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Get Tax refunds on cancelled flights from airlines

A secret many people don't know outside the travel industry is that you are entitled to a full tax refund on any airlines fares that you cancel.

This is worth knowing nowadays when the government airport taxes are quite often a huge chunk of the total price you pay.

Air Passenger Duty Amounts

Route - Tax amount

London to Amsterdam return - £65.00+
London to New York return - £200.00+
London to Sydney return - £250.00+

As you can see above, the actual tax you pay on the flight is quite often more than the fare you pay to the airline who's % is the only part they can claim is non-refundable. Even on a 100% cancellation charge ticket you can still claim the airport taxes back for refund. Many airlines fail to mention this either at the time of booking or clearly visible on their websites.

Claim it back!

If you have recently cancelled a flight or have been advised you are not entitled to any money back, ring the airlines customer services department and demand they refund the government taxes. If you struggle to get through to anyone helpful, write a strongly worded letter direct to their UK head office.

Some airlines (usually the low cost / budget ones) will charge an administration fee in order to claim the tax you paid back. This is entirely legal and unfortunately you can do nothing about it.

Don't be fooled and let the airlines keep the tax for themselves as no tax is paid to the government until after a passenger has flew.

You must cancel your non-refundable ticket before the date you are due to travel otherwise you will be classed as a no-show and no tax will then be entitled to be refunded.

Useful Websites

HM Revenue & Customs