Air Passenger Duty, or ADP, on departing flights. The tax on flights to the U.S. or Canada will increase from £67 to £69 (about $113) in economy class; travelers in any higher classes, including premium economy, pay double. The tax applies to all departures from U.K. airports other than Belfast, and it applies even to frequent-flyer award tickets. Similar increases apply to most other long-haul flights, but APD on domestic and short-haul European flights will remain at £13.

The British travel industry has strongly opposed the APD, believing that it costs the economy too much in lost tourist revenue. But the government sees a cash cow and apparently doesn’t care that the tax damages British businesses.

If you’re visiting the U.K., you probably can’t avoid paying the tax on your return trip. But if you plan to combine the U.K. with another European country, you should obviously fly from North America to the U.K. and return from wherever else you plan to visit.  

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