Do I need to be aware of the taxes, fees and charges that I pay in addition to my air fare?
Taxes, fees and charges should be included in the price of your ticket. These consist of the fees that the airline must pay and these are illustrated in the table below.
Airlines must by law include all the compulsory taxes, fees and charges when displaying prices, so you will always know the price of your flight. Airlines should also clearly display the costs of any optional extras on their websites at the start of the booking process so that you can see which optional extras are available how much they cost.
Airlines often state in their small print that if the taxes, fees and charges increase after you have confirmed your booking, they will charge you the increase. This could happen in situations where the Government has increased the Air Passenger Duty tax. In these situations, passengers that have already booked may be required to pay the increase before they travel. Passengers that haven’t booked would have this increase incorporated into their airfare before they book.
Some airlines advise that if the taxes, fees and charges are reduced or abolished after you have paid for your ticket, you will be entitled to a refund. Not all airlines advise of this, but we consider that it is fair to have this refunded, particularly where airlines reserve the right to pass increases back to passengers.
Refunds of taxes, fees and charges
There is no legal authority obliging airlines to refund taxes, fees and charges when passengers cancel their tickets. Many airlines do offer a refund, although some charge an administration fee for processing the refund and this can sometimes exceed the amount being claimed. Fully flexible tickets are fully refundable.
Check the current airport fees and charges
The CAA publishes an airport charges comparison table so that passengers can check the fees associated with different airports. This includes information on the cost of buying plastic bags, any charges for dropping passengers at the airport, charges for express security lanes and airport development fees. The CAA publishes this table to help passengers compare different options before booking. It does not endorse the fees charged by airports or airlines.
Check the current airline fees and charges
Some airlines charge for carrying hold baggage, sports equipment and musical instruments. Some airlines charge for priority boarding, choosing a seat, and for using a credit card or debit card to purchase tickets. Others include most of these charges within the price of the ticket.
The CAA publishes an airline charges comparison table so that passengers can check the fees associated with different airfares. This includes information on the cost of taking hold luggage on board, in-flight meals and reserving specific seats. The CAA publishes this table to help passengers compare different options before booking. It does not endorse the fees charged by airports or airlines.
You can contact us if you see an airline website where the prices are not clear.
Taxes, fees and charges
|Air Passenger Duty||Government tax regulated by HM Revenue and Customs|
|UK Passenger Service Charge||Charge imposed by airlines to cover costs they pay to airports for the passenger to use the airport’s facilities|
|Insurance and security||Charge imposed by airlines to cover increased security and insurance costs post-11 September 2001|
|Fuel surcharge||Charge imposed by airlines to cover increasing costs of fuel|