Dame Anne Welcome the Scrapping of Air Passenger Duty on Children’s Flights

Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, is pleased the Government has heeded her calls to scrap tax on children’s flights.

Dame Anne had previously supported a motion in Parliament calling on the Government to reduce the financial impact on hardworking families by scrapping the air passenger duty applicable to children. With today’s Autumn Statement announcement that this tax will be scrapped, many families will see a benefit from this saving at a time when household finances continue to be stretched. Changes to the tax will also benefit the local and national economy by ensuring that UK aviation is more globally competitive.

Currently, children pay the same tax on their tickets as adults, despite there being a well-established principle that children are exempt from taxation, for example VAT on food and clothing. A campaign, Scrap the Tax on Family Flights, was launched last month and called on the Government to scrap Air Passenger Duty (APD) on children’s tickets as they believed it was acting as a barrier to allowing hardworking families to take holidays abroad, when the majority already have to pay a premium due to school term-time restrictions.

Aberdonian families already pay the highest air tax in the world, with APD adding £52 to the cost of a family of four’s economy class flights to destinations in Europe and £276 to economy class flights to long haul destinations such as the US. Aberdonian families are also hit with a double APD charge if they fly through another UK airport on their way to their final destination.

Dame Anne Begg said:

“Families in Aberdeen deserve a break, and I’m pleased the Government has backed this campaign to help make an annual holiday less strenuous on the family budget.

“I called on the Government to scrap this tax, and it’s great they have listened. Hundreds of my constituents have contacted me about the unfairness of Air Passenger Duty which will be devolved after the Smith Commission, and I hope the Scottish Government will agree not to reintroduce this unfair tax on children’s flights.”


  • You can find out how much APD you can expect to pay by visiting apdcalculator.com
  • Scrap the Tax on Family Flights is a campaign being launched by the A Fair Tax on Flying alliance which consists of over 30 leading business organisations and travel organisations including airlines, airports, trade associations and destinations. More information about the group can be found at afairtaxonflying.org and www.facebook.com/afairtaxonflying
  • Follow the campaign on Twitter @ScrapFamilyAPD
  • Only four other European countries levy some form of air passenger tax.
  • Denmark, Norway, Malta and Holland have all scrapped similar taxes as the revenue raised was outweighed by the damage caused to their economies.

The current rates of APD, effective until 31st March 2015, are below:

 BAND Reduced rate Standard rate
Band A

(0-2,000 miles*)

£13 £26
Band B

(2,001-4,000 miles)

£69 £138
Band C

(4,001-6,000 miles)

£85 £170
Band D

(over 6,000 miles)

£97 £194