Summer blues for travellers – Spain imposes new tax

TRAVELLERS during the peak summer season must be braced for surprises, not quite pleasant ones unfortunately.

Past years have seen airline and airport staff going on strike at a time when the problem would be magnified, as it is also the time that will hurt the pockets of their employers most. This year, so far not so bad, but keep your fingers crossed.

However, travellers to Spain will find it more costly – even if they had already paid for their tickets in advance for that holiday in the sun. The Spanish government is levying a new airport tax – up to seven euros (US$8.60), varying from airport to airport – which some airlines, amongst them budget carriers Ryanair and Vueling, said they would be passing on to their customers.

Ryanair announced that the tax would be collected retrospectively. Vueling gave its customers the option to back out within seven days of notification or pay up. It is really not much of a choice at this late stage.

The whole affair stinks of a Hector-act with little or no concern about how the effect will trigger down. Once again, it is the helpless and hapless customer that is left holding the can.

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About David Leo
David Leo has more than 30 years of aviation experience, having served in senior management in one of the world's best airlines and airports. He continues to maintain a keen interest in the business, writes freelance and provides consultancy services in the field.

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