The tax passengers pay on long-haul flights, such as London to Bangkok and Sydney, has fallen today, although those on medium-length journeys, for example London to New York, will now pay more.

New air passenger duty (APD) rates take force today, which has seen former band C (flights between 4001-6000 miles) and band D (flights over 6,000 miles) scrapped, and former band B extended to cover all flights over 2,0001 miles.

The reduction of four tax bands to two will see those on long haul flights of more than 4,001 miles pay less in tax, however those on journeys of between 2,0001 and 4,000 miles will pay more. See our Cheap Flights guide to cut costs further.

A family of four flying from London to Sydney, for example, will now pay £284 in taxes as opposed to £388 – a saving of £104. But a family of four flying to New York will now pay £284, up £8 from £276.

However if you have children and are flying from 1 May onwards, the APD you pay will be even less. See below for more on this.

What are the new APD rates?

APD is only charged on outgoing flights from the UK, not on inbound ones. It's a charge on the airlines, although it's typically passed on to passengers via ticket prices.

The new rates apply to all flights departing from today onwards, regardless of when they were booked. These are the new APD rates, which take effect today:

APD rates April 2015 - April 2016 (i)
Destination bands and distance from London (miles) APD rate for travel in the lowest class of travel available on the plane APD rate for travel in any other class of travel
Band A (0-2,000) £13 £26
Band B ( over 2,001) (ii) £71 £142
(i) There is a higher rate class for travel in aircraft of 20 tonnes or more equipped to carry fewer than 19 passengers. (ii) 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. This is where the first part of the journey is to a destination outside Band A.

These are the previous APD rates:

APD rates April 2014 - April 2015 (i)
Destination bands and distance from London (miles) APD rate for travel in the lowest class of travel available on the plane APD rate for travel in any other class of travel
Band A (0-2,000, eg, London to Malaga) £13 £26
Band B (2,001-4,000, eg, London to New York) (ii) £69 £138
Band C (4,001-6,000, eg, London to Bangkok) (ii) £85 £170
Band D (over 6,000, eg, London to Sydney) (ii) £97 £194
(i) There is also a higher rate class for travel in aircraft of 20 tonnes or more equipped to carry fewer than 19 passengers. (ii) 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. This is where the first part of the journey is to a destination outside Band A.

Martin Lewis
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Isn't APD changing for children?

From 1 May this year APD is to be scrapped for children who are under the age of 12 on the date of the flight, where they're travelling in the lowest class of travel. Those aged 12 and over, or those travelling in any other class will still be charged APD.

From 1 March 2016 APD will also be scrapped for children who are under the age of 16 on the date of the flight, and travelling in the lowest class of travel. Those aged 16 and over, or those travelling in any other class will still be charged APD.

The move, which was revealed in last year's Autumn Statement, applies both to tickets already purchased and future bookings (see the APD to be scrapped for children MSE News story).

Those already with bookings can reclaim any APD charged from the airline – please let us know via the forum link below if you've done this, and how easy the reclaiming process was.

APD is not applicable to children below the age of two who don't have a separate allocated seat on the plane. Where a separate seat is purchased before the flight, APD is due.

On Our Forums

New APD rates