Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been scrapped for children under 12 from Friday 1 May, so MoneySavingExpert.com explains how those who've already paid it can reclaim up to £97 airline-by-airline.

APD is charged only on outgoing flights from the UK, not on inbound ones. It's a charge paid by the airlines to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), although it's typically passed on to passengers via ticket prices.

In last year's Autumn Statement 2014, the Government announced that from 1 May 2015, APD would be scrapped for children under 12 for both new and existing economy-class bookings.

So if you've already paid APD for flights taking off on or after 1 May, airlines are expected to refund the charge. HMRC confirms there's no deadline to reclaim the APD.

How do I get my money back?

See the table below for information on each airline's refund process (we will update this table as soon as we get more information):

How to reclaim APD airline-by-airline
Airline How are refunds being given by the airline? How are refunds being given by the travel agent? If I book now for travel from 1 May will I be charged APD?
Aer Lingus Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Awaiting response No
Air Canada Customers should call 0871 220 1111 to apply for a refund after travel is completed. Contact the agent directly for a refund. No
Air France Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Contact the agent directly for a refund. No
American Airlines Customers need to contact reservations to re-issue their ticket without the APD. Refunds will be made to the original form of payment. Contact the agent to ask it to submit a refund application. No
BMI Regional Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Anyone affected who hasn't had one should call 0330 333 7998. Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Anyone affected who hasn't had one should call 0330 333 7998. No
British Airways
Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment if booked via BA.com. If the agent's name appears on your statement, apply via the travel agent. No
Delta Awaiting response Awaiting response Awaiting response
Easyjet Easyjet says an automatic refund would have triggered when customers entered advance passenger information. If they couldn't do that, see Easyjet for how to reclaim. It will contact customers to refund to card used to pay for booking within 28 days of request. Easyjet says an automatic refund would have triggered when customers entered advance passenger information. If they couldn't do that, see Easyjet for how to reclaim. It will contact customers to refund to card used to pay for booking within 28 days of request. No
Emirates Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. No
Flybe See Flybe's website

to fill in a claims form.
You need to contact the agent to request a refund. No
Jet2.com Emailed affected customers with instructions on how to claim: Log in online, then go to 'manage my booking', enter passport details and message will appear letting you know refund will be automatically put back on the card used to pay. Jet2 says if the travel agent has given it customer contact details then refunds will be automatic. Otherwise, you'll need to contact the travel agent directly. No
KLM Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Contact the agent directly for a refund. No
Lufthansa Request refund via customer services. It's then automatically refunded via the original payment method used. Contact the agent after you've completed your journey. No
Monarch Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. No
Norwegian Affected customers need to contact customer services for a refund if booked direct. It will be paid back to the original card used. Contact the agent directly for a refund. Awaiting response
Ryanair You need to apply to reclaim the APD by filling in a form. It will be refunded back to the original payment method used, once all flights have been taken. (i) You need to apply to reclaim the APD by filling in a form. It will be refunded back to the original payment method used, once all flights have been taken. No
SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) Customers need to call 0871 226 7760 or visit the SAS website to reclaim. Customers can either contact SAS by calling 0871 226 7760 or visiting the SAS website to reclaim, or they can contact the travel agent directly. No
Swiss Request refund via Swiss.com and the amount is refunded back to the original payment method used. Contact the agent after you've completed your journey. No
Thomas Cook Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment. Contact the agent directly for a refund. No
Thomson Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment, alternative card or via cheque. Refunds are automatic and made to the original form of payment, alternative card or via cheque. No
United Airlines More than 1,000 customers originally identified as being affected were given refunds processed on their original form of payment. Those who paid APD need to contact United Airlines to request a refund back to the original payment method after travel completed. Contact the agent after you've completed your journey. No
Virgin Atlantic Automatically refunded onto the card paid with. Automatically refunded onto the card paid with No
Wizz Air Affected customers need to contact Wizz Air and provide proof of age. (ii) Affected customers need to contact Wizz Air and provide bank details so the refund goes direct to them and not to the agent. Yes. You need to contact Wizz Air via webmail and provide proof of age for refund. (ii)

(i) Ryanair scrapped APD for under-12s on flights for travel from 27 March 2015 onwards (ii) Wizz Air says APD is not broken out as a separate item from the various taxes included in the fare. In some cases, promotional fares are less than the applicable APD, in which case APD will not be refunded.

Martin Lewis
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How much will I be refunded?

The refund will differ depending on the distance of the flight and when you booked – new APD rates for April 2015 were announced in the March 2014 Budget, and it may have taken airlines varying amounts of time to implement this into their systems. So,

  • Booked on or after 19 March 2014: You'll likely get £13 for flights under 2,000 miles and £71 for longer flights.
  • Booked before 19 March 2014: You'll likely get £13 for flights under 2,000 miles, £69 for flights between 2,001 and 4,000 miles, £85 for flights between 4,001 and 6,000 miles, and £97 for flights over 6,000 miles.
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Air tax is being scrapped from 1 May for under-12s: Reclaim now

APD – what you need to know

Here are the key points you need to know about APD:

  • APD is charged on all outbound flights from the UK and is based on the distance flown. It's not charged on incoming flights to the UK.
  • The Government's APD cut applies only to economy-class tickets.
  • Age is counted on the date of travel, so someone 11 now, but 12 at the point of travel (May 1 onwards) will NOT get the exemption.
  • The APD on economy flights currently costs £13 or £71, depending on the distance of the flight.
  • Children below the age of two who are not allocated a separate seat before boarding are not charged APD.
  • The APD cut will be extended to under-16s from 1 March 2016.
  • Passengers paid a total of £3.17 billion in APD last year.

What are the APD rates?

Rates are affected by distance from London and class of travel.

APD rates April 2015/April 2016
Destination bands and distance
from London (miles)
APD rate for travel in the lowest class of travel available on the plane from April 2015 APD rate for travel in any other class of travel from April 2015 APD rate for travel in the lowest class of travel available on the plane from April 2016 APD rate for travel in any other class of travel from April 2016
Band A (0-2,000) £13 £26 £13 £26
Band B (over 2,001) £71 £142 £73 £146
From 1 January 2013, the rates for direct long-haul flights from Northern Ireland were devolved to the Northern Ireland Executive and set to £0. Direct long-haul journeys from Northern Ireland are those in which the first part of the journey is to a destination outside Band A. The Government is also considering devolving APD to Scotland and Wales.
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