The great 'taxes and charges rip off' by airlines
Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:34

What a rip off!

Taxes and charges on flights should be the same, so why are some airlines charging much more than others?

You would expect the taxes charges to be the same when you travel between the same airports on the same day, or is that naive?

Aer Lingus and bmibaby both fly between Cork in Ireland and Manchester in the UK, so why are their taxes and charges so different?

For a one-way flight between Cork and Manchester on the same day Aer Lingus charges: fare zero, taxes and charges 19.99 euros.

aer lingus cork manchester

Same flight on the same day with bmibaby (at a different time), fare exactly the same as Aer Lingus, zero, taxes and charges 12.49 euros.

bmibaby cork manchester

What is happening to the extra 7.50 that Aer Lingus is charging, and how are they getting away with calling it taxes and charges when clearly  the flights are the same but there is something very suspicious going on?

What Aer Lingus says about taxes and charges on its website

You must pay applicable taxes, fees and charges imposed by government or other authority, or by the operator of an airport. If you do not use your confirmed reservation, you will be entitled to claim a refund of any taxes, fees and charges (excluding the fuel surcharge) which you have paid, an administration fee will apply except for bookings originating in the USA.

Not very helpful because it does not say how much the taxes and charges are.

Government departure tax - what Aer Lingus says on their website

The Irish Government have imposed the Air Travel Tax (ATT), an excise duty on air travel and it will be charged, levied and paid in respect of every departure of a passenger on an aircraft from an Irish airport on or after 30th March 2009.

The tax applies as and from 30th March 2009 to the departure of each passenger on an aircraft from an Irish airport, irrespective of when a passenger booked or purchased the flight ticket.

This is not an tax imposed by Aer Lingus and more information can be found on The Office of the Revenue Commissioners website.

Not very helpful, it would be more honest and open if Aer Lingus simply stated the facts rather than trying to hide them, it would take less words. A departure taxes turn a country into a banana republic, especially when, as in the case of the Irish Government, these taxes are hidden on their website in a place that is difficult to find, and written in evasive terms. The facts are . . .

From 30th March 2009 the Irish Government taxes each passenger leaving Ireland on an aircraft 10 euros, except departures to Cardiff, Glasgow, Prestwick, Liverpool, Manchester, Blackpool and the Isle of Mann, and destinations within Ireland, which are charged 2 euros.

The facts are that taxes account for just 2 euros on the flight to Manchester, so what is the other 17.99 euros?

bmibaby has no details of taxes and charges on its website at the time of writing.

Airport taxes and charges - how they should be shown

Air Canada break down the taxes so that passengers can see exactly where the money is going, in this example (Edmonton to London return) it's obvious that the bulk of the taxes are being taken by the UK government whilst the Canadian government takes virtually nothing.

flight tax breakdown

Airlines should be required to show the breakdown of taxes and charges clearly so that passengers know exactly what they are being charged.



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