I’ve just booked a flight back to the UK. (Stop cheering, it’s only for a week then I’m back!). With Monarch, of course. I go out of my way to avoid Ryanair and Easy Jet. Full of screaming toddlers, lower class yobbos, cramped seats, plastic bags of gin, etc. So much more comfortable in a Monarch extra leg room seat with a bottle of champers and some chedders. But I digress.
Ignoring all this nonsense about Advanced Passenger Information (which is nonsense, because it doesn’t let me put my NIE in, only the UK passport I’m travelling on, so how do the Spanish authorities tie me up with my Spanish alter ego?) I skipped straight to the price.
Now, these airlines don’t exactly give you a proper invoice, they just lump everything into aggregate sums. No doubt so you can’t compare different airport fees. But I found out that:
Taxes for the flight leaving Spain: €20,19
Taxes for the flight leaving the UK: €41,54
Total taxes and charges: €61,73. (Total cost of flight, €33,52).
When my emailed booking confirmation turns up, I then learn that these total taxes and charges are broken down to:
Air Passenger Duty:€14.56
Passenger service charge:€17.91
Airport departure tax:€5.53
Airport handling Charge:€3.01
Which is a difference of €2,58 over what I was quoted before. Hmm. Is that the tip for the stewardess?
I don’t understand how this works. First of all, I don’t know if VAT (IVA) is charged, it’s not specified but the Monarch VAT number is given. Are flights subject to VAT? In which case, as an intraEU operation, wouldn’t it be waived if booking from Spain to a UK company?
Secondly, there is no way to distinguish the different taxes. Do both airports charge an Airport handling Charge, or only the UK one? What is the “Passenger service charge”? Air Passenger Duty? Sound vaguely British.
I’ve also been charged a whopping 5,25% charge for paying by VISA. I think they should change to Cajamar, they’re offering a flat rate for any card of 0,45% until next spring.
But coming back to my original point, the UK taxes and charges are slightly more than double the Spanish ones. In fact, 66% of the flight cost (excluding VISA fee) of this particular return flight UK to Spain are taxes and charges.
So here’s an idea for the UK and Spain. Drop the airport taxes, just for a year. It’ll stimulate both economies (especially the Spanish one). It’ll cost a lot less than some of the bloody stupid ideas ZP is coming up with. It’ll make everybody feel happier about themselves, a nice holiday in the sun. And it’ll safeguard a lot of jobs. Win Win. Oh, and Monarch, even with extra leg room seats and a bot of champers, still worked out cheaper than a similar flight with Ryanair. But don’t tell the yobbos with screaming infants.