Systemwide upgrades to/from LHR subject to "Luxury Tax" ?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Max M, May 13, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    I have an upcoming trip to London, and am currently waitlisted for upgrades with SWU's. I've never used an SWU before, and am wondering that if upgrades clear, would I be subject to coughing up money to pay the wonderful luxury tax that is charged?
     
  2. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Only on the return. You don't pay going into LHR, only if you are departing from LHR.

    When you waitlisted your SWUs, the AAgent should have asked for your credit card information for when the SWU clears.
     
  3. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Thanks for the info. I'll be giving AA a call since I'm wondering whether the SWU was properly noted.

    How much is the SWU luxury tax out of LHR?
     
  4. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Depends on your flight, but info should be here: LINK.
     
  5. aamilesslave
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    aamilesslave Silver Member

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  6. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    The taxes our of LHR are ridiculous, they have to be losing a decent amount of tourism due to their greediness.
     
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  7. miamigrad
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    miamigrad Silver Member

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    A small point of clarification, in the interest of making sure everyone has correct information.

    There is no "luxury tax" for premium cabins. The Air Passenger Duty (APD) is charged for all cabins. It's just that the premium cabins are charged more, hence many started calling it a "luxury tax." But, the tax is charged for all passengers that either originate their journey out of the U.K. or have a stopover in the U.K. of >24 hours before continuing on to another international destination.

    DestinationDavid provided the link upthread to read more details about the APD.
     
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  8. DestinationDavid
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    It's been awhile but the nickname won't die. You're a stronger man than me, I gave up fighting the term ages ago. :D
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    When departing the UK in a premium cabin one pays more than when not in a premium cabin. In what way is that not a luxury tax, regardless of what the formal name is? Yes, everyone pays some tax. But some pay more than others. Those paying more are specifically those in the premium cabins.
     
  10. miamigrad
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    miamigrad Silver Member

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    The amount paid for the premium cabins is the standard amount, with economy paying a "reduced" amount, according to the official website, IIRC. It is from that perspective that, semantically, it's not a luxury tax even though everyone knows that's what's going on. The problem, from my perspective, is that by calling it a luxury tax might give the uninformed the impression that ONLY the premium cabins are paying APD - and that is not correct (misleading at best, IMO.)
     
  11. chanp
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    chanp Silver Member

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    About a month ago I paid about 60.30 or so gbp. A few days ago I paid 63.60 or so gbp's.
     
  12. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Remember that the tax is applied to flights FROM London, not TO London.

    If one has a bit of time, one way to avoid the higher APD/luxury tax is by seeing what an el cheapo flight to another nearby city may cost, and what a return flight from there would be (as opposed to from London).

    For those in the US, that "luxury tax" can be a bigger sting, depending on the £/$ exchange rate. (Today, it's about $103).

    One example: book your return flight, say, DUS-ORD instead of LHR-ORD, and on separate reservation/ticket, grab a one-way, cheap and very short flight over to DUS. You may end up returning DUS-LHR-ORD, and being on the very same LHR-ORD plane you would have been on, you're just paying a bit less for it. And, if that LHR-DUS and DUS-LHR flights are on BA, you'll get a few more miles, the flight will likely be a simple turnaround in DUS, and not take that much time (it's about 20-30 minutes each way). Not the best example, and there's not as many options on this as there used to be, and those discount flights aren't as cheap as they used to be, but the idea is there.
     
  13. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Ridiculous is an understatement.

    Sadly, the UK government refused to budge on protests to the APD increases of this past April. And sadly, the UK government continues to dither on aviation in the UK (third runway at Heathrow, using the nearby RAF base for an additional runway, new airport in the Thames Estuary, etc.), so I don't expect any improvement in the mess any time soon.

    AND, note that the APD goes up by distance, so pity the poor family that wants to take a holiday far away, even flying in econonmy. One government answer to that complaint was that families should take their vacations in the UK......yeah....
     
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  14. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    I am at a loss of words, wouldn't think things can be this way in this day and age...
     
  15. Skye1
    Original Member

    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Indeed.

    Business leaders continue to warn that failing action shortly, companies will continue to look to airports on the continent and in the mid-East for non-stop flights to emerging markets. Tourism leaders continue to warn that increasing APDs will only continue to drive both leisure- and business travel elsewhere.

    An advert I saw on the tube this morning:
    "The road to economic growth isn't a road...it's a flight path."

    An advert I saw on a bus over the weekend:
    "Amsterdam--London's Third Airport."
     
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