Refunding Airline Taxes

We all know if you buy a cheap, non-refundable ticket, then chance your mind you’re pretty much boned for getting a refund.

And maybe fair enough, you knew it was non-refundable, and this is how the airline can make it so cheap (or so they say).

However, this BBC article makes an extremely good point: you should be entitled to a refund of the TAX component, after all, this is not airline revenue.

To me this makes perfect sense. The taxes and “surcharges” surely are only paid out if you actually take the flight. Airport tax is per-passenger. This was never revenue for the airlines, so why should it be if you cancel your ticket?

Given the huge amounts the Airlines charge in this category (some no doubt is legit, but who knows what is in the mystery “surcharge” category), perhaps this would also encourage more honesty in the break down of fares.

For me personally, I hate how airlines split the fare, and applaud Virgin Blue for not doing this. The total amount is the only amount I care about. But if in fact they want to be so careful to detail this tax component, then perhaps they can do us the courtesy of paying it back if they don’t pay it to the government.

Thanks for listening…

Will


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