Thinking of travelling to the UK any time soon? Did you know that included in the cost of your ticket is a charge of over R1,000 for UK Airport Departure Tax (APD)? That is R1,000 per person, so if you are going with your partner and 2 kids you are paying the UK government over R4,000 for the privilege of leaving the country via an airport. You are advised to arrive at the airport 3 hours before a flight, so the next time you are in Heathrow waiting for a security search you can take solace in the fact that you are paying R5.50 per minute for that pleasure.
Feel aggrieved? Put off from travelling to the UK? Add your voice to the A Fair Tax on Flying campaign which is lobbying the UK government to drop or reduce the APD charge. The campaign is supported by a wide range of organisations based in the UK, including airlines, airport companies & trade associations. 27,500 people already like the Facebook page and 185,000 have emailed British Members of Parliment (MPs) calling for a review of the tax. The success of the campaign so far is highly encouraging – 96 MPs have backed a proposal for the UK Treasury to commission a study into the impact of the tax.
In South Africa we pay the government R299 in tax each time we fly internationally, much less than in the UK but still a significant burden on travellers. Maybe it is time for a similar campaign here?
The graphic above demonstrates how much extra in taxes a family flying to the US pays. The tax on flights to South Africa is even higher!