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Budget alert: International travel prices to rise


When is the passenger movement charge going up?

Tickets for international flights and overseas cruises are about to get a little more expensive.

As part of its 2023 Budget, the federal government has announced plans to increase the passenger movement charge from $60 to $70.

The passenger movement charge is paid by all people travelling out of Australia.

As the budget papers explain:

The Passenger Movement Charge is a charge levied on passengers departing Australia on international flights or sea transport, irrespective of a passenger's intention to return to Australia. The Passenger Movement Charge was last increased in 2017, and the increase is broadly in line with inflation.

The increased passenger movement charge will come into effect from 1 July 2024.

Budget papers predict it will create an additional $160 million in revenue in 2024-2025, rising to $185 million a year by 2026-2027.

How do I pay the passenger movement charge?

The passenger movement charge is automatically added to the price of airfares and cruises, so you don't have to pay it separately.

The extra $10 will start appearing on bookings made for services after 1 July 2024. Airlines don't allow bookings more than a year ahead, but some long-range cruise bookings might be affected.

The budget also includes $15.5 million over 5 years for the Department of Home Affairs to improve how the charge is administered.

Why is international travel so expensive right now?

Prices for international travel have already hit record highs this year, with airlines tapping into post-pandemic demand and looking to return to profitability.

Analysis by Kayak suggests air fares from Australia to Europe for summer 2023 are up 46% on the same time a year ago.

Despite those rising fares, Australians are enthusiastic to return to overseas travel.

Research by Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker found that 31% of Australians are planning an international trip in the next 12 months, a number which doubled compared to the year prior.

Rising prices mean that scoring sale flight fares is one of the best tactics to cut costs.

Image: Supplied: givagaphotos
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