Which has gone again on the attack by claiming most airlines are charging too much in administration fees when attempting to reclaim tax elements of the fare.
Or to put it blunt from Which?’s Rochelle Turner.:
“In some cases it costs at least twice as much to reclaim the tax as the tax itself,”
If you miss a flight from the United Kingdom, you unless you’ve booked the ticket in a particular way (i.e. full fare ticket), there’s no chance of recovering the fare element of the ticket. However our good “friend” Air Passenger Duty is reclaimable.
However, airlines will make you pay an “Administration fee” to reclaim these taxes. And this is where this gets intresting.
Let’s take a Zone 1 APD fare with a value of £11 APD. Who charges what?
Ryanair – £17
FlyBe – £25
BA – £30
EasyJet – £0.
So for a short haul flight, it’s going to cost more than the actual tax is worth.
Looking at longer haul routes, BA and Virgin still charge £30 to refund APD – which whilst on a long haul fare recovers some of the APD, it does not recover all of it.
Of course, this goes straight to the bottom line of the airlines, with airlines bemoaning the costs of paying people to click a few buttons to refund a tax.
So what can you do if you have to cancel a ticket and reclaim? Not a lot. Whatever the government does with APD and its future moves you can be sure the airline industry will find a way to make more money on it.