LONDON : Families hoping to jet out of Britain during the October half-term face paying hundreds of pounds more compared with holidays taken before the pandemic, according to new analysis.
Consumer group Which? said the typical price of a one-way ticket for the week-long school holiday in October booked six months, three months and six weeks in advance was £212 ($226).
That is compared with £150 for the same period in 2019, an increase of 42 per cent.
The increase is being blamed on rising fuel costs, pent-up demand for travel and caps on the number of airport passengers.
Which? analysed prices from data company Skytra for flights from six of England’s busiest airports ― Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton and Birmingham ― to six popular destinations, which were Alicante, Antalya, Dubai, Dublin, Malaga and Tenerife.
The largest price increase was on flights from Heathrow to Tenerife.
Passengers booking six weeks before departure paid an average of £262 more each way than in 2019, adding £2,096 to the cost of a holiday for a family of four, according to Which?.
Flights from Gatwick to Dublin booked at the same time increased from £42 in 2019 to £160 this year.
Conversely, travellers heading to Britain may be able to cash in.
Sterling’s fall in value means the UK is “on sale” for inbound tourists, the boss of Virgin Atlantic said in central London on Tuesday. Shai Weiss urged UK Prime Minister Liz Truss to change tack to boost the moribund currency, which economists fear could slump to parity with the US dollar this year for the first time.
Many holidaymakers suffered from flight cancellations and long queues at airports during the first half of the year owing to staff shortages across the aviation industry.
Guy Hobbs, editor of Which? Travel, said: “Travellers have had a torrid time this year and our analysis shows they’re paying through the nose for their trouble.
“With fares so high, it’s even more important that airports and airlines are held to account for the unacceptable disruption travellers have faced.
“The government should give the Civil Aviation Authority stronger powers so it can hit operators with heavy fines when they flout the rules.”
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