Air Passenger Duty for under 12s abolished on 1 May

As the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD) for the under 12s announced in last year’s Autumn Statement kicks off tomorrow, new research from reveals that the travel industry is awash with various rulings as to how eligible consumers can reclaim this tax if they are flying with children this summer.

Some airlines including British Airways, Thomson, First Choice, Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines are all offering passengers who booked flights for the under 12s that take place after the 1 May 2015 automatic refunds. However, there are many airlines that are asking consumers to proactively apply for a refund. With airlines already struggling to deal with applications for compensation for delays, this could add to the administrative backlog.

Air Passenger Duty will generally be £13 per person on short-haul economy flights to most of Europe, and £71 per person on long-haul flights (although you could have paid more if you booked a very long flight before 1 April this year).

The research amongst 1,000 parents with children aged 2-11 who fly also reveals that one in three parents would not apply for an APD refund regardless of the amount. In addition, just 37% would apply for a refund of £13 of less which is the amount parents would receive on a short-haul flight.

Many airlines are issuing automatic refunds

Hannah Maundrell from comments: “Many airlines are doing the right thing and issuing automatic APD refunds to parents that are booking flights for the under 12’s. However, others are operating a refund by request system and this could be one extra job that many parents never get around to doing, leaving much of the money stuck in APD limbo."

“The important point here is that anyone that’s booked a flight for a child aged 2-11 for after the 1 May must check whether they paid APD. If they did, they need to make sure they get the money back from either the airline or the travel agent,” she adds. has compiled a useful guide which gives you all the information you need on how to reclaim your APD from the airline you booked with.

* Read our 5-minute guide to travel insurance here. Plus find out more about holidaying in Marrakech here.