Parent Trap School Holiday APD Campaign Launched

An online campaign to get Air Passenger Duty (APD) abolished during school holidays is gaining momentum.

The ‘Parent Trap’ campaign, which was launched by Travelzoo, is demanding that the Government drops its controversial APD during school holidays and has so far gained almost 40,000 signatures.

The holiday company hopes signature numbers will increase sharply following the publicity surrounding this week's MP's debate about the price of holidays taken in the schools holidays.

Few people – the travel industry and holidaymakers alike - have a good word to say about APD and it is constantly at the forefront of aviation rows and criticism. Especially, after Chancellor, George Osborne admitted in a leaked letter some years ago, that APD is “fundamentally a revenue raising tax”, raising billions of pounds in revenue each and every year!

The amount of APD levied depends on the length of the flight, and it’s not uncommon for a family to pay an extra £400 on outbound flights - currently, a family of four travelling to Egypt would pay £268 in APD alone.

Over the years, airlines, holiday companies and even ABTA and Atol have very publically slammed the Government’s ‘money-grabbing’ tax.

The UK has the world's highest APD and calls have been circulating for years to get the Government to abandon the tax altogether.

After freezing the tax for nearly 18 months, the Chancellor implemented a rise – making the UK’s APD tax more than 400% higher than most EU countries.

Also referred to as a ‘green’ tax by MPs, opponents of Air Passenger Duty say that no account is taken with regard to newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft. ‘Greener’ aircraft that have made inroads into CO2 emissions, fuel consumption and noise pollution in recent years.

This isn’t the first campaign launched to try to abolish APD. A few years ago, a campaign, which is still running today, called ‘Hands Off Our Holiday Mr Taxman’ was launched, backed by the Board of Airline Representatives, the British Air Transport Association and the Airport Operators Association.

Travelzoo hopes their campaign will achieve 100,000 signatures – the minimum number required to be suggested by an MP for Parliamentary debate. The ‘Parent Trap’ campaign currently stands at almost 39,000 signatures.