Q. Looking at roundtrip airfare to London travel in the first week of December this year I have found base fares for $230, which does not include the additional $400 plus in taxes and fees. This brings the total for one person to well over $600. What are these taxes and fees?

A. British airports have some of the highest taxes and fees of any in the world, and the British government’s “air passenger duty tax” was scheduled to go up on long-haul flights, such as New York to London, from 40 to 85 pounds per person in November. So that’s $135 right there. Airlines are just as unhappy about this as you are, with British Airways’ CEO Willie Walsh calling the increase a “disgrace.” In addition to British taxes, the U.S. government imposes taxes and fees, and there are also fuel surcharges, which the airlines themselves impose. All of which is to say that the “base fare” is somewhat of a joke.

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