Tired of Paying a Big Tax to Leave Britain? Here’s How to Skip It.


If you prefer to travel east to west or want to take in more of the British Isles than the British capital, a tour that ends in Dublin could prove cheaper than one that wraps up in London.

Patience can guide the approach more than the pocketbook.

A quick flight from London to Dublin will still result in paying the air passenger duty, but the toll will be much less than for a plane leaving Britain for America. Others prefer the so-called RailSail option from Britain: a train to Holyhead, a Welsh port on the Irish Sea, and then a ferry to Dublin.

A short bus ride delivers ferry passengers into central Dublin, with Trinity College Dublin, the Temple Bar and the Irish Whiskey Museum all close at hand.

Ireland’s busiest airport has direct flights to the United States, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and Seattle, as well as some seasonal routes. The airport also has a United States government pre-clearance station, which allows passengers to complete immigration, customs and agriculture inspections before their plane leaves Dublin.

The Continent on Low-Cost Carriers

The design of Britain’s air passenger duty places the entire European Union into its lowest “band,” and Britain certainly loves low-cost airlines. That blend puts more of the Continent within convenient and affordable reach.

EasyJet and Ryanair are among the most prominent of the budget airlines, offering reasonably priced direct flights to worthy last stops. Amsterdam, Barcelona, Lisbon, Madrid and Milan are among the destinations with both low-cost flights from London’s web of airports and direct service back to the United States.

Plan thoughtfully

If there is a way to save money without much added inconvenience, it is simply by planning a multi-stop trip with taxes in mind. If London is on an itinerary that will take you across Europe, strongly consider making it your first stop.

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