Friday, 14 August 2009

ABTA right to slam APD plan

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) is right to slam the UK Government over its plan to levy the highest rate of air passenger duty on travellers booking premium economy seats.

The idea of premium economy - such as British Airways' World Traveller Plus cabin - is partly to provide long haul leisure passengers with a little extra leg room without charging them businss class fares.

The Government's plans will increase APD for all but normal economy class passengers on the longest flights - to Australia for example - to £110 per person from this November and a swingeing £170 from the same month next year. The current rate is £80.

ABTA has accused the Government of reducing consumer choice."In many cases, customers who buy premium economy tickets do so as they need extra leg room due to their size and can’t afford business or first class. However, these customers will pay the same rate of tax as those flying first class."

Monday, 10 August 2009

Price comparisons - treat with caution

I have commented before on the unwisdom of placing faith in holiday price "research". This weekend I spotting a table purporting to show how costs for travellers in the US had fallen as the £ regained some of its strength. It quoted the price of a bottle of beer at a touch under $6 or £3.43 (at last week's exchange rate of £1 = $1.70). Really? As I recalled it even in a US ski resort the going rate for a domestic beer was only about $4. And a quick check on line showed the average downtown bar price of draught or bottled beer at $2 - $3.