The Mail is reporting that families are being hit with air fare price hikes for half-term flights with tickets up to eight times more expensive than at other times.
The penalty for parents who play by the rules and only take holidays during the official half-term in February – particularly those going on a skiing break – could add up to hundreds of pounds.
Successive governments have taken an increasingly tough line on parents who take their children out of school during term time, which can lead to a fixed penalty fine of £60, rising to £2,500 if the case goes to court.
This means families are at the mercy of airlines, travel companies and British holiday parks which routinely hike prices as soon as the schools break up.
This year, Saturday, February 13, marks a double whammy for flight sales because this coincides with the start of half-term and Valentine’s Day, fuelling demand and some startling price rises.
A study of the cost of return flights to 75 holiday destinations from 12 UK regions discovered that the average flight price increases by nearly 200 per cent compared with those departing two weeks later.
The biggest hike was found at Manchester Airport where a flight to Verona, Italy, is some 762 per cent more expensive departing on February 13 compared to February 27 – taking the price up from £55 per person to £474…
It hardly encourages parents to play by the rules, does it?
That said, there is a fundamental supply and demand issue unless some way is found of spreading the holiday load for parents.
How about regionally staggered holidays like they have in Germany?
Please give us your thoughts and reactions in the comments or via Twitter…
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!