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How to claim your Air Passenger Duty refund from British Airways for a child aged 2-12

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In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor made the surprise announcement that Air Passenger Duty would be scrapped for children aged 2-12 years old from 1 May 2015.  This only applies to economy tickets.

My original article on the removal of APD, together with details of the current rates, is here.

Since British Airways sells tickets a year ahead, there are plenty of people who booked flights between May and December 2014 for travel after 1 May 2015. 

British Airways A350

BA has now released guidance for how these people can receive a refund on any APD paid for a child:

If you booked directly with British Airways the APD charge will be refunded back to your original payment card as soon as you have flown the outbound sector from the UK.

If you booked with a travel agent and British Airways processed the payment (ie BA appeared on your card statement and not Expedia etc) then the APD charge will be refunded back to your original payment card as soon as you have flown the outbound sector from the UK.

If you booked with a travel agent and the travel agent processed your payment (ie their name appeared on your card statement) then you must contact your travel agent once you return to the UK.  British Airways is not automatically refunding travel agents so the agent must make a formal refund request on your behalf and then transfer the funds to you. 

I feel this last one could be a slow process ….

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Comments (21)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • vindaloo says:

    Any news on RFS? Are they reducing the fee for children? Presumably not but I haven’t seen anything explicitly saying as much.

    • Rob says:

      The £35 RFS charge only just covers the Heathrow charges so I doubt much will change here. There are interesting developments on short haul redemptions, though, which I will cover tomorrow.

    • Owen Rudge says:

      If you book a flight that has low taxes (easier now BA seems to have abolished YQ on short-haul flights), then you can get an RFS for less than £35. For instance, ABZ-LHR for a child is cheaper (LHR-ABZ still has the ridiculously high Heathrow passenger service charge though, so booking two one-ways is slightly cheaper), and EDI-LGW is cheaper still. An EGI-LGW-EDI return can be had for less than £35.

      One-way flights from various European cities to LHR are definitely now under the RFS threshold, even for adults, which I’m guessing Raffles will be covering tomorrow. 🙂

      • Rob says:

        Indeedy …..!

        • Tim says:

          Agreed. It’s also worth noting that using part cash part Avios can save a bunch of points.

          I’ve just this minuted booked LGW-GLA-LGW for 2x Adults + 1x Child. Total cash price was £201, using 13,500 avios reduced the price to £111.

          Going the RFS route (very poor availability anyway) would have cost £105 + 27,000 Avios so it feels like I just ‘bought’ 13,500 avios for £6 – awesome!

          • Tim says:

            Update… looks like kids RFS has been reduced to £17.97 return. Just tried a dummy RFS booking for the above flight. Still makes more sense to book the way I did overall and there are no RFS flights on Boxing day anyway!

      • Andrew S says:

        Hmmm its not reflected in BA/Avios RFS price as far as i can see… looking forward to the post tomorrow to see if there are some tricks to be used.

  • Stuart says:

    It’s a bit bad of BA to keep the money until you have flow. My boss is flying with Easyjet (I think) in May and they sent an email soon after the APD reduction was announced to inform her and have already refunded her.

    If a low cost carrier can do it now, why can’t BA?

    • oyster says:

      The cynic in me suggests a bean counter somewhere has identified that some people will cancel or no-show and won’t claim a refund of taxes. And at the same time checking with their legal department if refunding after 1st sector flown complies with laws/regulations.

      Net result is that BA may boost their bottom line by a few thousand pounds.

      The fact that I even suspect BA of doing this says a lot about them right now.

      • Metatone says:

        Well said.

      • Andrew S says:

        I think it just means that BA do not have to refinance lots of debt by refunding several £m before they planned (i.e. pay the government the tax after flights)

        • oyster says:

          In other words it’s all about how they can push the legal limits to the max in order to hold onto customer’s money a bit longer and avoid extra costs on the debt.

          Like Ryanair might do but at least they don’t try and mask such connivance.

  • Pol says:

    Poor show from BA. Virgin are also refunding immediately not after the flight, for direct bookings and through travel agents with no need to claim.

    “How will your refund be processed?

    Sit back and relax. There is no need to contact us.

    Bookings made directly with Virgin Atlantic via our website or Contact Centre
    We are in the process of capturing the bookings eligible for a refund, reissuing the tickets and then refunding the child Air Passenger Duty directly back to the card you used to make the booking. The first notification you will receive from us will be a new e ticket, this will be followed within the next few weeks by your refund. We are working as fast as we can to complete the task and we will send you a confirmation email once your refund has been processed.

    Bookings made with a Travel Agent, Tour operator or other travel provider

    We are contacting all our travel agents and providers to give them the go ahead and procedure to start making eligible refunds back to our customers (usually via the original form of payment).

    If your tickets have already been issued your travel agent will reissue them. Again it’s going to take a few weeks for all the eligible refunds to be processed and we thank you for your patience.”

  • Adam says:

    Does anyone know how this would work if you booked BA via Iberia? The charge was Iberia on my statement.


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  • Laura says:

    In October 2014 I booked two r/t Economy awards tickets on United and the return is scheduled from LHR to LAX in September 2015. One of the passengers is my 2 yr old daughter. Since she has her own Economy seat I was charged the ADP twice. Can I get a refund of her ADP? If so, would I contact United? Or is the refund ONLY valid for passengers traveling on UK airlines?

    • Rob says:

      You are due a refund. The fee has been scrapped for all children regardless of airline.

      • Laura says:

        Thank you! Should I proactively contact United now, 9 months before we take our flight out of LHR, or do I have to wait until AFTER our flight and then contact them. I don’t trust United to give me the refund without my asking for it….

        • Rob says:

          Wait until you have flown. In any event United has until May 1 to announce its policy.

  • Vic Rawson says:

    We have booked 18 seats for travel in August 2015 on BA Group bookings. There are 7 of the passengers under 12 years of age, will BA group give a refunnd, hope so.

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