Environmental groups in the UK propose new ‘frequent flyer’ tax.

A number of groups opposed to expansion of Heathrow and Gatwick airports have drafted a proposal that would increase the cost for people taking more than one flight per annum. A sliding scale of increasing taxes on subsequent tickets is designed to remove the need for airport expansion.

A report in the UK’s newspaper, The Guardian, says that the Campaign for Better Transport, the New Economics Foundation, the Tax Justice Network, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have all joined to support the proposal.

It would see the current Passenger Duty scrapped and replaced with one single tax free ticket to accommodate an annual holiday for the family (how nice of them), but would increase on a sliding scale the more a person travelled.

They are currently looking for politicians, and in particular candidates for London Mayor, to support this plan. The UK Government is currently on the horns of a dilemma – we need more airport capacity in the South of England but no one wants it in their back yard so to speak.  It appears that the Conservatives want to hold on to the Mayor of London role which would be lost, they think,  if they supported expansion at Heathrow.

For me, this is a pretty bonkers idea – how would you track it ? Wouldn’t people just hop the train to Paris or Brussels for their second and subsequent trips? Can you imagine what the fee might be if you were a frequent business traveller?

Anyway, if you can bear to read the article it is here.


  1. Excuse my french but wtf! I was just reading that article and my blood pressure started to rise! Do these people really think it’s the “well off” people who take several leisure flights a year? This is so narrow-minded! Ugh!

  2. Probably not a bad idea, if the threshold were set higher than one or two trips. Soak the business travelers who are on expense reports. Of course, it would have absolutely no effect on flying. But a good way to get some extra tax revenue.

  3. The only way such a thing could work is if the government gets even more into the passenger ID checking game and/or otherwise expands the spying powers of the surveillance state to expand and utilize the dossiers created to more extensively track our movements. I welcome no such expansion of government powers over the flying public. Enough “Big Brother” already.

  4. Hey how’bout based on the # of breaths one takes in and out since 6 billion of human beings are polluting this loving planet by co2 every single second. There ought be some punishment for those living.

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