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RAF MILDENHALL, England — New rates for the United Kingdom’s Airline Passenger Duty went into effect Thursday, doubling the amount of tax due the government from all airline passengers boarding a flight in the country.

The rate went from 5 pounds to 10 pounds for passengers flying domestically and to many European short-haul destinations, and from 20 pounds to 30 pounds on all other flights, according to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ Web site.

While the rate hike may be just a bump in the vague list of airport taxes on a traveler’s tickets from Thursday onward, the tax also retroactively applies to tickets already purchased — even months ago. That could create a potential sticking point for travelers who might think they are immune from the new tax.

The increased duty also applies to all air tickets and travel packages sold by ITT offices, Valesia Valejo, a manager at Mildenhall’s Information Tickets and Travel Office, said Thursday.

While some airlines began adding the fee to tickets sold after Dec. 6, when the rate hike was announced, it can be hard for passengers to tell whether they’ve been charged, Valejo said. Travelers should check with their airline on how to pay the increase prior to flying.

Some airlines, such as British Airways, have waived the fee for those who bought tickets before the December announcement, but there is no standard system of payment for those who still owe.

Ryanair, for instance, e-mailed passengers warning they needed to pay it a day before their scheduled flight or face being barred from boarding, while other airlines were reportedly attempting to collect the extra money at check-in.


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