Holidaymaker’s dispute over air passenger duty

Douglas resident Gillian Courage, who is in a dispute with Easyjet over airline taxes paid on a recent trip

Douglas resident Gillian Courage, who is in a dispute with Easyjet over airline taxes paid on a recent trip

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A Douglas holidaymaker says she has been over-charged air passenger duty after travelling from the Isle of Man to Portugal.

Gillian Courage, who lives in Derby Square, took a flight with EasyJet, which was booked in August and travelled from the Isle of Man via London’s Gatwick Airport.

But when she checked her ticket, she was shocked to discover both she and her partner had been charged the £13 air passenger duty not once but three times.

‘They charged us twice going out and once coming back so it was an overpayment of £26 each,’ she said.

Mrs Courage, who actually works in the aircraft industry herself, said she took the matter up when she booked the holiday but felt she was brushed off.

‘I was told I had to go through the Civil Aviation Authority’s dispute resolution service and I could not do that until eight weeks had elapsed.’

The charge should be £13 per person per flight but she insists the trip to Portugal should be viewed as a single flight.

‘It was a flight from one place to one place all through one ticket. But even through separate tickets I think it would be hard to justify it because it is still all one journey with less than a 24-hour break in between.

‘It’s a fairly stupid law and it has been badly implemented. If they collected it at the airport like many countries do, you wouldn’t be in this situation,’ she said.

But a spokesman for Easyjet insisted the charge was correct.

‘The Isle of Man falls outside the UK regulations so she was charged for the flight from the Isle of Man to Gatwick then from Gatwick to Portugal was a separate flight so duty was charged on that too. We are not a connecting airline and flights are sold as separate trips,’ he said.

Terry Liddiard, of the Isle of Man pressure group Travelwatch said it was not an ideal situation.

‘Travelwatch has discussed it with EasyJet in the past and passengers have approached them directly as well. But they always say they are a no-frills airline. I don’t think it’s something they will back down on at all,’ he said.

Mrs Courage said: ‘They can’t just change the law to suit themselves. The flight was on one ticket, I don’t think they have a leg to stand on.’

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