How to Avoid UK APD Tax + British Airways Fuel Surcharge

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by tzoom84, Apr 24, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. tzoom84
    Original Member

    tzoom84 Silver Member

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    I have a bunch of AAdvantage miles I'd like to redeem for a trip from JFK-LHR, or JFK-DUB. But I keep getting slammed with taxes on the angles I take.

    Only London
    Suppose first I just am doing London. JFK-LHR, and then LHR-JFK direct on AA since BA is insane. Taxes end up being 60000 miles + $183 R/T per passenger. Not bad, but for an economy ticket I was hoping for better.I suppose most of that is due to the UK Air Passenger Duty (APD) Tax on the long-leg return flight.
    Any tips?

    Only Dublin
    I have no award options to fly direct JFK-DUB (no availability). So I believe I am forced JFK-LHR on an AA flight, and LHR-DUB on a BA flight. (Same on the reverse). Here, I'm not hit with the APD tax because LHR is just a stopover. But now I'm hit with two BA surcharges between LHR and DUB. Here it's 60000 miles + $220 R/T

    Any tips here? I couldn't find a way around not flying BA for at least the European segments.


    Thanks.
     
  2. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    Try routing your return say LHR-German City & German City-JFK on AB (Air Berlin) it wont be AA or BA but the APD will be based on a short haul IntraEurope flight rather then the Long haul over The Pond Not 100% sure from which Cities AB flys to JFK from thats why I said German City instead of FRA or TXL etc etc
     
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  3. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    In my limited experience, they only hit me with the tax when flying OUT of LHR...some creative open jaw routing with a short rail/ferry connection could help.
     
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  4. tzoom84
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    tzoom84 Silver Member

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    Cool thank you both. I'm going to explore around on the AA site + ExpertFlyer a bit more
     
  5. tzoom84
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    tzoom84 Silver Member

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    I was able to find a non-stop flight from DUS-JFK using Air Berlin. But even that flight would be $100 taxes for the one trip. That doesn't include the British Airways flight from LHR-DUS if I were to do a LHR-DUS-JFK flight for my return. I suspect adding in the BA inter-europe tax, I'll be back at around $200.

    Similarly, CDG-JFK direct is available, but $85 in taxes one way.

    On the other hand, I did find Milan-JFK and MAD-JFK at about $50 in taxes ... but not on any dates I can travel.

    In retrospect, perhaps $200 R/T per passenger in taxes for an economy flight to Europe isn't that bad given the flight is in less than 45 days (Mid June)? What do you all think from past experiences?
     
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  6. jaw_24
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    jaw_24 Silver Member

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    My recent example was PHL-LHR, CDG-PHL on USAir metal, with taxes of $92.50 r/t. I assumed that this was basically just departure tax. Doesn't BA charge fuel taxes on award tickets, which would make up the difference?

    Now, booking the other way around was about $50+ more if I remember correctly. BRU is an even cheaper and closer option, but less availability.
     
  7. B1BomberVB

    B1BomberVB Silver Member

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    I was using UA miles. The UA Webpage for award travel displays the total taxes by each option. Too bad I don't know of a OneWorld airline whose Webpage is so user-friendly! Trouble is, airport taxes have been multiplying like rabbits in recent years.
    Another trick is to use 4500 BA Avios for a one-way flight UK--elsewhere in Europe, because BA "eats" most of the taxes & charges only $22.50 total!
     
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  8. SST
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    SST Silver Member

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    I like both B1Bomber's reply above, or might I suggest the TRAIN to Paris or Brussels (Eurostar), for your open jaw trip. I know AA has cut off BRU, but 2:45 to Paris provides a nice end to your trip, with the last night (or nights) in an amazing place. I've gotten Eurostar one way as low as about 45 GBP, and instead of paying the UK APD, I got something nice: a couple days in Paris.
     
  9. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    but 1 needs to add the train tkt and the CDG txs together and that will be apx $160+, true if a person wants a few days in Paris it works but its not so great if a person only wants to fly out. I would rather pay the taxes out of LHR since you still have to add on getting from City Center to CDG. Definitely wouldnt want to do it if I had checked bags with me and I just dont see enough savings unless staying a couple of days
     
  10. craz
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    craz Silver Member

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    CDG,or FRA, MUC etc etc are already up there in taxes Did you check BCN?
     
  11. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    doesnt ITA show YQ/YR + taxes?

    That's Pretty Good considering my upcoming CDG - BKK - SIN; UA is charging me the following (for 2 ppl)
    France Passenger Service Charge $71.60
    France Airport Tax $53.00
    France Air Passenger Solidarity Tax $103.60
     
  12. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

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    Have you looked at using Avios and flying Aer Lingus?
     
  13. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    France and Germany charge departure taxes (not as high as LHR's, but still present).

    You might try AMS, BRU or (what I chose for my trip on an award) ZRH.

    Catch is you add a train trip. ;)
     
  14. tzoom84
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    tzoom84 Silver Member

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    So just wanted to follow up here. I ended up going with direct flights via AA from JFK-LHR and paying the ~$180 in R/T taxes per person.
    I couldn't find any reasonable (less than 2 stopovers) routes that made the savings of $50-$100 worth the time given it's only a 4 day trip.

    Thanks again for all the tips!
     
  15. waqararif

    waqararif New Member

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