In the "Headlines" section of the website, Rick notes that the UK has assessed an environmental tax on flights (news item pasted below). I found this out the hard way the other day when my family and I checked in for our flight from Gatwick to Charlotte on US Airways. We were assessed GBP20 per person before we were allowed to go through security and head to our plane. I'm a champion of the environment, but wish that US Airways had let us know about this sooner than an hour before our plane departed. We were sent to a ticketing desk and paid the fee (in otehr words, had to wait in another line) and almost missed our flight. We were told that the tax was assessed after we purchased our tickets (in December) and that the tax is retroactive.
All this to say that it's a good idea to check with your airline to see if you need to pay the new tax.
Environmental Tax on UK Flights
Feb 1 — Any thoughtful travel-related business is considering the impact its success has on global warming. And consumers who care about the environment will understand and support various carbon offset fees that will be more and more common as we come to grips with this reality.
For instance, a new tax on airline passengers flying out of the United Kingdom went into effect today and is intended to offset environmental damage caused by airplane emissions. It varies from £10 on economy class flights in Europe — including internal UK flights — to £40 for economy class long-haul flights and £80 for business and first class long-haul flights. All airlines, including those based outside the UK, are required to collect the tax for each passenger they fly out of the country. Most airlines are collecting the fee at the airport before allowing passengers to board.