Understanding the UK Air Passenger Duty (and how to minimize it)

My list of things I hate about the UK is fairly short. At the very top of that list is bacon rolls and ketchup flavored crisps. Immediately below that is their outrageous air passenger duties, in particular for premium cabin passengers.

When I book award tickets to the UK for clients in first or business class, I’m often asked “why the heck are the taxes so high? Are they charging fuel surcharges?”

While some airlines do charge fuel surcharges (like British Airways), all airlines have to charge their passengers originating in the UK the air passenger duty, which varies in price.

However, there are a few things to know about the taxes that can potentially save you hundreds of dollars depending on what kind of a trip you’re taking.

First let’s go over the cost of the air passenger duty. The air passenger duty varies depending on how long your trip originating in the UK is (0-2,000 miles, 2,000-4,000 miles, 4,000-6,000 miles, or 6,000+ miles), and whether you’re flying in economy or a premium cabin.

As of now, the cost of the air passenger duty is as follows:

0-2,000 miles: £12 for economy or £24 for premium
2,000-4,000 miles: £60 for economy or £120 for premium
4,000-6,000 miles: £75 for economy or £150 for premium
6,000+ miles: £85 for economy or £170 for premium

The air passenger duty apply to travel originating in the UK. It’s essentially a departure tax. You don’t pay this if you’re flying into the UK, but rather only when flying out of the UK.

As I said above it applies to travel originating in the UK, so let’s talk a bit about what that means. If you’re on a ticket and flying from New York to Frankfurt via London with a connection of less than 24 hours, you’re merely a transit passenger and not originating in the UK. Therefore you don’t pay the tax. The same applies if you’re flying the other way around.

However, if you were flying from New York to Frankfurt via London and stopped in London for 25 hours you’d be considered a passenger originating in the UK for that segment from London to Frankfurt, and would have to pay the departure tax of £12 for an economy ticket or £24 for a premium cabin ticket.

To hopefully make this a bit easier to conceptualize, let me put it in terms of an example.

Let’s say you want to fly from New York to Dublin via London both ways. Let’s look at the difference in taxes depending on whether you’re just connecting, stopping in London on the way out, or stopping in London on the way back.

Scenario 1:

As you can see below, you’re just connecting in London in both directions. You have no stop there of more than 24 hours, so you’re not charged the UK air passenger duty. The taxes on the itinerary in business class are $110.50.

Scenario 2:

As you can see below, you’re stopping over in London on the way out for more than 24 hours before continuing to Dublin. Therefore you have to pay the UK air passenger duty for the London to Dublin flight, which is £24 (because the flight is less than 2,000 miles). On the return you’re just connecting in London, so you’re not charged the UK air passenger duty. The taxes on the itinerary in business class are $139.20.

Scenario 3:

As you can see below, you’re just connecting in London on the way out, so you’re not charged the UK air passenger duty.  On the return, however, you’re stopping over in London for more than 24 hours, so have to pay the UK air passenger duty for the London to New York flight, which is £120 (because the flight is between 2,000 and 4,000 miles). The taxes on the itinerary in business class are $319.80.

So hopefully that makes a bit of sense now. As you can see above, all the itineraries include the same four segments, but the taxes can vary by more than $200 depending on when and where you stop.

Let me share a personal example just to reinforce the idea.

On my recent round the world trip I was flying from Melbourne to London on Qantas, and then on a separate ticket from London to Los Angeles on Air New Zealand two days later. If I had left the ticket as is I would have been responsible for the air passenger duty for the London to Los Angeles ticket, which would have been £150 in business class. This is because on that ticket I was originating in the UK, meaning the tax would have been charged.

Instead I tagged on segments to Vienna for both tickets. So instead of flying Melbourne to London and then two days later from London to Los Angeles, I booked Melbourne to London to Vienna (with a two hour connection in London), and then two days later Vienna to London to Los Angeles (once again with a two hour connection in London).

Not only did that allow me to see a great new city, but I saved the £150 premium cabin air passenger duty just for adding two flights. That’s because on the second itinerary London went from being my point of origin to just a connecting city.

There’s one last thing worth clarifying — the above mileage zones are based on the total distance of your journey. In other words, if you fly from London to Frankfurt to New York (without a stop of more than 24 hours in Germany), you’re still charged the departure tax based on the distance between London and New York.

So what’s the takeaway here?

