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daily mail online logoATAB comments in Daily Mail article – Chub class: Wider airline seat for fat flyers who will get an extra two inches…but slimmer travellers lose space
Squeezing into a ‘cattle class’ airline seat is about to get a lot easier for the overweight traveller – but at the expense of more slimline passengers… Read More

[expand title=”Click here to read: LEGAL CLAIMS COULD COST UK AIRLINES MILLIONS”]

Issued :  London, August 9th 2011. Linked with News Blaze

The Air Travel advisory Bureau, ATAB (www.atab.org.uk) is preparing for and will help coordinate legal claims against UK airlines that have not refunded Air Passenger Duty (APD) tax to passengers who have booked tickets but not flown.

ATAB estimates that since the tax was first introduced in 1994 some airlines have withheld tens of millions of pounds from their customers.

ATAB Chairman, Tony White said It is a scandal that some airlines hang on to this money. It never belonged to them. It’s a tax collected on the behalf of the Government.  With a couple of exceptions, most of the UK airlines make it as difficult as possible to get your money back. If you don’t actually fly, for whatever reason, you are entitled to get the APD refunded.  The airlines already have your credit card details, they should refund your card immediately. They make it difficult or expensive in the hope that you’ll go away – and most people do just that”.

Over the past few months ATAB has been closely monitoring how different airlines behave when it comes to APD refunds.

It is truly shocking, we’ve found some airlines that will charge an “administration fee” greater than the value of the refund. This is a complete rip-off and it’s our intention to put an end to it. If you have booked an airline ticket out of the UK anytime since 1994, and not flown, then we want to hear from yousaid White.

ATAB has joined forces with London  law firm Barker Gillette LLP in  preparing for action.  Partner Steven Barker said  “Our primary aim will be to ensure that all claims are valid and properly made out. We hope and expect that Airlines will co-operate with us in agreeing and refunding valid claims and that claimants need only seek the assistance of the Courts in respect of legal issues that might not be agreed

The original Air Travel Advisory Bureau (ATAB) was established in 1982 by Tony White. It was one of the first flight comparison organisations. With more than forty years of experience in the travel business, he decided to re-launch ATAB last year with the aim of informing travellers of their rights, lobbying for a fairer deal for air travellers and demanding transparency in the cost of airline tickets.

Barker Gillette  LLP (www.barkergillette.com) was also established in the early 80’s and has since then developed a strong reputation for dispute resolution in niche markets –  they worked with ATAB in the 1980’s and are excited about the prospect of assisting consumers in recovering monies that might be due to them in these difficult financial times.

For further information please contact the ATAB Press Office (www.atab.org.uk) Tel: 0207 617 7206 e-mail sean.cw@atab.org.uk

ATAB Chairman, Tony White is available for interviews.  Photos, logos, etc are available on request

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[expand title=”Click here to read: UK airlines ripping off air passengers according to The Air Travel Advisory Bureau”]The Air Travel Advisory Bureau (www.atab.org.uk) is taking up the cause of UK air passengers who have not received refunds, running into millions of pounds, on Air Passenger Duty (APD), on cancelled air tickets.

The APD tax is only paid to the government by the airline if the passenger actually flies but if the passenger doesn’t fly, that money should be refunded in full. Some airlines make the process of getting a refund either difficult or so expensive in “administration charges” that they hope it will put people off applying.

The Consumer Association’s magazine Which estimated that Ryanair, as far back as 2003 pocketed in excess of five million pounds, in that year alone, in un-refunded taxes. A spokesman for HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) told ATAB today that they had no way of knowing how much APD was being held back because airlines are not obliged to report how much income was gained from not refunding APD tax. Airlines simply report the withheld taxes as part of their general income. HMRC only requires airlines to report the numbers of departing passengers on flights, and therefore how much APD is due per flight. The HMRC spokesman said, “Air Passenger Duty is only payable to HMRC if the passenger boards their flight. Any passenger who has paid APD for a flight that they do not subsequently take should contact the airline.”

As well as dealing with the APD scandal, ATAB will be fighting for much more transparency in the way airfares are advertised as they believe the airfares quoted by so-called ‘budget’ airlines are often pure fabrication. A £20 fare can turn into £150 once taxes, luggage, printing a boarding pass, check-in and all the other unavoidable essentials of flying are added in. No other industry is allowed to get away with such blatant exploitation of its customers.

The Air Travel Advisory Bureau (ATAB) was first established in 1982 by Tony White. It was one of the first flight comparison organisations, long before anyone even had access to the Internet. With more than forty years of experience in the travel business, he decided to re-launch ATAB with the aim of informing travellers of their rights, lobbying for a fairer deal for air travellers and demanding transparency in the cost of airline tickets.

“I am amazed that the airline industry has been allowed to sink to its present condition. In the last ten years air travel is the only major form of transportation that has gone backwards.” said Tony White, Chairman of ATAB.

Former MP and government Consumer Minister Nigel Griffiths has joined the ATAB team.

“It is frankly shocking that some airlines are pocketing millions of pounds by keeping to themselves taxes they are simply not entitled to. I have written to the chief executives of all the major airlines asking them to voluntarily refund taxes to passengers who are unable to fly. Otherwise we will campaign to strengthen consumer law to make refunding mandatory.”

For further information please contact Sean Curtis-Ward, Director of Communications at the Air Travel Advisory Bureau (www.atab.org.uk) Tel: 0207 617 7206 e-mail sean.cw@atab.org.uk

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Reported in: Liligo UK News Blaze Easier Travel Argophilia