Half-term holiday airfares surge by nearly half since pandemic

Flights for the upcoming autumn half-term holiday are up 42% compared to before the pandemic, Which? research has found.

It analysed of data and found huge price rises for flights from around the country.

The average cost of one-way half-term tickets for six popular destinations is £212 this year compared to £150 in 2019.

The steepest jump in average prices was seen at Heathrow airport, where passenger numbers have been capped at 100,000 a day until the end of the school holidays on October 29.

Which? compared average fares of flights to six popular destinations – Alicante, Antalya, Dubai, Dublin, Malaga and Tenerife – from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Luton and Birmingham.

The analysis looked at fares at six months, three months and six weeks before the October half-term in 2019 versus 2022.

The largest price hike was on flights from Heathrow to Tenerife.

Passengers booking six weeks before their departure date 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.

Heathrow to Malaga flights were £282 – an increase of £193 or 216% in three years.

Heathrow to Dublin was £236 on average – 181% more expensive

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.”

Which? found the cost of flights has soared from Gatwick, Manchester, Heathrow and Birmingham in particular.

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