  • If you’re going to have a stopover in the UK, do everything in your power to have it be before a segment of less than 2,000 miles. That’s to say that if you live in New York and want to visit London and Dublin, visit London first, so that you’re only charged the air passenger duty for London to Dublin instead of for London to New York.
  • If you can plan a stopover of just under 24 hours in the UK by all means do it, assuming you’ll be able to make the stop worthwhile.
  • If you do have to fly to the UK from a far away place, consider having a stopover of just over 24 hours in a different country. For example, even if my destination was London and I didn’t want to go anywhere else, I would probably do something like New York to London and stopover for as long as I wanted, then London to Dublin, and then back to the US via London again, which saves me about $200USD. I could have done a direct turn in Dublin and it would have still avoided the tax.
  • If you’re going to fly to the UK one direction in business class and one direction in coach, fly the outbound in business class and return in coach so you can dodge the premium cabin air passenger duty, given that it’s based on your segment originating in the UK. American, for example, charges those passengers using systemwide upgrades to London the air passenger duty. So if you wanted to avoid that, only upgrade your outbound to London and not the return.
Does that make sense? Any questions?
Filed Under: Advice
  1. Confused on takeaway #3.
    Are you saying
    1) you’d just book the extra London-Dublin legs but not fly them, or
    2) you’d add those legs and actually fly them to save the $200?

    If you really only wanted to go NYC-LHR RT might not be worth the extra flight time/connections to save the $200.

  2. @ Beth — You would actually need to fly them. Agree it might not be worth it, but if you’re into earning extra miles or spending some time in a new city essentially for “free” (or at a cost savings), it could be worth it.

  3. One minor correction–the distance that the charge is based on is *not* the distance to the final city in that leg, but rather the distance to the capital city of the country in which it resides. As such, there is no difference in fees between flying LHR-BOS or LHR-LAX, even though the second flight is much longer. This has actually been a point of contention with many Caribbean countries–people flying there from the UK have to pay higher taxes than if they went to Hawaii, even though Hawaii is much further.

  4. Here is a tricky one. I flew LCY-DUB in coach and then DUB-ATL in business (less that 24 hour stop). Now I understand that the distance is calculated LON-ATL (or rather LON-WAS) but do I pay the tax for coach or business?

  5. Hi Ben. How hard do you find it is to use BA miles on FINAIR. I am looking at ORD-HEL-GOT and don’t see much ever for low level biz seats! Thanks.

  6. Another great post
    The takeaway could also be:
    Don’t fly into/through the UK, connect in Amsterdam, Paris o Frankfurt instead :S

  7. @ deltaGOLDflyer — Finnair is, in my experience, very stingy with premium cabin award availability. So I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but it’s definitely one of the toughest OneWorld airlines to get longhaul business class award availability with.

    @ Planereality — I know I’ll get shot for saying this, but it’s the bacon. I hate bacon with a passion.

  8. Very useful post.

    Though, your anti-bacon bias is making me consider asking for a refund of my subscription fee.

  9. @ bluto — Hey, I’m just trying to cut all the fat out of the blog and lean out the content a bit. 😉

  10. Here’s another option to throw out there if you really want to visit London. Since the fee is an origination fee, fly to London and then open jaw to another location like Paris and then if you need to, use London as a connection on the way back. Thanks for the breakdown on the fees!

  11. For the FT London DO, I flew into LHR and out of Brussels. I wanted to go to add Brussels on my itinerary. Bought an one way train ticket London-Brussels that cost $62. Saved quite alot of $$.

  12. From AA, I “bought” two award seats into LHR. Later, separately, directly online from BA, I bought a pair of economy seats from LHR to Milan (LIN) on a flight that leaves about 3 hrs after arrival at LHR.

    Is there any way to get back the £12 I assume I paid for each of the BA tix?

  13. @ jmd001 — Unfortunately I don’t think so, since it’s based on the itinerary you’re flying on for any given ticket.

  14. Great post lucky!

    Now if you could compare YQs, that would be great. Have you noticed how much higher BA’s YQ is for US based passengers than UK passengers?

  15. If I want to go IAD-LHR, do a 2-3 day stopover in London, then Chunnel to Paris, is their a way I can fly back from Paris to IAD and therefore avoid the origination fee? Thanks.

  16. @ Askia — Since you don’t have any flight originating in the UK, you wouldn’t have to pay the tax.

