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British Air Passenger Duty scrapped for under 16's

A new measure has come into force that means families with children under 16 years old will no longer have to pay Air Passenger Duty when travelling in economy class. The change comes after the announcement in the UK's Autumn 2014 statement to help reduce costs for families flying to long-haul destinations such as the Caribbean and the United States.

British Air Passenger Duty scrapped for under 16's

A new change to British Air Passenger Duty has come into force this week which will make it cheaper for families flying in economy class.

The measure was initially announced in the 2014 Autumn statement that children under the age of 16 will no longer be charged the tax for flights, making it cheaper for families to travel to long-haul destinations like the Caribbean, United States and Australia.

Cheapflights, a specialist in flights and holiday deals, explained the changes, saying that families with two children travelling to APD Band B destinations, such as the Caribbean, could save up to £146 on one trip. Trips to Band A destinations will save savings of £13 per child.

"These changes follow a long period of lobbying by the aviation industry and consumer groups alike, and redress longstanding discrepancies in the way this tax is levied."

Stated Phil Bloomfield, a spokesperson for Cheapflights. He added that families who have already booked their flights could receive refunds:

"We'd urge those families with existing bookings to talk with their travel agent or airline to ensure the change in tax bands had already been factored into the price they'd paid for their flights, as some opportunities for refunds may exist."

From 2015, two bands have been introduced for Air Passenger Duty: Band A for short haul flights, which remain unchanged and cover a destination 2,000 miles or less from London, and Band B for long haul flights that cover a destination more than 2,000 miles away from London.

APD for children aged under 12 was scrapped on 1st May, 2015 and last week, an announcement was made that it has now been abolished for all children under 16.

This will mean that travellers booking flights to the Caribbean will no longer have to pay higher APD than many other countries, which is also great news for hotels, resorts and travel companies in the tropical region who rely on tourism and UK visitors.

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