Air travel fees are not breaking news. It seems a weekly ordeal that another airline, country or airport is introducing a new fee to cover a budget deficit. Creating fees for whatever reason is the easiest way to do it. Germany’s new ecological air travel fee is no exception.
Planned to take effect in the new year, this new air travel fee will effect all those flying from Germany. The tax was approved despite criticism from all corners of the air travel industry. It took effect on September 1st, 2010 and applies to all travel as of January 1st, 2011.We caught wind of this new tax in June when airlines protested the idea of “green” tax but the tax is much higher than expected…
The tax breakdown
Passengers boarding or transferring flights in Germany will have to pay:
- 8€ for domestic and short-haul European flights (£6.70 approx.)
- 25€ for medium-haul flights (£21 approx.)
- 45€ for long-haul flights (£37.80 approx.)
Imagine you’re planning a trip from Germany to the USA? It will cost an additional £37.80 when you leave Germany and another £8 when you arrive in the US, thanks to the newly imposed tourism fee. As for a family of four spending a holiday on the other side of the pond, they can expect to dish out an additional £187.20 (based on approx. exchange rates). Not really a small expense just to travel, is it?
The newly imposed fee is expected to raise around 1€ billion annually and is expected to go straight to the government treasury, not towards ecological developments like the name implies.
As the airports and airlines fear, many passengers will do what they can to dodge the fee, a hefty cost that is easily avoided by flying from nearby airports outside of Germany or travelling by other means of transportation (train, rental car, bus, etc.).
Would you be willing to travel extra just to avoid the tax? Do you think it’s a credible way to fight budget deficit?
Img: loop_ah / flickr cc