  17. Really useful post, thanks!

    One clarification question: when you tagged on the Vienna segments, I assume that you tagged it on the same original ticket? So in other words, if you were to add a ticket from a separate airline, say, Ryanair, to your itinerary such that you technically aren’t passing through the UK for more than 24 hours, your original airline would not have any way to refund you the fee, right?

  18. Thanks for the interesting update, and excellent analysis; but I’m a little confused. Over the past few years I’ve flown BA F awards (each originating in the US and connecting in London) on two occasions. Once to/from DXB, and once to JNB–both had fees that were pretty close to $1,000 per ticket. Has the fee calculation formula changed since last year? Or did BA just hit me with their through-the-roof fuel surcharges?

  19. @ Stu — A majority of the amount you paid is fuel surcharges, which is in addition to taxes and the air passenger duty.

  20. I heard that Paris, has high taxes, does this concept apply to that city too? If it’s different can you elaborate in another post?

  21. Thanks Lucky – very useful. I wasn’t aware it was only for pax originating in the UK, not traveling to the UK.

  22. @ Mike — There are indeed several European countries/cities with high air taxes. Paris is definitely another one of them, though it’s only about a third as bad as the UK. I’ll get into more detail on that in a future post.

  23. I believe Germany also has just included some sort of airport/departure tax recently to be in line with UK.

  24. @meremale – yes it was introducted from 1 January 2011

    “Tax rates are EUR 8 for passengers travelling up to 2500 kilometres, EUR 25 for passengers travelling between 2500 and 6000 kilometres, and EUR 45 for passenger journeys over 6000 kilometres.”

  25. Any tips for those London based? Is the only option to book a ticket into another city (e.g. Brussells) and then do Brussells-Destination-London?

  26. fantastic post, thanks a ton for this!
    Very interested to hear about paris and germany and their similar taxes as well in a future post maybe!

  27. Once upon a time I bought AA tix to London, and separate BA tickets beyond (don’t remember where) simply because it was literally hundreds of $ cheaper buying from BA direct than BA through AA. Anyway, long story short- I called AA and had my ticket annotated with the BA ticket number proving “transit” and AA refunded my UK tax. This was ?? 3 or more years ago? Can this still be done?

    This is particularly important for those of us with tons of AA miles or SWUs to burn as LHR is by far the best availability for premium award/upgrade space to Europe on AA. Paying for Y to AMS or wherever else in Europe is peanuts if bought from whatever carrier directly compared to what it adds to a through ticket.

  28. pjoalfa–

    You are saying that AA refunded the tax you paid to BA for tickets on BA???

    I would have thought you would have needed to call BA and have the AA ticket number added to the BA record. Then BA would refund the tax to you.

  29. @jmd001 Sorry if I wasn’t clear. The hefty tax was on the AA MIA-LHR r/t ticket in business, by showing AA that I had a connecting BA flight from somewhere in the EU getting me to the return out of LHR, they refunded the tax due on the return LHR-MIA. I did not attempt to get a refund on the BA ticket as it was only the £12 for economy and I’m quite sure BA would have wasted far more than £12 of my time to deny it in the end. 😉

  30. So do I want to book a ticket that goes IAD-LHR-CDG, get off at LHR and just don’t use the LHR-CDG portion? And then just ride back CDG-LHR-IAD? Thanks.

  31. Great article, Lucky! Thanks! One correction though… You mentioned that “all airlines have to charge their passengers originating in the UK the air passenger duty”, but this is not the case. All airlines have to remit the tax, but the airlines themselves have the choice of whether they want to pay the tax or pass it on to customers to pay. For example, those using miles plus copay on UA ex-LHR don’t pay the tax out of pocket, but AA do require it for ex-LHR upgraders. In both cases, HMRC collect the tax, but in the former UA pay it out of pocket whereas customers pay in the latter.

  32. Interesting analysis but fails to consider other factors:

    (1) Connections may be difficult on the return depending on your point of origin. For example, we are flying BA and returning from Rome and can’t get a connecting flight from LHR-SFO that leaves the same day. So we are doing the opposite of what you recommend, alas at considerable cost.

    (2) In general I would agree that C is far better than Y on the night flight from the US rather than the day flight back. But some who value the food and space while they are awake might prefer the opposite. And of course there are those of us (like me) who refuse to fly TATL in economy in either direction!

  33. @Boraxo: Remember, anything under 24 hours in the UK is a connection. If you have a group travelling, it might be worth taking a late flight in from FCO and booking a hotel in London and taking the LHR-SFO flight the next day.

