Anyone planning a summer holiday in Spain is now subject to a surprise hike in airport tax imposed by the Spanish government as it tries to slash its budget deficit.
Airlines have complained the emergency measure came at too short notice, as it had to give prices to its customers who booked months ago.
The average rise in tax is 18.9 percent but at some of the larger airports the tax will almost double.
While some airlines which choose to absorb the extra charges say it will cost them millions, many low cost airlines, which will be hardest hit, have said they will pass the extra charges onto their customers, even if they have already paid in full.
The European travel agents’ association ECTAA said the measures were imposed “without proper consultation of airport users nor appropriate implementation time.”
The Spanish tourism industry is expected to suffer this summer, as fewer people take international holidays due to the global economic crisis.