I bought a plane ticket from TAP Air, which goes Frankfurt -> Lisbon -> Toronto (one way), and the taxes applied to this ticket are pretty high. Sadly, I can't make this flight due to personal reasons, so I thought I'd ask for a refund of the airport tax.

I'm unsure how to proceed on this. Numerous articles around the internet say that I can ask for the money back, but I never found any EU law that states this.

Are airlines indeed required to refund this money? If so, how do I proceed with asking about it? The flight is tomorrow... Do I even have time?

  • You can apply for a tax refund also after the flight. So yes, you have time. – DCTLib Jun 22 '18 at 7:58

There is no law or regulation that explicitly states that you are entitled to a refund of those taxes (i.e. explicitly stating "if you don't fly you can get a refund of those taxes"). However those taxes are imposed by various authorities on the basis that you will be flying, and if you are not, most of those taxes no longer have a basis, and you are entitled to claim a refund, so it's more an indirect thing.

Some airlines explicitly state you can claim a refund on their site or in their conditions of carriage, which is often used to set limits on your claims (such as claiming within 7 days or having to use a specific form), or provide a way to make the claim online. See for instance:

It does not seem to be the case for TAP, so you will just have to contact them.

Note that you can reference Article 4.2 of their Conditions of Carriage, which covers this, even though not explicitly:

Similarly, in the event any tax and/or fee and/or charge which you have paid to us is abolished or reduced such that it no longer applies to you or a lesser amount is due, you will be entitled to claim a refund.

  • 3
    There have been German court rulings that refusing to refund airport taxes is a violation of § 812 BGB (German Civil Code). Since the flight started in Frankfurt and this counts as place of fulfillment, chances are high that German law may be applicable. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jun 22 '18 at 7:13
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo If you have reference to such a ruling, that would probably make a good answer. – jcaron Jun 22 '18 at 13:24
  • I would be curious to understand the reason for the downvotes? – jcaron Jul 6 '18 at 15:28
  • Probably because of the 'afaik' start. I've edited it slightly, I figure you have references and it'd be good if someone disagrees to argue it. However, I also suspect @Tor-EinarJarnbjo downvoted due to his comment (although I can't see if he did so) – Mark Mayo Aug 6 '18 at 3:52
  • I downvoted this answer and I find my last comment explanation enough. I didn't write an answer, because I am not sure if German law is applicable. I strongly assume that airlines are required by law in all EEA jurisdictions to refund unused airport taxes. It is impossible to give a comprehensive explanation in a 600 character comment on why I think your answer is worth a downvote. If you want references to such a ruling, you can use Google. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Aug 6 '18 at 10:54

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