Did you know that in an event that you cannot board your flight you could be entitled to money back?
This week transfertravel.com spoke with CEO & Founder of airtaxback.com, Brian Whelan to find out more about APD and the company he founded.
What is APD?
“Air Passenger Duty (APD) is an excise duty which is charged on the carriage of passengers from a United Kingdom or Isle of Man airport on an aircraft that has an authorised take-off weight of more than ten tonnes or more than twenty seats for passengers”. - CAA
APD is a charge that almost all of us pay on our flights if we are travelling from the the UK, IOM or Ireland. We also pay taxes on flights from Europe which we can claim for if we don’t fill the seat booked on the plane. Whether you have insurance or not, you are entitled to claim for this tax back if you cancelled your flight booking, for whatever the reason.
The charges on a ticket can vary from airline provider, airport that the flight is departing from, the airports runway services/facilities and any additional charges (luggage, credit card booking charges, seating privileges, security charges…etc.) - All otherwise known as TFC’s (Tax Fees & Charges).
In 2011 it was calculated that 3-4 billion Euro of uncollected tax fees & charges were held by airlines on behalf of passengers. Once a passenger boards the flight, the airplane pays the taxes on each taken, allocated seat to the Government. If you are unable to use your seat on board a plane that you have booked (for whatever the reason), you have the right to claim back the taxes such as APD that were added onto your flight booking.
What are the biggest challenges that you face when trying to get APD back on a flight?
Some airlines have a lot of T&C’s in place regarding tax back refunds. An example of this is a timescale policy that some airlines can implement, whereby you only have 30 days from the flight booking in order to be liable for an APD refund on the plane seat that you didn’t use.
Another challenge that we faced was the turnaround time on each query we sent to certain airlines. When we sent an email to an airline we almost always received an automated response advising that they they were currently dealing with a high volume of queries and that they would get back to us as soon as possible. As airlines had a timescale in place for liable TFC refunds, the airlines would usually wait to reply after this deadline, which made it difficult for us to receive any money back on the claims we put forward.
Did you have to form partnerships with UK airlines in order to overcome APD difficulties?
To overcome these challenges, we have changed our current process and made a crucial partnership with a company in the travel industry (not an airline), all will be revealed next year!
What processes did you put in place in order to make sure that passengers can get their APD tax back?
The details that we need are flight reference numbers, along with dates of the flight and full name. If we don’t have these details we cannot check to see if the ticket holder is entitled to their TFC’s (Tax Fees & Charges)
Do you take any fees for the service?
When I first started up the company I charged 5 euro per each claim that was queried, we called this the ‘Fiver Finder Fee’. We have big plans for a re launch next year which will also introduce a new fee system that will be implemented for each claim, on a ‘no-refund, no-fee’ basis.
What are your goals & visions for AirTaxBack.com?
The goal is to educate people on what they are entitled to. The TFC’s that the airlines hold even when a passenger doesn’t board the plane, isn’t the airlines money and it should be with the passenger if they don’t fill their seat despite the circumstance. The core of AirTaxBack.com is the customer and making them aware of the money that they would otherwise be losing out on. With the customer at the forefront we devote ourselves at being the leading air tax back company in Europe.
transfertravel.com would like to thank Brian for taking the time to answer our questions and we know that are relationship with airtaxback.com will only strengthen. If you list your flights with us and are unfortunately unable to sell them in time for departure, please note that you could be entitled for an APD refund.