Travel news: Ryanair customers forced to pay Belgian ecotax retrospectively | United Kingdom | News

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British Airways plane hits tail while trying to land

People who have booked flights to Belgium will be affected by the surcharge which starts today (April 1). The Belgian boarding tax was proposed by the country’s government in October to encourage alternative means of transport. It now applies to all flights, including passengers traveling by private plane or helicopter.

A number of travelers have been told in an email by Ryanair how much extra they will have to pay.

It reads: “On March 25, 2022, Belgium introduced a new tax on flights for passengers departing from Belgium from April 1, 2022.

“This means that even if a passenger has booked a flight before March 25, which is due to leave Belgium on or after April 1, we have to pay this new tax to the Belgian government.

“This new tax is levied at the rate of €2 [£1.69] and 10 € [£8.43] depending on destination.”

Ryanair passes a boarding tax on customers who paid for flights from Belgium (Image: Artur Widak/NurPhoto/PA Images)

    at Brussels Zaventem International Airport

A jet lands at Brussels Zaventem International Airport (Image: Getty)

He adds that passengers who do not wish to accept the additional tax have the option of canceling their flight and receiving a full refund.

The email warns: “Passengers must make use of their right to cancel their flight by April 6, 2022, failing which they will be deemed to have given their consent to have their payment cards charged with road tax. augmented air.”

Ryanair has been contacted for comment.

Meanwhile, an industry expert has claimed the disruption caused by British Airways’ IT meltdowns is being compounded by staff shortages.

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British Airways livery on the tail fins of passenger planes at London Heathrow Airport

British Airways livery on the tail fins of passenger planes at London Heathrow Airport (Image: Getty)

Travelers in the check-in area

Travelers in the check-in area at Heathrow (Image: Getty)

Dozens of flights at West London Airport have been delayed or canceled due to what the airline described as “a technical issue”.

At the end of February, BA was forced to cancel all short-haul flights from Heathrow for several hours due to a hardware problem.

Aviation consultant John Strickland, of JLS Consulting, said the airline is left “adrift” when faced with issues such as those at Heathrow on Wednesday.

Mr Strickland said: “They seem to be having issues with staff shortages as a result of the pandemic and I certainly know that’s something that’s going to be more prevalent with the airlines because of the number of people who have been licensed.

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How hot is Spain (Picture: Express)

“With what happened [on Wednesday]maybe if that extra problem wasn’t there in the background, maybe fewer flights would have been delayed or eventually canceled.

“Once the dominoes start falling, if your manpower isn’t up to the expected establishment, you flounder even more.”

A passenger plane, operated by British Airways, takes off

A passenger plane, operated by British Airways, takes off (Image: Getty)

He said the carrier was “in the process” of improving its IT systems, but “you just can’t snap your fingers and change everything overnight.”

The majority of flights on the airline’s live tracker were reported as departing late or canceled between 2 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The issue was resolved Wednesday afternoon, the airline said, but the ripple effect led to further cancellations Thursday.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “We are very sorry to say that due to the technical issue we experienced yesterday and forecast weather disruption, we have had to reduce our schedule at Heathrow today.

“We are taking steps to ensure that as many customers as possible can travel as planned today.

“We have apologized to our customers and are offering to refund them or rebook them on alternative flights, providing refreshment vouchers and hotel accommodation if needed.”

The carrier has suffered several computer failures in recent years.

Mr Strickland said they gave the impression that ‘they had no control over their IT and were worse off’ than their rivals, when the ‘reality’ is that other incumbent carriers such as Air France and KLM have “largely similar shadowy systems that date back decades”.

He explained how low cost carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair are “better placed” as their systems are more modern as they are younger companies.

Mr Strickland added that they also have simpler operations without multiple cabin classes or a large proportion of passengers taking connecting flights.

He believes the majority of British Airways customers will continue to fly with the airline despite its problems, but warned that its profitability depends on retaining customers who fly premium class.

The consultant said: “Everyone is going to be annoyed whether you paid for the cheapest or the most expensive ticket, but these high-margin customers are theoretically much more likely to want to go elsewhere.”

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