How To Claim An Airport Tax Refund In Colombia
When you’re travelling, every single penny, cent and pesos count. That’s why opportunities to claim back money you are owed, no matter how small, cannot be missed! Often though, us world travellers are oblivious to such opportunities and of course, the authorities in charge of granting refunds won’t go out of their way to notify us. That’s why I’m writing this post.
On a recent tour of Colombia, I discovered that I was entitled to claim back airport tax when departing the country, all I had to do was ask. The reason I was entitled to said refund was because;
- I had purchased my airline ticket online whilst in Colombia
- Airport tax had automatically been charged as part of the cost of the flight
- I was not a foreigner residing in Colombia
- I was not a Colombian citizen
In short, this meant 37 US dollars was owed to me by the airline I had booked with, Vivo Colombia.
How do you know if you’re owed airport tax?
Firstly, log in to your online booking and check the breakdown of your trip cost, you should be able to see here all the taxes you have paid. If you cannot see the information in your booking, contact your airline via email or live chat and ask them which taxes you have paid within the cost of the ticket. Simple!
I’ve paid airport tax, how do I claim it back?
This part is also beautifully simple. To claim back Colombian airport tax, take a screenshot of the tax breakdown or print any evidence that you have paid said tax and bring this to the airport with you. When you check in, you simply ask the airline clerk to refund you the tax. They will do it then and there and your refund will be in cash.
One small annoyance I encountered is that although my booking was charged in US dollars, the refund was granted in Colombian pesos, which meant a crummy exchange rate by the airline.
It’s also worth mentioning, that if you booked your flight from outside of Colombia the chances are you weren’t charged the airport tax, but there’s no harm in checking!
Hopefully this post will help some of my fellow travellers when departing Colombia. The sudden enlightment to potential airport tax refunds also means I’ll be thoroughly checking for loopholes when leaving other countries too, I encourage you to do the same!
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