UK Air Passenger Duty Increasing (Again) In 2022

Filed Under: Travel

The United Kingdom has what’s known as the Air Passenger Duty (APD), which is the highest passenger tax on air travel anywhere in the world. It looks like it will be increasing even further in 2022, despite the travel industry having collapsed.

The UK’s APD increase as of April 2022

The United Kingdom will be increasing the Air Passenger Duty for long haul flights in all cabins as of April 2022:

  • The long haul economy APD will increase by £2, from £82 to £84 (~$117)
  • The long haul premium economy, business class, and first class APD will increase by £5, from £180 to £185 (~$259)
  • The long haul private jet APD will increase by £13, from £541 to £554 (~$775)

A few things to note:

  • For these purposes, long haul is defined as a journey of 2,000+ miles
  • The short haul APD won’t be adjusted in 2022; that continues to be £13 in economy and £26 in business class
  • This APD hike has been revealed as part of the UK’s latest budget announcement, as we do tend to see APD increases annually; for example, in April 2021 we’ll see the economy long haul APD increase by £2, and we’ll see the premium economy, business class, and first class long haul APD increase by £4
  • This is only one tax that applies on flights out of the UK, as there are plenty of other airport and customs taxes, including a new Heathrow Airport coronavirus tax

Heathrow Airport recently added a new coronavirus tax

What passengers have to pay the UK APD?

The UK Air Passenger Duty applies to any flight originating in the UK — this means that if you’re simply transiting the UK on one ticket then you shouldn’t be on the hook for this.

Rather it’s charged based on having a journey originating in the UK (even if it’s the return portion of a ticket), regardless of where you’re connecting.

Suffice to say that the UK APD is controversial:

  • It’s a tax against those in the UK, rather than those who simply connect in the UK, as the latter group doesn’t have to pay this
  • High taxes negatively impact demand for air travel, since it makes flying more expensive; the airline industry will be struggling for a while, so to see this tax get even more expensive will be disappointing to both airlines and many consumers

The increased UK APD is bad for airlines

Bottom line

The UK Air Passenger Duty for long haul flights will be increasing by £2 to £13 in 2022, despite the horrible situation the airline industry is in. As you’d expect, the UK’s revenue from the APD is way down this year given the lack of demand for travel. However, that’s not stopping the government from increasing this tax even further.

What do you make of the UK’s constant APD hikes?

Comments
  1. The UK is creating stronger incentives for passengers to fly to the EU and buy other tickets into the UK.
    The UK is becoming more and more disconnected from the global economy.

  2. Connecting in FRA, KEF, CDG, AMS, or DUB is starting to look like it will now be worth my time, based on my hourly fee to my clients. The UK just doesn’t understand econ 101 and price elasticity IMHO.

  3. Seems perfectly reasonable to me. The alternative is further tax rises for everyone. A few extra quid on a business class ticket isn’t going to dissuade anyone from travelling.

  4. Agree with others that this makes me more likely to fly through AMS or CDG to visit the UK than I am to take a direct based on the fees.

    My last trip to Scotland I went ATL:AMS:EDI rather than a slightly shorter trip through LHR, but I saved more than a $1,000 in taxes and fees for two biz class award tickets.

  5. Connecting via London to continental Europe and EU used to be a good deal. Now, unless specifically going to the UK, i will just fly directly to continental Europe.

    Brexit also doesn’t help…The Brits are killing their airline industry.

  6. To be clear , if you fly via continental Europe the ADP is the same , unless you book separate tickets. You will also incur French /German etc taxes although they are not as high. By booking separate tickets there’s a risk if you are delayed. It’s also only outbound , so if you fly to the U.K. it is not relevant.

  7. “A few extra quid on a business class ticket isn’t going to dissuade anyone from travelling.” It doesn’t dissuade me from traveling, but their confiscatory taxes are enough to have me transit through a different European city.

  8. I have flown in a way to avoid the high tax. In to London or Glasgow, out of Brussels or, one time, Keflavik.

  9. There is NO corona ‘tax’ at Heathrow.

    It’s a fee imposed by the AIRPORT so it’s not a tax.