  34. There are other, interesting (and economical) ways to get places from which you can make your return journey if your award ticket allows an open jaw:

    (1) EuroStar from LON to PAR or BRU starts at £39 one way.

    (2) Train and overnight ferry from LON to AMS starts at £68 (and with a group can be had at a lower per person rate).

    (3) Train and ferry to DUB from LON starts at £32

  35. We are planning to take the QM2 from NYC to Southampton and flying straight to IAH same day. Would we be subject to the departure tax as we will only be in the UK a few hours.

  36. I flew into MIA to LHR, stayed in the UK for 23 hrs, then had a flight LHR to Chicago. AA charged me the departure tax saying I have to connect through to another international destination, not back to the States. Doesn’t this fall into the same 24 hr category??

  37. @ Jackie — Unfortunately as American told you, the UK was your destination, regardless of how long you were there. Since you were flying out of Miami and back to Chicago there’s no other way to argue you were in transit (if you were to say you were flying from Miami to Chicago via London that would be illegal, since you can’t connect in an international city to fly domestically), so the UK tax would have to be charged. Sorry!

  38. I just booked a trip to London next month and was curious which of these taxes was more accurate. And if I ended up negotiating to what I should be charged or slightly better?

    Here is my itinerary.

    CLT – EWR on US F
    EWR – FRA on LH F
    FRA – LHR on LH C

    LHR – FRA on LH C
    FRA – BOS on LH F
    BOS – CLT on US F

    I booked with US miles and the cost came to $368. I thought that sounded slightly high so I called back and changed my LHR-FRA flight to coach. At first she didn’t want to lower the cost any, saying since I had any segment in First the whole trip priced that way. I asked for a breakdown though and when she got back she said it had priced wrong. My new total price was $147. Does $147 sound about right for this trip with the new coach segment?


  39. I heard the fee is €45 to all of the USA, but Boston is under 6000km, so isn’t Boston €25? I would save about $30 in taxes by flying FRA-BOS vs. FRA-JFK/EWR?

    Or does this go by the distance of the capital city in the destination country (i.e. Washington DC) like the UK tax does?

  40. Ben,

    I haven’t seen this specific scenario answered.

    Say you are flying LHR-BRU-BKK, but LHR-BRU is in Y, and BRU-BKK is in C. Do you owe the Y tax or the C tax? I can surely ride in coach for an hour to save $100+!

  41. @ hobo13 — My understanding is that it’s based on the class for the longhaul sector, so you’d still be paying the premium APD.

  42. Where do trains fit into this complex tax puzzle? If I fly lax-lhr and then catch a train to Paris is there a tax on trains departing london?

  43. So if I have this right just keep it under 24 hours i dont have to worry about the tax? Found SIN-BKK(TG)BKK-LHR(BR)LHR-ZRH-BOS(LX) all in J. LHR stop is 7pm to 12PM.

  44. If i fly from IAD to LHR on any given tuesday and come back wednesday(the following day which the 24 hour rule would apply) I should only have to pay a minimal tax correct?

  45. @ TTT — You would still be responsible for the whole APD unfortunately since you’re not transiting the UK but rather it’s your actual destination. You’d have to continue to a third country in order to technically be in transit.

  46. Lucky, if I include LHR in an open jaw ticket of United, for example:

    NRT-LHR(stopover), DUB-FRA-ORD(destination)-NRT,

    will I be only charged the APD between UK and Ireland or still the amount between UK and US? Thanks.

  47. @ Alan — If you do an open jaw and only arrive in the UK and don’t depart from it, then you wouldn’t be charged the APD. That being said, the bigger issue is that you’re not allowed an open jaw mid-itinerary on a United award ticket. The open jaw has to be at your turnaround point, meaning either the US or Japan in this case.

  48. What happens if the first connecting flight is 25 hours after arriving into Heathrow…is the departure tax payable

  49. Are these taxes included in your ticket price… For instance in August im flying to London im stopping in dublin on the way there and on the way home. My way home is Heathrow to Dublin and then Dublin to NY. Is the tax included in my ticket price or will I have to pay at the airport?

  50. Are these taxes included in your ticket price… For instance in August im flying to London im stopping in dublin on the way there and on the way home. My way home is Heathrow to Dublin and then Dublin to NY. Is the tax included in my ticket price or will I have to pay at the airport?

  51. It’s a very useful post.
    Thanks a lot.

    I’m still have a little question hope that someone might help me out.


