TaxPayers' Alliance calls for the end of hated Holiday Tax in Bristol

The TaxPayers’ Alliance today (Monday) calls on the Government to abolish Britain’s unfair holiday tax, Air Passenger Duty, as it launches a week-long campaign with a protest at Bristol Airport. 

With millions of families expected to escape Britain’s shores in one of the busiest weeks for Britain’s airports, the extra burden on holidaying taxpayers comes into sharp focus. Local activists and supporters of the TPA will be campaigning at Bristol Airport from 12:00 to 13:30 in in the Departures lobby. Please see Notes to Editors for further details. 

Air Passenger Duty adds £276 to a family’s flights to Disneyland Florida, £340 to a Caribbean break, and some £388 to the cost of a family flying out to Australia to visit one of the 1.2 million Brits living down under. Ludicrously, on some low-cost flights, Air Passenger Duty can contribute nearly a third of the overall cost of travel. Details can be found in the Notes to Editors below.

It isn’t just families that feel the pinch from exorbitant levels of Air Passenger Duty. Airlines, including British Airways and United Airlines, have pinpointed the tax as a key reason for abolishing certain routes, reducing choice for the consumer (see Notes to Editors for further details). Exporters, too, see Air Passenger Duty as a disincentive to trading abroad. Cutting the tax would not only make life easier for holidaymakers, but give businesses and airports a welcome boost creating jobs and growth right across the UK.

Whilst reforms to the tax announced by the Chancellor in the Budget earlier this year are welcome, they are not sufficient to alleviate the damaging effect of the duty on everyday families and consumers.

Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, will say on the day:

“Britain’s punitive taxes on flights, now the highest in the world, are an incredible burden on families who have saved up for a well-earned break in the sun. 

“British businesses are constantly being told they need to export to get ahead in the so-called global race, but are stung with high taxes when trying to explore new markets. Air Passenger Duty is regressive, counter-productive and unfair – it’s time to scrap it.” 

TPA spokesmen are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)

High resolution photos will be available after the event. Please contact Jennifer Salisbury-Jones on 07717 752 265 for logistical information.

Media contacts

Andy Silvester
Campaign Manager, The TaxPayers' Alliance
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (No texts)

Notes to editors

1. Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and now with 80,000 supporters, the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) fights to reform taxes, cut spending and protect taxpayers. Find out more about the TaxPayers' Alliance at

2. The TaxPayers' Alliance activists and campaigners will be protesting Air Passenger Duty in the departure lounges of three airports this week.

Monday 28th July 12:00 - 13:30
Bristol Airport

Wednesday 30th July 13:30 - 15:00
Liverpool John Lennon Airport

Thursday 31st July 12:00 - 13:30
London Luton Airport

3. The research defines a "family" as 2 adults and 2 children. Flights on Ryanair to Dublin, Gdansk, and other destinations were available on the 23rd July for around £40 - £45, of which £13 is a result of Air Passenger Duty.

4. British Airways announced this month that Air Passenger Duty had made its London City - Aberdeen service unsustainable, and cancelled the route.  In 2011, Continental Airlines (now United) was due to cancel flights between Belfast and Newark Airport in New Jersey due to the tax, until the Chancellor intervened to cut Northern Ireland's Air Passenger Duty rates.
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