Travel agents face a ‘technical and financial nightmare’ to recover extra charges imposed after a ‘surprise’ new Spanish airport tax.
The BBC reported that the warning came from the European travel agents’ association, ECTAA, which was ‘dismayed’ by the rise, imposed ‘without proper consultation of airport users nor appropriate implementation time’.
Some airlines are passing on the new airport tax even if passengers booked their flights months ago, reported the BBC.
Some passengers have received emails telling them either to pay an extra charge of up to €7 per person – or to cancel their flights.
Ryanair said it would pass the cost on to passengers, even those who had already paid in full for their flights, because the tax applied ‘retrospectively to customers who booked flights before 2 July 2012 and are travelling from 1 July onwards’.
British Airways and Iberia told the BBC they had not yet decided whether to pass on the cost or absorb it.
The BBC said the new tax has been imposed by the Spanish government as it tries to balance its books.
Meanwhile, France’s new government is targeting holiday homes in a bid to reduce the country’s large budget deficit, and revealed plans to increase tax on rental income from 20% to 35.5%.
Kate Stinchcombe-Gillies, of Holidaylettings.co.uk, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘Many of the owners who use our website are based in Britain, and will be directly affected by the tax hike.
‘Letting their property will cost more if they’re required to pay more tax and selling up isn’t an option due to the simultaneous increase in capital gains tax.
‘Their options are either to wrap the tax increase into their prices or to absorb the costs and take a hit.’
To see the BBC report, click here.
To see the Telegraph report, click here.