Hands off Our Holiday: Time to Complain

By | Category: Travel news, Travel rumblings

Hands off our holidays was the name of a campaign that started yesterday. Regular readers will be aware of the annoyance of APD -air passenger duty- and the complaints made by industry and some destinations. We passengers haven’t had much opportunity to have a say but the airline sector is giving us a chance.
Passengers travelling through airports will be asked to complain to their MP’s directly or via the website, www.handsoffourholiday.com. They are also encouraging you to tweet your protest using the tag#handsoffourhols.
The campaign has the backing of three influential organisations. The Airport Operators Association (AOA) is the body which represents 72 UK airports and aviation fields; the Board of Airline Representatives (BAR) promotes the business interests of more than 90 airlines and the British Air Transport Association (BATA) is the trade association for all UK registered airlines be they cargo or passenger ones.
Now they want you to back them as well. They have completed research which shows that more than three quarters of those interviewed want the tax reduced or frozen. No surprise there! But surprising was the fact that 78% were unaware that the government was planning to increase the tax still further and 86% of those who had flown in the last five years did not know the level of tax they had paid.
So what is the tax? Based on a family of four, if they fly to on holiday to France they will pay £48 in APD. If they go on the ferry, Le Shuttle or Eurostar they will pay nothing. The same family flying from Luton to Inverness to holiday in the Highlands this year will also pay £48. Go to Orlando and the family will pay a whopping £240 in tax; to Thailand or Cancun and it will be £300 and to Australia, Bali or New Zealand and it will be £340.
Simon Buck, the chief executive of BATA, makes a telling point. APD raises more tax than the tax on bankers! CD-Traveller supports any action that will reduce this unfair tax especially as a carbon tax, scheduled for next year, will considerably raise the tax take on airline passengers. If we lived in a landlocked country we might have alternatives. But for most of us there are none.
So contact your MP either directly or via the website and moan as bitterly as you wish about the tax iniquity that airline travellers face. We will telling MP’s how we feel. They might just take some notice of us all.
image courtesy of Hands off Our Holiday.

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