Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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 ….


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

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.

    Thanks

  • Get a Refund on Exorbitant UK Aviation Taxes, 500 Free Miles, and Which Politicians Fly Coach... - View from the Wing - View from the Wing says:

    […] How to claim a refund on the UK departure tax for children ages 2-12 flying economy. […]

  • 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.

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

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.