I’ve written in the past about the UK’s heinous Air Passenger Duty (APD), and how best to avoid (or at least minimize) it. It’s basically a tax levied for travel originating in the UK. As long as you have an airline ticket originating in the UK (meaning you’re not connecting from somewhere else in the past 24 hours) you’ll be charged it.
The current system has four pricing tiers, whereby you’re charged the tax based on the distance between London and the capital city of the country you’re flying to:
0-2,000 miles: £13 for economy or £26 for premium
2,000-4,000 miles: £67 for economy or £134 for premium
4,000-6,000 miles: £83 for economy or £166 for premium
6,000+ miles: £94 for economy or £188 for premium
Anyway, it seems like we will soon see some reform to the UK Air Passenger Duty, though I’m not totally sure I follow the logic. Via The Independent:
But George Osborne announced a change to the banding rules so that all long-haul flights will now carry the same tax as a flight to the US.
He also slapped the tax on private jets, which had previously been exempt.
APD has risen by up to 470 per cent since 2007, with a family of four paying between £52 and £376 each time they fly from Britain, depending on how far they travel.
Now, doing something to standardize it makes perfect sense, since there was never any logic to how the UK APD was charged. First of all, why charge based on distance? What’s the difference between a tourist from the US and Australia (other than that the Australian tourist will pay an extra £54 worth of APD)? And I never understood the logic of charging based on the distance to the capital city either. Take the Caribbean vs. Hawaii, for example. The Caribbean is closer to the UK than Hawaii, but has a higher APD.
The article goes on to say:
“A tax system which penalised high growth emerging economies such as China and India was always contrary to the Government’s stated policy on trade and exports, so this is a positive step that recognises the impact of this economically damaging tax.
But ultimately it’s not just China and India that will benefit, but even more so Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Argentina, etc.
So this is definitely a move in the right direction, though even with the new “standardized” rates this tax is still outrageously expensive.