Departure taxes: they follow us everywhere we go

by Passrider on May 7, 2012

As annoying and sometimes expensive as they are, we have to live with departure taxes. Over the last year or so, many countries have added these taxes. They can range from approximately 20 CAD in Vancouver, B.C. Canada (YVR) to 90 GBP for a First/Business Class ride from the U.K. to the U.S.,  45 GBP in Economy class. Ouch!

Most countries in Europe has a departure tax, sometimes it is a tad cheaper if you are transiting within 24 hours. You can usually pay at the airport or pay your airline when you get home. Usually if you are traveling on another carrier than your own, the taxes are in the pass you bought. They sometimes double the cost of the pass! Some countries such as Trinidad and Tobago (100 TT), Dominican Republic (20 USD) and Bonaire (20 USD) have a special booth set up to collect this taxes.

No sense in complaining, just be prepared. Check with your fellow employees on what the tax is for the city you are visiting and how it is paid. Some countries only take cash in local currency while others will take credit cards. Usually they need exact change as well.

Taxes in General
In the U.S. there are quite a bit of taxes as well, but most airlines absorb that for you so you don’t realize it. But when you purchase an OA ticket you realize how much the taxes are. As an example a ticket from say Japan to the U.S. will have a lot of taxes on it, while one to Canada will have none or very little.

The NY Times just did an article on taxes at This make a very good read so please take a look.

So What?
Be prepared before you travel internationally, you should be prepared before you travel in general. Do your research by checking the airport Web sites, fellow passriders and in person when you visit different countries. Also, just have some cash available for departures taxes before you leave a country where one is necessary. Have a credit card handy or a debit card so you can use a local ATM if necessary. Don’t spend all your money on shopping.

What do you think?
What are your thoughts on all this? Do you have any stories as you were not prepared? Do you have any tips for your fellow passrider? Please share with us.

Have a great trip and plan for the departure taxes.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Linda February 13, 2014 at 10:04 pm

My husband just completed a flt to Paris out of SFO with me as a working crew member. The departure tax is based on the SA listing. My husband payed 120.00 dollars US based on his business/first listing. It is deducted from my pay check. Once the tax is paid it may be difficult to ask for the lower amount (71.00 US) for a coach assignment. We and our eligibles do travel SA and of course we have no gaurantees. So roll the dice and take your seat.


avatar Kerwin McKenzie February 15, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Hi Linda,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, out of Paris the taxes are based on the cabin of service for which you fly. Just contact the Pass Office and they will take care of you.


avatar jeff mabry July 26, 2014 at 4:01 pm

I am a us citizen .  will i be charged a departure tax when I leave canada by air?


avatar Kerwin McKenzie July 28, 2014 at 11:17 am

Yes. The departure taxes is regardless of citizenship. Contact your airline’s pass bureau and they will advise the charges.



avatar Ken P July 13, 2015 at 3:05 am

Is it possible, and legal to avoid paying Canada’s departure taxes by leaving on train or by car?


avatar Kerwin McKenzie July 14, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Hi Ken P.,

Thanks for your question.
It’s not a question of legality I don’t think :-). There’s no departure tax when you cross the borders on foot or by motor vehicle (lines are long usually). If you cross by a bus, it would be included in the fare you pay just like it is for an airplane.
Also, some of the taxes are for the airport and since when you drive you do not use an airport you are good to go.
Just checking on Amtrak’s web site, the fare to/from Toronto, On Canada to/from New York, NY USA is the same $124 and no taxes breakdown were displayed. If there was an additional departure tax from Canada the fares would be different.

I hope this helps.



avatar Nari January 24, 2018 at 2:37 am

detailed taxes YYZ-JFK retn.

Plant Inspection-$5.07, US customs-$7.07,Air Travel Security-$12.10,Goods and Service Tax-$1.11,US security $7.17, Airport Improvement-$28.25,US international transportation Tax-$46.08,US immigration-$8.96 . Total Cdn $ 115.78 ; as of this date.


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