Half Term Holiday Flights Nightmare
As I'm writing this, I think about the number of individuals, parents and families that face this exact same problem - and I'm fully aware I'm not the only one that gets affected by this.
As lockdown measures are easing in many countries, and 'air bridges' are becoming a thing - more and more people are planning trips & holidays for the future. This is a positive sign for a struggling and hurting travel industry. We have seen airlines go bust, and the number of redundancies has been astronomical. Therefore, I welcome the flexible booking options being made available, and the ability to travel once again.
My fiancee is a teacher, and we have no kids - but our travel dates are limited by term time, and have a very set time period each year in which we can travel. This often results in needing to be creative with routes, airlines and destinations.
Presented with the chance to go skiing in Bulgaria during the February 2021 school half term, we were excited. We were given the dates, the fantastic flight deal - and hotels aren't exactly expensive in Bulgaria.
Route: London Gatwick - Sofia International Airport
Luggage: Hand luggage only
We then realised we had booked the wrong week, and were no longer able to go due to work commitments. So, let's have a look at the dates during the half-term break:
The exact same flights, just a week earlier - are now over 8 x the price. I repeat, one weeks difference makes the flights more than 8 x expensive!
This got me thinking, with European airlines ramping up the prices as they reflect the demand for half-term travel, where could I get for cheaper on the same dates?
Destinations that are cheaper to fly to than Sofia, Bulgaria - from London, during February 1/2 term 2020:
It genuinely blew my mind when looking at how far I could travel for less than an easyJet flight from London to Sofia.
Miami for £244.00 return, stood out, as did Los Angeles for £317.00 - and how often do you see a fare to NYC for £275.00?
I fully understand supply/demand - but the fact that prices for short-haul European travel is so expensive, I wonder if airlines are shooting themselves in the foot a bit as they try and recover from the shit-show that 2020 has been for them? But then again, there are people out there prepared to pay massively inflated prices to get out of the UK for a week...