How Do You Claim Back Tax On A Flight Not Taken?

If you are thinking about how to claim back tax on a flight not taken, you should read the following blog post for detailed guidance on the process for an APD refund depending on your choice of airline, the eligibility criteria for an APD refund, the amount that you expect to receive from the airline and whether or not there is a service fee attached to the claims process.

How Do Claim Back Tax On A Flight Not Taken?

How you claim back tax (or Air Passenger Duty) on a flight not taken depends on the airline that you are dealing with. While most airlines require an online application form to be filled out if you need to claim back tax on a flight not taken, some airlines may have alternate ways to collect information, while others may require additional documentation in support of your claim of a tax refund for a flight not taken.

On the other hand, there are some airlines which will automatically refund your AirPassenger Duty once you inform them of a missed flight.

Below is a list of some of the frequently travelled with airlines in the UK; with mention of their declared option for being contacted for a tax refund or an APD refund if you miss a flight:

  • Ryanair: official website website
  • Easyjet: calling at 0330 365 5000
  • Flybe: official website
  • Virgin Atlantic: calling at 0344 209 7777
  • British Airways: official website

If you booked your flight through a travel agent (whether it was in person or online), you will need to ask them to claim back your APD from the airline.

While it is ideal to claim your APD refund at the earliest when you miss a flight, passengers should remember that there is no time limit on how far back you can claim an APD refund. With the exception of RyanAir, all airlines refund the APD irrespective of the time-lapse.

Who Can Claim Back Tax On A Flight Not Taken?

Anyone can claim back tax on a flight not taken; as long as they hold a valid ticket against their APD refund claim.

In the event that your flight is cancelled and you are unable to utilise your ticket, or if you opt to cancel your ticket prior to your scheduled travel date, you may still be eligible for a refund or credit. 

Additionally, if you happen to miss your flight, it is important to review your airline’s policies and procedures for rebooking or refunding your ticket.

Do You Have To Pay A Fee To Claim Back Tax On A Flight Not Taken?

While most airlines provide a tax refund without charging a service fee, it is also equally common for many aircraft carriers to charge a fee for refunding your APD.

For a quick snapshot of how this works, we will just review the fees charged (and if any) by the most frequently used airlines in the UK:

  • Ryanair: £17
  • Easyjet: None
  • Flybe: £25
  • Virgin Atlantic: £39
  • British Airways: £15-30

While it is highly unlikely, however, should you find any aspect of the claims process to be unfair or if you are unsuccessful in claiming a tax refund for any valid reason, you can contact the Civil Aviation Authority.

How Much Can You Claim Back In Tax On A Flight Not Taken?

Your APD refund or how much you can claim back in tax on a flight not taken depends on the following factors:

  • your destination for departure
  • your destination for arrival 
  • the flight class for which your ticket is booked

Based on these factors, below is a basic classification of the APD rates  on flights on flights outbound from London, UK:

Destination bands

Reduced rate

Standard rate

Higher rate
International Band A£13£26£78
International Band B£87£191£574
International Band C£91£200£601


The above discussion helps to conclude that the process for claiming tax back on a flight not taken is quite simple as it usually requires either a phone call to be made to the relevant air carrier or an online form to be filled out on their website. However, in some cases, passengers will need to check whether or not their choice of airline will charge them a service fee for the claims process.


APD refunds: how to claim back airline tax

Claim back cash on missed flights – even if it’s your fault

Tax on shopping and services: Air Passenger Duty – GOV.UK