Insidious additional travel charges

G'day, everyone! Here's an article of interest to those travelling to the U.K., that I touched on, in another unrelated post. It's an article about the British Govts tourist taxes when flying to and from British airports.

The charges in this Air Passenger Duty are absolutely outrageous, and are nothing but a tourist rort to cover British Govt losses incurred through their lack of management ability. The British Govt is not alone here, this ripoff is seen a terrific cash cow by many European Govts who are in deep financial strife.

An air passenger arriving at, or leaving a British airport, is now slugged $140.00 for the pleasure (from Apr. 1 - and yes, it's not an AF joke!). If you travel Premium Economy, Business or 1st Class, the tax is DOUBLE!! ($280.00).

This is just another outrageous impost on travellers, that is out of all proportion to any cost recovery - and which is only matched in its outrageousness, by the fuel surcharge imposed by airlines!

I, like many others, no doubt, will be finding ways to avoid Britain - or its airports at least - anytime I travel in the future.

The unbelieveable part of this story, is that this is ONLY THE START of massively increased airport taxes in Britain - and they plan to INCREASE these airport charges, by ANOTHER 46%, by 2016!!


Aaron, I don't know how they get away with it, but it is not the worst.  I just found out, by accident that visitors to the base camp at Everest are charged $250 US per day to visit the area.  I thought that Australian law insisted on a total price.  I wonder what would be said if the taxi fares had a fuel surcharge.

Gday innes,

Can you point me in the direction of the Mt Everest Base Camp visitors charge please. A small group of us may be going there next year which makes it of interest.


I get really angry about taxes and surcharges that are really nothing more than a cash grab, with the charge unrelated to actual costs. Fuel surcharge is one that gets right up my nose. Fuel is a constant business input, so why should there be a surcharge when the price of oil goes up?

What happened to the principle of accounting for all business costs, and then setting the price for your product based on all those business inputs? What's next? - an accountants surcharge, because the auditors put their fees up this year? A tyre surcharge, because the cost of tyres went up? This surcharge BS is a total rort, and the problem is that, once one business starts charging it, then others follow like sheep running to a bale of hay.

Canada Post takes the cake with their unbelievable charges in the fuel surcharge impost. I now buy almost nothing from Canada, and do not have it sent via CP if I can possibly avoid it. If I do have to buy something that needs to be mailed, I usually organise to have it sent just over the U.S. border to a Yank mates place, who then tranships the item to me. The USPS cost is usually half what CP charge to send the item to Australia.

These airport taxes and tourist taxes are going to be a bigger and bigger impost on travelling in the future, as not only European & British Govts find them to be a useful cash cow, to dig themselves out of the financial hole they're in - but Americans will follow.

Already the Obama administration has introduced a $15 a head entry tax (the Travel Promotion Act), at the end of 2010, supposedly to finance tourist promotion. The idiocy of this, is making tourists pay for the promotion of the spots they want to visit, is just plain counter-productive.

It's bad enough that we already have to pay tips in America & Europe that add roughly another 10% to holidaying - as well as local tourist taxes (most cities have a tourist accommodation tax, coach taxes, as well as VAT) - but these taxes are myriad, ever increasing, and rarely or minimally allocated to any tourist improvements.

There's an interesting article in the link below, that discusses the detrimental effect on tourism, of continuous imposts, that are laid directly on tourists. The article is a copy of a speech by Mr. Jan Van Steen, President of the ECTAA, and about 8 yrs old - but the fact remains, the article hasn't lost relevance with age - it's become MORE relevant, as the tourist imposts increase savagely (well beyond any inflation figures).

Not only are tourist taxes, that are already in place, increased - even more imposts are found, by hungry Govts and local authorities - who are faced with huge financial black holes - and who see tourists as the cash cow to fund their financial black holes. Britains second biggest income earner - behind agriculture, as No. 1 - is tourism, so the gains to the British Govt are huge, anytime tourist taxes are upped.

I can see the time coming when one organises a trip based on the cost of the tourist taxes and charges. Add in the hassle of pushy trinket sellers and local tourist scammers (Cairo comes to mind), and some of the places in the world will not be worth visiting, in years to come.

Hi  Justme, I am a subscriber to Asian Experience Motor Bike Tours & they have a tour coming up to the base camp.  I thought the fees were outragous until I read that the fee included the Gov., charge for the base camp area of $250 P/D

If you can afford to visit these places you can afford the tax.

We blew about $9000 in a 5 week UK trip two years ago but because my wife has an ABN we claimed all of the VAT back....about $1200.

An Irish tax accountant based in Dublin works world wide for tax recovery and charges 10% of what he gets for you.

[email protected]


Whilst I agree with the basic tenet Davey, I believe that most of them are rorts & rip offs, even at Government level.  Mostly they can be avoided by prior knowledge.  Eg., the Australian Government charges GST on any purchase of more than (I think) $1100 that is made overseas.  I believe that this has no legal basis & could, in fact, be beaten by any multi millionaire that had the money to challenge the Taxation Department in the Federal Court.  I take your point about the Irish tax accountant, but why should you have to pay an agent to get what is legally yours, from any Government?  Another example is that when some young cop decides that he doesn't like you & books you for speeding when you where no.  It is relatively easy to take a day off work & employ a solicitor to beat the charge & have it dismissed.  BUT, that little exercise will cost you close to $2,000 & when you win you cannot claim costs against the Government.  So you pay the illegal fine & grin & bear it!!!!!

Believe me it is worth 10% to avoid the hours of trying to find claims forms and addresses.

This true.

Recently I got a parking fine for $163.00 because I had to park in a zone not signed for parking because I was towing my boat and needed to use the shopping centre toilet. I wrote to the shire explaining my needs and got nowhere. I wrote again saying I want to go to court in front of senceable magistrate and I got a note from my doctor saying that when I need to go then I need to go Etc. I send a copy of the doc's letter and another letter saying that I would repeat all of their stupidness in court and give pictures to the press.

Their next letter said in view of new evidence I would only have an offical warning and no fine. wheeee I won one.

Gday Davey

copy and paste from your post above

"If you can afford to visit these places you can afford the tax."

The point for many of us is we need to know about such charges so we can save/budget for them. I have encountered surprise fees overseas before and had difficulty paying because it wasn't expected and not budgeted for and not immediately available. ATM's aren't available everywhere, more so in years past.



If you are on so much a tight budget then you can't afford to go.

You should take credit cards to pay for unforseen costs.

Davey, If we all waited until we can afford to go most people would not go anywhere. We have gone on several trips that we really could not afford, had a great time, then got down to making the money for the part that we couldn't afford.

I don't want to wait until I am too old or sick and can afford it. I want to experience while I am still able.

Some people are born Collingwood supporters.

They can only see things in black and white.


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