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Old Mar 16, 05, 7:33 pm   #1
 
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Why are taxes so high on BA int'l flights, but not on easyJet int'l flights?

This is a serious question about UK taxes on international flights. I'm not trying to compare BA to easyJet.

I priced two economy class flights today, one on British Airways from Baltimore to London (Heathrow), and one on easyJet from London (Luton) to Amsterdam. The UK taxes alone on the BA flight total £31.90 (plus an additional BA surcharge of $42), while the TOTAL cost of the easyJet flight is £35.98 (only £10 of which is taxes - presumably some UK and some NL).

Why are the UK taxes significantly higher on a British Airways international flight versus an easyJet international flight?

British Airways return flight
BWI to/from LHR April 6 - April 13
class: economy (World Traveller)
ticket: $316
US gov't taxes & fees: $52.15
British Airways YQ Surcharge: $42.00
UK Passenger Service Charge: £11.90
UK Air Passengers Duty: £20.00

EasyJet return flight
LUT to/from AMS April 6 - April 13
class: none?
ticket: £25.98
all taxes & fees: £10.00

Last edited by starflyer; Mar 16, 05 at 7:52 pm..
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Old Mar 16, 05, 9:17 pm   #2
 
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I feel the same way with KLM! In my opinion, in comparison, BA taxes are pretty much mid-tier.

For example, for a SIN-LHR-SIN flight, BA taxes are about GBP65 and KLM taxes are about GBP100 (note, rough and ready conversions from singapore dollars)

All these taxes are just a compete mystery.. Evil scheme by airlines to pad thier earnings perhaps??
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Old Mar 17, 05, 2:04 am   #3
 
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I can think of one word : HEATHROW.

For some reason , London airports Heathrow and Gatwick charge very high fees and this is passed onto the passenger.

International overseas taxes are also double that of international European taxes . But enjoy the 'lower' rates when you can. I understand that the international fees are set to raise even higher in the next few years.

Well, someone has got to pay for the 5th Terminal at Heathrow!
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Old Mar 17, 05, 2:05 am   #4
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Taxes at Heathrow are substantially higher than at Luton.

BA also includes some other spurious charges, such as its fuel surcharge, in with taxes. If you try to book the same BA flight on aa.com you'll find it is cheaper because AA doesn't add on one of BA's funny extras.
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Old Mar 17, 05, 2:07 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe Trots
I feel the same way with KLM! In my opinion, in comparison, BA taxes are pretty much mid-tier.

For example, for a SIN-LHR-SIN flight, BA taxes are about GBP65 and KLM taxes are about GBP100 (note, rough and ready conversions from singapore dollars)

All these taxes are just a compete mystery.. Evil scheme by airlines to pad thier earnings perhaps??
But is this difference not because BA is a direct flight and the KLM flight is via AMS so you get stung for the taxes there too?

P
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Old Mar 17, 05, 2:35 am   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starflyer
Why are the UK taxes significantly higher on a British Airways international flight versus an easyJet international flight?
Although only a small part of the answer, you're not quite comparing like with like.

The true UK government tax - the Air Passenger Duty - is charged at the international rate for LON-WAS but at the domestic/European rate for LON-AMS. There was litigation about this; it is illegal for the UK to charge more for an EU flight than for a UK domestic flight. In many ways, flights to the EU must be treated more as domestic than international.
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Old Mar 17, 05, 2:38 am   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildRice
Well, someone has got to pay for the 5th Terminal at Heathrow!
Yeah - Ryanair!
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Old Mar 17, 05, 2:43 am   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdotie
But is this difference not because BA is a direct flight and the KLM flight is via AMS so you get stung for the taxes there too?
Only in part, since KLM have made some 'interesting' decisions, such as introducing a charge for 'use of the booking systems' that apply to all customers, however they book. Co-incidentally enough, this occurred round about the same time as they announced reductions in their (pre-tax/charges) fares. Not, of course, that I'd suggest a link between the two...

It can also be interesting to compare their taxes and charges between paid flights and award flights.
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Old Mar 17, 05, 3:46 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stut

It can also be interesting to compare their taxes and charges between paid flights and award flights.
Yep, taxes have become dear to KLM FT-ers hearts, because you pay more in tax for an award ticket than you would if you bought a ticket on the same flight.. they have also been caught miscalculating taxes on a few occasions, just to add to confidence in their abilities. Strangely, the miscalculations don't appear to have been in the passengers favour AMS is also quite an expensive airport to fly through, because in addition to the PSC, the Netherlands air duty, there is also a noise tax (if I whisper, can i be exempt? )

Back to the original question. We have discussed this quite a lot on the KLM board. The non-LCCs tend to put a lot of extra charges into their taxes (including airline ones ). The LCC's tend to include these in ticket price. Also, we know at some airports, some of the LCC's have negotiated discounts of the PSC due at some airports, but will not want their competitors (and no doubt the airport will not want other airlines) to know exactly what rate the are paying. Hence, it's very rare to find a PSC included in the taxes and charges of a LCC, as then they would have to provide this information.
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Old Mar 17, 05, 3:51 am   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJB
If you try to book the same BA flight on aa.com you'll find it is cheaper because AA doesn't add on one of BA's funny extras.
Has the silly OLCI/SSCI problem been sorted with aa.com tickets yet? It does put me off booking it there.
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Old Mar 17, 05, 5:10 am   #11
 
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Are we Brits the only ones to be robbed by the Chancellor if we happen to turn left on a plane or are there other countries that charge different rates of departure tax depending on which cabin you are ticketed in? I reckon we're the only ones. Thank god for the Channel Tunnel!
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Old Mar 17, 05, 5:41 am   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK flyer
are there other countries that charge different rates of departure tax depending on which cabin you are ticketed in? I reckon we're the only ones. Thank god for the Channel Tunnel!
Australia for one.
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Old Mar 17, 05, 5:58 am   #13
 
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Pakistan for another. F,J,Y, would you believe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UK flyer
Are we Brits the only ones to be robbed by the Chancellor if we happen to turn left on a plane or are there other countries that charge different rates of departure tax depending on which cabin you are ticketed in? I reckon we're the only ones. Thank god for the Channel Tunnel!
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Old Mar 17, 05, 6:43 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYDguy
Australia for one.
But Australia does not charge different rates of tax in F J Y if I'm not mistaken.
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Old Mar 17, 05, 8:10 am   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UK flyer
But Australia does not charge different rates of tax in F J Y if I'm not mistaken.
On second thoughts I think you're right. The taxes have gone up so much it just feels that part of them must be a premium class supplement.
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