    HKG–AMS(stopover)–LHR ( stopover)–HEL(stopover)–HKG


    HKG–AMS(stopover)–LHR ( stopover)–HEL(layover)–HKG

    Do the two case have the same level of APD?

    Or it’ll be much higher in case2 because I don’t stop in HEL and go directly back to HKG?


  52. @lucky

    Thanks for your answer.

    Which distance does the APD varies depend on? From LHR to HEL or LHR to HKG?


  53. I so look forward to visiting London and the rest of the UK! Please let me know when the government stops bilking airline passengers with ridiculous and exorbitant exit fees or taxes. Is there some other way that government officials can squeeze money out of people for useless bureaucratic functions? In the mean time my tears shall fall into the vin burgundy of the Champs Élysées as I yearn for the Smithwick’s Ale of Leicester Square!

  54. I reserved a ticket today through US airway agent for following route with tax more than $500:
    1.RDU-LHR(Stopover for 14 days to tour Europe), then LHR-PVG(Shanghai), Return PVG-RDU. After reading you article, I plan to change my flight to:
    2. RDU-LHR(layover)-VIE( Stopover for 14 days), then VIE-LHR(layover)-PVG, Return: PVG-RDU, Will I save taxes by doing so?

    Another question: Can I stop at London for about 20 hours for option 2 before flying to VIE and still count for a layover?

    Thank you very much!

  55. @ Sylvia — Yes, you’d avoid the UK Air Passenger Duty, so should save over $200 by doing that. If you’re in London for less than 24 hours then it does indeed just count as a layover.

  56. Thank you for your quick response! I called USairways today to add an extra leg, however, the tax is still over $500 and I was told that because several of the flight legs are operated by BA, I still have to pay a hefty tax.
    Have to figure out some other ways to stop at Europe.

  57. @ Sylvia — To clarify, there’s a difference between the British Airways fuel surcharges (which are surcharges and not a tax), and the UK Air Passenger Duty (which is a tax).

  58. i know this is an old post, but what if i got two separate tickets but only laying over in London for a couple of hours. It’s cheaper for me to fly AA LAX-LHR-LAX and then get a ticket on swiss LHR-FCO-LHR, saving of over 1,000 USD and i get to use my SWU on AA. From reaading your post the taxes to FCO would be minimal as the distance is short, but am more concern on LHR-LAX return flight on a biz tix (assuming the SWU clears). I’m looking at doing this itinerary next week.

  59. Sorry to dig this up! But I have a query and it’ll be great if you can help me with it.

    I’ll be traveling with CX from HKG to LHR then on to Barcelona with BA within 24 hours. Since it’s 2 separate tickets, do I have to pay the APD? If I don’t have to pay it and BA charged me, is there a way to get a refund? Thanks!

  60. How about this one. I’m in Dublin but have to rail/sail to Manchester to then pick-up a flight to ORD. My rail/sail is booked from the ferry port in DUB to MAN airport train terminal. Doing this all within the 24 hour rule, would this qualify for UK departure tax abatement?

  61. @ Rob — Unfortunately not. Since it’s not on the same ticket and it’s a boat rather than a plane, you’d be stuck paying the APD. Sorry.

  62. I’m a crew member for an airline and have dealt with this issue several times. A few times just talking to the ticket agents in LHR I could tell I knew more about this tax than they did. Also, since this article was written, the tax has actually gone up even more. I’m new(ish) to the points/miles game (since I’ve always used my benefits until now), but here’s a couple points I learned about this tax:

    1. As an employee, we rarely have ticket stock showing the connect thru LHR, every flight is a separate non-connected ticket. So, even if I passed thru LHR for 2 hours, my outbound flight got assessed this fee. To get that back, I only had to send in the ticket receipt from the inbound and outbound flights (I think I scanned and emailed them the last time) and I got a refund of the departure tax. This was done thru our payroll, but I’m sure passengers should have a way to do thus as well. Definitely ask when checking in for the outbound flight…I had to talk to a supervisor who understood this the first time I got the taxes refunded.

    2. The last time I really looked into how this tax worked, I was told it is not country wide. It only applied to Heathrow and Gatwick. I was surprised that Stansted was not included, nor was any other airport outside of the London area. My airline used to fly Stansted-New York, and there may be other flights from other non-London airports to the US. So if you are staying or travelling in the UK outside of London, check and see what fees apply to those airports.

