First Choice Holidays is planning a consumer awareness campaign on APD (Air Passenger Duty) and is calling on its customers to make their views known by sending a postcard asking Gordon Brown to re-consider.The travel company has announced that it will be issuing leaflets to holidaymakers on its aircraft and in its retail stores. The leaflet will include a detachable postcard addressed to Gordon Brown, telling him what they think of his tax. However, customers do not need to pay for postage, they can simply hand the card to a member of First Choice staff who will send it on their behalf.
The information will also be put onto the company’s web site and emailed to First Choice’s customer database.
Dermot Blastland, Managing Director, First Choice Mainstream commented, “The Government’s position on this issue is frankly ridiculous. Gordon Brown is presenting himself as a leader on green issues, but this tax has nothing to do with protecting the environment. The whole thing is just a cynical tax to help inflate the Government’s coffers and the people who suffer are our customers.”
“Customers need to be aware that we are simply acting as Gordon Brown’s tax collectors. The cost of the tax on retrospective bookings to First Choice alone is £5 million and in the majority of cases, customers who have already booked will not be asked to pay the additional tax. However, we are having to re-consider our position on some bookings.”
Those customers, travelling in February and March who have already settled their final invoice will definitely not be required to pay the additional cost.
Despite all this, First Choice continues to support projects benefiting the environment and has recently announced the introduction of its own carbon offsetting scheme, in which it will match customer donations £1 for £1. A 100% uptake of the scheme would ensure that the majority of First Choice Airways emissions would be offset.