Travel experts predict that the fall of the pound will cause a boom in foreign visitors

By Ryan Hooper for the Daily Mail

The cost of escaping Britain for sunnier climes this October has soared, with some flights to hotspots now costing hundreds of pounds more than pre-pandemic levels, a study has found.

Some one-way flights are now more than triple in price in 2019, according to an analysis of England’s six busiest airports and six most popular holiday destinations by Which? consumer champion.

They found that flights from Birmingham, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Manchester and Stansted to Alicante, Antalya, Dubai, Dublin, Malaga and Tenerife were on average 42 per cent more expensive than three years ago, from £150 to £212.

Their findings were based on data from industry firm Skytra, which analyzed the price of one-way trips between domestic and foreign airports, booked six months, three months and six weeks before the start of the fall holidays, respectively. .

For example, the cost of a one-way flight from Gatwick to Dublin, booked six weeks before the October semester, rose by around 280 per cent, from £42 three years ago to £160 now.

A flight from Manchester to Dublin increased by more than 230 per cent, from £45 to £149. Skytra CEO Elise Weber said rising fuel costs, pent-up demand for travel stemming from the pandemic and passenger limits at airports are contributing to higher fares.

Guy Hobbs, editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘Travellers have had a torrid time this year and our analysis shows they are paying through the nose for their troubles. With fares this high, it’s even more important that airports and airlines be held accountable for the unacceptable disruptions travelers face. The government should give the Civil Aviation Authority stronger powers so that it can impose heavy fines on operators when they break the rules.’

The most expensive flight analyzed was from Heathrow to Dubai, booked six weeks before the semester and costing £847. The same flight in 2019 cost £603.

And a flight from Heathrow to Dublin, booked six weeks before the October holidays, cost £236 this September, up from £84 three years ago. However, a small handful of trips dropped in price.

This included the cost of a one-way flight from Luton to Dublin, booked six weeks before the semester, down from £27 before the pandemic to £17 this year.

A spokesman for Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport, said: ‘Heathrow will not benefit from rising ticket prices this coming half year.

“The unprecedented rise in passenger demand this summer, coupled with travel sector staffing shortages in Europe and the US, has inevitably pushed up prices, and that’s even before accounting for higher travel costs. fuel and rising inflation.

“So the best we can do to help ease that pressure on passengers is to fully resource teams across the industry, and we’re supporting our partner airlines and ground handlers working at Heathrow to Do it as quickly as possible.”

Passengers at major airports, including Heathrow, Manchester and Gatwick, suffered major disruptions over the summer, with long queues at security and baggage claim, as well as last-minute cancellations.

Airlines have been forced to lay off thousands of workers in the gap between the end of the government’s furlough scheme and the end of Covid travel restrictions.

MPs were told this summer that companies faced competition from labor markets and other industries to attract staff back to airlines.