It can be hard to keep track of airline fees when traveling internationally. However, it's impossible to ignore the huge charges that are imposed on top of ticket prices as a result of the Air Passenger Duty (APD). Traveling in the United Kingdom means paying the APD that is charged for every adult passenger on every departure flight. The only travelers who get a break are the ones taking long-haul flights to and from Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland. The APD was introduced as a way to deter travelers from booking unnecessary air travel and address environmental concerns attached to the growth of the United Kingdom's airline market. However, many critics feel that the fee hurts the tourism industry in the United Kingdom and punishes travelers unnecessarily.
The intention behind the APD means that it needs to be hefty enough to actually deter travelers. The APD continues to rise more than 20 years after its initial introduction. In fact, the per-person tax that is charged on long-haul flights rose to $110 for Economy passengers in April of this year. Premium passengers pay $220. Even short-haul flights have seen a record-breaking increase in 2018. Passengers on short-haul flights still have to pay an extra $18 as a result of the APD.
There are a few exceptions made when it comes to the APD. Children under the age of 16 who are traveling with Economy tickets don't have to fork over anything extra. In addition, passengers who are changing planes in the United Kingdom with layovers that are less than 24 hours long are also exempt.
Airlines dislike the APD as much as passengers do. Ryanair penalized Scotland in the spring after it failed to lower the fee by cutting 20 of the 23 routes it offers out of Glasgow. Norwegian Air reduced operations between Edinburgh and cities on the East Coast of the United States in response the government's inability to reduce the fee.