Anyone who's booked an award ticket to the UK in a premium cabin has undoubtedly gotten the bill and thought "Why on earth am I paying so much in taxes?" It's the atrocity known as the UK Air Passenger Duty, and I thought I'd point out how using DL's open jaw and stopover rules on award tickets can help you reduce your overall tax bill. What is Air Passenger Duty (APD)? It's an anti-tourist tax levied by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs on all flights departing the UK, provided that the passenger is not simply making a connection in the UK. You also will not pay the APD if you fly ATL/MSP/DTW/JFK/BOS/MIA-LHR and then use another means of transportation (car, train, ferry) to leave the UK. The UK does not collect any taxes or fees for flights landing in the UK, not even charges for immigration and customs! Important note: APD is not charged if you're just connecting in the UK. Thus, JFK-LHR-FCO will only be subject to about $26.70 in passenger service charges at LHR, not the full APD for LHR-FCO. Similarly, if you fly LIN-LHR-JFK, you'll just pay the passenger service charge, not the APD. Remember that a connection means you're in the UK for less than 24 hours. Anything more than that, and the APD kicks in. If you can actually find low tier business award inventory from the US to LHR, you'd get one of DL's best BusinessElite hard products for your overnight flight and then connect straight on to your final EU destination without paying hefty UK APD. However, that means you have less than 24 hours in London, which isn't all that great, since there's so much to see and do here. How is it determined? For the full details, see this document. However, the short version is that there are two determining factors: cabin flown and distance to next stopover (not connection) location. Rates for premium cabins are pretty high, and rates for coach are half the rate for the premium cabin. (Premium economy is generally treated as a premium cabin. However, DL and KL don't provide a true premium economy fare bucket and cabin, so flights booked in coach with DL and KL are charged APD at the coach rate, even if you're in an EC seat.) Since most of our posters are US or EU based, I'm going to restrict myself to that context when discussing distance. For some bizarre reason (that works out well for Americans), HMRC decided that instead of basing the distance criterion on distance from London to final destination city, the distance used would be the distance from London to the capital city of the country where the next stopover occurs. Thus, even though London and San Francisco are 5367 miles apart, the APD is based on the distance from London to Washington, DC, which clocks in under 4000 miles. The price bands (rates for premium cabin APD) are 0–2000 miles (£24), 2001–4000 miles (£120), 4001–6000 miles (£150), and over 6000 miles (£170). If you fly from London to an EU country and stay there for over 24 hours, you'll only pay £24 in APD (£12 if you're willing to take those segments in coach, which is basically the same as business except there might be someone in the middle seat). However, if you fly from London back to the US or fly from London to Paris/Amsterdam/Rome/Milan and stay there for under 24 hours before continuing on to the US, you'll be charged £120 in APD. How can I avoid paying the APD? For revenue tickets, it's generally not worth trying to duck, since the cost to get somewhere else can be hefty. However, for award tickets, it's pretty easy given DL's open jaw and stopover provisions on award tickets. Fly into the UK, but depart via another means. (You could book a cheap ticket with an LCC to somewhere else and return from there, but I'm going to ignore that, since the LCC fares vary and there would be too many potential return points to consider for taxes.) This will create an open jaw in your ticket, which is perfectly legal. What's that? You're an American and don't really like the idea of driving on the left side of the road to leave the UK? No worries! A one-way ticket from London to Paris on Eurostar, booked in advance, starts at £39 (~$63.46). (You'll then pay ~$122.20 in French taxes to fly out of CDG back to the US in a premium cabin.) Taking a train and overnight ferry from London to Amsterdam starts at £68 (~$110.65). (The per person rate goes down a bit if you have more than one person travelling, since you can book a multi-person berth. From AMS, you'll pay ~$41.90 in Dutch taxes to fly to the US.) Taking a train and ferry from London to Dublin starts at £32 (~$52.07). (From DUB, you'll pay ~$29.10 in Irish taxes to fly to the US.) Flying straight back to the US, at current exchange rates, would incur $195.90 in APD and $35.60 in passenger service charges for LHR, for a total of $231.50. Every single one of these train/ferry options saves you money over paying the UK APD! Treat London as a stopover on your way to the continent or Ireland before returning to the US. This doesn't totally allow you to avoid the APD, however you move down to the 0–2000 mile APD band, provided you're in the other country for more than 24 hours. Just to pick a few SkyTeam non-stop destinations from LON, if you fly from London to any of the following destinations, the total cost of taxes you'll incur to get back to the US (UK APD and passenger service charge plus stopover country taxes/fees) is as follows: CDG=$197.70 (comparable with Eurostar) AMS=$117.40 (cheaper than train+ferry for a single passenger, but not the experience of train+ferry) FCO=$102.60 (I expect Milan is similar, but I didn't check. This was priced using an AZ flight. Connecting in AMS or CDG will drive things up.) DUB=$98.80 (flying LCY-DUB using AF's CityJet service...a shade more than train+ferry) A Paris stopover doesn't save you much, but you get to visit Paris and London on the same trip! A stopover in AMS, FCO, or DUB saves a good chunk of change, especially with multiple passengers, and you get to visit a second European city without paying any more in miles. (You can check out other AF destinations served from LCY here, as some of them are viable places to return from with DL, perhaps plus a short train ride, avoiding connections and taxes in AMS, CDG, and FCO.) Hopefully this gives you an idea of how to leverage the open jaw and stopover rules for DL award tickets to reduce the taxes and fees paid and enhance your vacation. I pulled the tax/fee rates from ITA using business class revenue tickets, since these taxes and fees will work out the same (up to currency conversion rates) for revenue and award tickets. If someone's experiencing something different, please let me know. Also, please post questions!