As I was going through my plans for our trip to Thailand this year, it occurred to me that I might be able to claim some money back from British Airways for our flights.

Money off you exclaim? Yes! If you didn’t already know, during the last budget Chancellor George Osborne declared that Airport Passenger Duty for under-12s will be abolished. Unfortunately for me, it won’t be happening until May – so I miss out on a refund by a matter of weeks. Boo hiss!

But then I also discovered that from March 2016, anyone under the age of 16 will also be exempt from the airport tax and not just those flying in economy class. Airlines will also have to display on their tickets how much of the fare is actually being spent on fuel.

What does this mean for travellers?

In layman’s terms – if you have children, you’re going to save some money, which makes a nice change in this economic climate. Approximately £13 for short-haul flights to Europe, rising to £97 for long haul flights – a family with three kids travelling to the US, for example, could see their flights cut by £213.

Airlines including Virgin, British Airways, Ryanair and Easyjet, as well as tour operators TUI and  Thomas Cook have already agreed to offer refunds to passengers who have booked with them. Although it is not just passengers who have organised their travel plans early who may need to claim. Airlines will continue to take bookings for 1 May onwards at the old prices until they have updated their booking systems. This could mean thousands more people will need to claim their money back.

How to claim…

My advice would be to contact the airline or travel company you’ve booked with directly, and ask them what procedures they have in place. Some companies are automatically refunding the difference back on the cards that were used to pay for the flghts/holidays in the first place. Meanwhile, I found this really handy information table at MSE which has some useful contact details, just in case you’re really stuck.

It pays to be in the know – and a quick phone call or email could save you a few pennies in the long run…

Image: Flickr: RafiqSarlie