View Full Version : BA security tax refund...refused

4th Jul 2004, 10:16
I have just had to cancel a BA long haul flight, all be it a cheapo.

The small print tels me that the airport passenger tax is non refundable.

Is this correct?

I was under the impression from the beloved media that this was not part of the fare, and was paid to HMG for the services provided to departing pax. As I am not departing why should I pay it.

Comments, please. windy..

4th Jul 2004, 11:56
Don't think that's right. You ought to get taxes refunded, minus the administration charge that BA has now seen fit to impose.

4th Jul 2004, 14:08
This is the most recent thread on the topic, from May of this year: PPRuNe Refunds thread (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=129353&highlight=refund+of+taxes).

As I understand it: You are entitled to a refund of TAXES but only if you have not checked in. BA charge a refund fee that might exceed the taxes ... ;)

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

5th Jul 2004, 12:56
Ryanair don't refund either which is a disgrace as it is our money if we haven't flown.

However, the good old cost of 'administration charges' which they claim, negates any refund. It is amazing that the cost of administration always equals the amount of tax paid.

It is an extremely nice money earner for all airlines and in fact it would be extremely interesting to know exactly how much totally clear profit they make out of this sideline.

In fact, it would be extremely interesting to see what the legal side is - any lawyers out there?

I would have thought that if you pay for your ticket by credit card which probably most people do these days, then it should be easy to just refund the credit card like any other business does and if it goes back on the same card they do not pay the credit card company's percentage and the administration charge would be virtually nil - just the cost of a bit of paper and electricity.


5th Jul 2004, 16:04
Do search the site (out of peak hours, when Search is available) and you will find that this has been debated a great deal, including by lawyers.

5th Jul 2004, 17:15
PAXboy: Do search the site (out of peak hours, when Search is available)I think search is now available 24/7, since the new servers. Which are blisteringly fast. :ok:

5th Jul 2004, 18:28

Yes, I did a quick search on the link you gave and I noticed Boss Raptor had taken VS to the small claims court or whatever it is called in the UK. The fact that he was given judgement in his favour means that it would appear that the airlines are breaking the law.

I imagine the law would possibly grant them some form of administration charge but as mentioned a credit card refund should be possible for a minimal amount if any.

If this is the case surely there must be some machinery that can be put in place to stop this continued practice.

I am sorry I wasn't able to do a longer search over my lunch hour and am unable to do one this evening as I am tied up. If you should know the answer to this I really would appreciate it if you could let us know and how we can handle it.



Boss Raptor
5th Jul 2004, 19:04
To be precise I threatened with Small Claims Court and the papers/claim/summons were issued - VS then settled prior to me having to request judgement against them - therefore technically it 'never went to court' and so no legal precident was made...

However HM Customs & Excise confirmed every legal point of my justification. The airline in this case is collecting a tax on behalf of the Customs & Excise and their general position/practice/direction being that 'no charge maybe made to administrate collection of a tax' and as such no airline has any right to make an admin charge to return a tax that was not due to HMCE because the pax never flew (checked in) and any such charge detailed in an airlines Terms & Conditions are in principle invalid as they are overuled by the actual legislation.

The collection of this tax is no different to the collection of VAT by a retailer on behalf of HMCE and no retailer can/does charge an admin charge should you return a good and they have to return the full cost including the VAT element (which as above is no longer due to be collected to HMCE)

The people who should be ruling on this quite simply are HMCE who should make it quite clear to the airline what the rules and regs are...unfortunately I have never seen the full instructions for collection of this tax issued by HMCE to the airlines so cannot say whether or not this point/instruction is made explicitly as it is for VAT collection for example...I somehow think not and this lack of direction is causing the current problems...and the airlines are conveniently pocketing your cash.

5th Jul 2004, 19:19
Boss Raptor

I bet they did, not the sort of publicity they or any airline would want. Where do we go from here then? Threaten every airline with a summons?

I do know that when exporting goods one can claim back the VAT and I have to admit that most companies charge an admin fee but it is normally only about 5 which I don't object to.


Boss Raptor
5th Jul 2004, 19:23
The exporting goods scenario is completely different that is a charge for an agent to complete the paperwork to HMCE for your refund not the same at all - you are perfectly entitled to make this application for refund yourself and so would not have to pay a charge