The British Parliament had abolished APD Tax for all youth (From 12years upto 16years of age) travelling from UK (Departure TAX) with effect from 1st March 2016. This amount can rangefrom 6000 onwards depending upon the class of booking. This tax had already been abolished for child up to 12 years.
On inquiries made by TAFI with the major carriers flying to London in the past couple of weeks, we have been given to understand that no airline has sent any circular to the agents about this. Few airline have updated their travel agent’s website with this information, however agents are unaware as to how many refunds were actually claimed (to justify this circular filling on their agent’s portal). It is also apparent from recent interaction with a few airlines and GDS, that a mechanism exists with the GDS wherein the tax can be deducted at source, however the same has not been informed to members, neither implemented.
Members are getting restless to get a quick response from the airlines as to why this
information was not clearly informed. Why their sales team did not share this information.
Further, what is the process to claim refunds with effect from 1st March 2016. And lastly, how to go forward for future bookings? Imagine the high charge of Rs. 6000 paid by the youth students who have travelled home to India.
Many airlines have not taken this seriously yet, and have not responded, though some have
been very responsive and taken quick action to clear this anomaly.
This raises a big question: Are there more such taxes we the passengers are paying unjustly?
We have already been puppets in the hands of the airlines which started charging YQ tax
separately which should have been a part of the basic fare component itself purely to save the commission payable to the agents. So far, commissions were falling, but now they have
reached zero. Airlines have already charging service charges to Travel Agents to issue tickets on their website, and also to talk to their call centers. But the information that they keep charging a tax which has been abolished more than 14 months ago seems to be hitting the agents hard, and being taken in a very negative view. All Airlines are yet to start following the Service Tax rules laid down by the Government of India. It shows the clear contempt on the part of the airline towards following the laws of the land.
TAFI calls for all airlines to come clean and get this issue resolved on a war-footing.
TAFI Managing Committee