Which? Legal

Advice on travel fees

You can ask Which? Legal for affordable advice on ticket fees, and whether you might be entitled to a refund.

Am I entitled to claim back APD?

All flights booked through airlines and comparison websites will automatically deduct the air passenger duty (APD) for children up to the age of 16 - possibly up to £156 per passenger.

If you’ve purchased airline tickets from for children who’ll be aged between 12-15 years old at the time of flying, you should check whether you're due an APD refund.

You can also claim back your APD - regardless of age - if you miss your flight but you have to request this through your airline.

What is air passenger duty?

  • APD is charged on all outbound flights from the UK and is based on the distance flown. It's not charged on incoming flights to the UK.
  • The government's APD cut only applies to economy class tickets.
  • Age is counted on the date of travel, so someone 15 now, but 16 at point of travelling would not get the exemption.
  • Children below the age of 2 who are not allocated a separate seat before boarding are not charged APD.
  • Children under 12 have been exempt from APD since 1 May 2015.

How do I claim back my APD?

A handful of travel firms may automatically refund the cost of APD to the credit or debit card used to purchase a holiday.

Others insist passengers fill out online forms to claim their money or contact their customer services centre - be aware, most of the airlines charge an admin fee of up to £30 so it might not be worth claiming.

How to claim with each airline
AirlineFee?Time limit?HelplineHow?
EasyJetNoNo0330 365 5000Enter children's ages in 'Manage my Booking'
Ryanair£17One month0330 1007 838Fill in a 'Refund Application Form'
British Airways£15 -£3072 hours0344 493 0787Manage your booking online
Virgin£30No0344 2097770Contact customer services

How much can I claim back?

You can only reclaim air passenger duty on reduced-rate child tickets. In effect only economy class ticket holders are eligible for a refund. 

Air passenger duty rates
Distance flownReduced rate 
(economy class)
Standard rate 
(non-economy class)
Up to 2,000 miles£13£26
Over 2,000 miles£78£172
These taxes apply only to flights departing from the UK (not arriving to the UK). They exclude Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands as different rates apply.
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