Half-term flights 42% more expensive than before pandemic, analysis shows | Travel News

Half-term flights are 42% more expensive on average than before the coronavirus 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, compared with £150 for the same period in 2019.

Rising fuel costs, pent-up demand for travel and airport passenger caps are thought to be behind the increase.

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: Alicante, Antalya, Dubai, Dublin, Malaga and Tenerife.

The largest increase was seen 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, Which? said.

Flights from Gatwick to Dublin booked at the same time increased from £42 in 2019 to £160 this year.

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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.”