Why are taxes so much from Houston to Heathrow return

3 replies


Etihad - Etihad Guest

Member since 14 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

Hi Guys,
I have a credit with Air NZ which Im using to fly to Houston to see family, and thought i could then use my Qantas FF points to goto London return on business as there are plenty of seats. AA look booked up in June so its BA and the charges come to around 4.5k USD for three of us (parents and 4yr old son)
Do i need to travel elsewhere in the states and then onto the UK?
Any tips to avoid a huge super tax would be much appreciated.


Brandon Loo

Member since 10 Jul 2018

Total posts 105

The two easiest ways to avoid high taxes and surcharges in your case are:

  • Fly American Airlines where possible, since they don't have as high charges as British Airways and the Qantas Points needed would be less.
  • Try not to fly out of London in business class, as you'll get slapped with a high Air Passenger Duty charge of £172 ($310 per person), in addition to all other taxes and fees.

Unfortunately, only BA has direct flights on your route, AA doesn't seem to have much business class availability connecting via other cities, and departing from somewhere out of London (e.g. Paris) on your return adds extra travel time and complexity.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Jul 2011

Total posts 835

As above, avoid departing from London.

Take a cheap plane/train to Europe, and fly from there. Even if you transit London on the return no APD is payable


Member since 24 Dec 2013

Total posts 159

The bulk of those 'taxes' is BA's surcharges which they charge because they can. Avoid BA.

While avoiding the $310 APD out of the UK is nice, a lot of the savings will be offset by the cost of getting to another country, the extra taxes and surcharges you will pay by flying from that country, the time it will take, the inconvenience and risk of missing connections.

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