    Just as airline surcharges aren’t taxes either.

  10. I think we should all in every country around the world brace ourselves for tax/fees/surcharges or whatever they call them increases to pay for all the various worldwide schemes like furlough/bailouts and subsidies! Our domestic day to day living expenses will increase and I fear stealth taxes will rear there ugly heads as time goes on.

  11. @David
    “their confiscatory taxes are enough to have me transit through a different European city”

    Excellent — APD is finally working then.

    LHR is anyway wildly overcrowded and we need to reduce the number of flights to make it less vulnerable to IRROPS (and also remove the need for another runway). We also need to reduce the number of planes flying over central London.

    So anything that reduces traffic at London and gifts it to other airports is fine by me.

    It’s my local airport so I suspect I pay more APD than most other posters here. I’m fine with it.

  12. Technically, APD is not owed by the passenger but rather levied by HMRC on the carrier who transports a passenger. It is just that pretty much every single scheduled carrier chooses to pass that charge onto the traveler at point of purchase. The carrier is not obliged to remit all APD collected from passengers to HMRC, but rather submits a return net of deductions/exemptions.

  13. Its always made me laugh how Ryanair can sell flights for £5 but the taxes alone cost at least £13…

  14. I can see a lot more open-jaw ticketing, whereby you arrive LHR, have your vacation then end up departing say, CDG, AMS, BRU, DUB, FCO. Buy an ‘add-on’ sector from LHR, or do a bit of delightful train travel around Europe and depart from there.
    For those of you who don’t know, the APD is applicable to every UK airport, not just LHR.

  15. It’s interesting to read comments like “a few extra quid won’t discourage most business passengers”. If he is talking about business (paid) travel perhaps he is correct.

    I haven’t visited the UK for at least a decade because of the high taxes. Ridiculous.

    They must have done studies that prove it won’t cause a problem but for me an increase just confirms that I won’t partake.

  16. You need 2 separate tickets or a 24 hour stopover in Europe on a single ticket to avoid the long haul APD. If you fly say, LHR – FRA – BKK on Lufthansa with a connecting flight you will be charged for the entire journey if you’re in FRA for less than a day.

  17. Seriously guys … 2 £ increase? What’s the issue? It’s barelly an adjustment to the cost of living in the UK?
    That you like LHR or not, is a different story but all this fuss for 2 £ … a tiny bit .. hilarious?? Lol

  18. Nice to see high taxes on a good (air travel) there is so bad for our globe. Even better when the more luxurious products have a higher rate. I love air travel but i fully support the APD. Wish it was the same all over the globe, maybe that could get people to appreciate air travel more (and kill the ULCC´s)

  19. If the APD reduces traffic at Heathrow, that isnt necessarily a bad thing. LHR is and has been for a while overcrowded. If it reduces the traffic enough to eliminate the need for a third runway, reduces the vulnerability of the airport to congestion and makes the airport easier to manage in non-standard conditions, its a win.

    Heck, reducing the traffic enough to eliminate the regular 30-45 minute holds when you are coming in to LHR would be great.

  20. They keep putting it up and EX-EU Long haul itineraries just become more attractive.

    Any saving of the planet by the taxes is most likely cancelled out by those who know starting in AMS, CDG etc can save exponentially more than the cost of the additional legs to start from outside the UK just to fly straight back into LHR & then onwards being hundreds, sometimes 000s better off and not increasing rather than decreasing traffic levels. Even staying in the UK and starting from INV as an example still means two extra legs.

    Yes you don’t have to start EX-EU or from the Scottish Highlands but when the overall ticket price is 3,4,8,900 upwards lower than starting in the UK it’s daft not to sometimes.

    I am amused about HAL’s assertion their own new tax “could be lowered or even stopped before December 31st” – it COULD but I’d have a gentlemans bet with anyone here that it doesn’t no matter the size/ scale of any recovery. Imho they’ll milk it for all its worth and find any reason they can to continue you into 2022.

  21. I strongly support higher taxes on CO2-spewing flights. Ideally, APD would be replaced by a property punitive tax on frequent flyers, with other countries following suit, if we’re serious about climate change.

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