  63. Thank you for the information..I am an airline employee. I went through my pass bureau and was refunded the departure tax.
    The only thing I had to submit was my boarding pass.

  64. @ML Your question was never answered.

    I found the answer on answer from another blog post (hat tip to Points With a Crew — http://www.pointswithacrew.com/4-ways-to-not-pay-uk-air-passenger-duty-apd/ )

    “Not a bad attempt by a non-Brit 🙂

    However, for clarity, to avoid APD on a layover (or when transiting in from Dublin) you MUST have just one ticket. Booking two separate tickets (Dublin to London, London to New York) means the London to NY attracts full APD.

    Technically Inverness and other airlines in Scotland do not attract APD but that is a long way to go to avoid it! Jersey also avoids APD. The upside of Jersey is that BA treats it as UK so you can use a 241 voucher on BA routed Jersey London New York.

    These strategies only make sense when leaving the UK in J, the Y APD is not high enough to be effective.”

  65. Very interesting reading.Recently booked a jersey gatwick flight with a connection to seville ,spain and the same return using 2 different carriers both with less than 24hrs in uk.
    How do I stand for a refund and who (if possible) do you apply to.

    Thank You

    Peter de

  66. I have a question, hoping you all can answer. Have AA-EXP and booking a flight from Hartford, CT (BDL) to Croatia (ZAG). I want to use SWU’s for the AA legs, but the connection AA uses is LHR airport. According to this, because the connection is just in LHR, I’m not assessed a fee if I get my SWU from economy to business? My colleague says I should expect to pay several hundred in taxes for the taxes..

    Any ideas? I’ve tried looking at flying from BDL to Italy and then Italy to Zagreb and even Munich, but the return flights don’t seem to be working too well. I am OK with not flying a OneWorld partner on the connection to/from Zagreb, just having a hard time getting this to work.

    Any help would be appreciated!

  67. @ Marty — If you’re just connecting (under 24 hours on a single ticket) there is no additional tax or fee.

  68. @ Tiffany – REALLY?? This is huge. Awesome! He assured me there was a tax, so I’ve been going nuts trying to plan alternate routes just to avoid LHR. It would be a connection (I assume BDL->JFK->LHR->ZAG and nothing more than a few hours or less in between each leg from what I gather.

    I don’t think I can apply SWU to non AA-metal (I’m a new AA-EXP), so I’m still figuring out the basics and trying to find all the true AA flights vs. the AA flight numbers operated on other airlines. 🙂

    Thanks so much!!

  69. The idea you can avoid the tax by flying out from Paris-CDG an other ‘close’ capitals is not a water-tight proposition. CDG levies a tax similar to LHR, as do other countries. The further you go from the UK the more reasonable the tax/es are. I did see a handy chart stating the taxes, but cannot remember where (sorry!)

  70. @ Tiffany – Appreciate it. Just booked! The AA agent did say there is a premium upgrade tax but would only apply on the return portion of the flight, not the outbound (weird) which would run about $140 as of today’s rate. So, not sure if I’ll have them do the SWU or not on the way back, but might be well worth it.

    Just wanted to give you the head’s up that looks like they are assessing a fee.. This was through LHR. The other options through other AA hubs weren’t worth the hassle to avoid the tax. But, on the bright side, it’s only on one portion.. LOL 🙂


  71. I’d say it’s well worth the $ 140 to be in business over MCE. I always route my flights thru LHR as their 77W is my favorite plane for business class. I’ll be trying out the 789 in November DFW-MAD, but doubt i’ll like it as much.

  72. @ Jose – Totally agree! Just wanted to update that the agent did mention the upgrade “tax” (or whatever they called it) in case anyone else experienced the same result. He took the credit card info in case the upgrade went through, so here’s hoping for a computer glitch in our favor! 🙂

    Safe travels!

  73. I recently flew LHR to LAX on American Airlines and encountered an issue with how they charge customers for the APD on upgrades. I purchased two main cabin tickets and applied SWUs, then the upgrades were confirmed 2.5 days before departure. American requires a credit card when applying SWUs to flights departing LHR due to the increase in APD, and I was charged the full premium cabin APD for each passenger to process the upgrade (instead of the difference between the premium APD and the economy APD that was already paid for in my main cabin ticket). I submitted a refund request and, surprisingly, American issued a partial refund on both tickets without any further questions. Keep an eye out if you’re ever in the same situation since you’ll be charged for both the economy APD and premium APD by default.

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