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Half-term holidays up to 844% times more expensive

01 February 2017 09:01

Father Jon Platt challenged a £120 fine after taking his daughter to Florida

Father Jon Platt challenged a £120 fine after taking his daughter to Florida

Taking your family away during school holidays can be up to nine times more expensive than travelling during term time, new research shows.

New data from currency website FairFX, comparing the costs of return flights from eight airports across the UK, suggests families face huge fare hikes if they take their children abroad during school holidays.

Holidaymakers travelling from East Midlands Airport to Venice saw an increase from £43 during term time to £406 in the holidays, an increase of 844%.

Other popular holiday destinations that see soaring half-term prices include the Canary Islands, the Caribbean and Portugal.

On average, parents can expect to pay three times more for holidays during the school breaks.

A legal challenge

The new data comes as Supreme Court judges prepare to rule on a landmark case that challenges the penalties for taking children out of class during the official school terms.

Isle of Wight Council, backed by the Education Secretary, launched the legal battle in a bid to overturn a High Court ruling that was made in May 2016.

The High Court had ruled in favour of dad, Jon Platt, and blocked a £120 fine that the local authority had imposed after he took his daughter on a seven-day trip to Disney World in Florida in April.

The decision caused a surge in term-time bookings across the UK.

Families looking to travel abroad can take out family travel insurance for added peace of mind.

A 'supply and demand mechanic'

With the "incredulous" price rises charged by travel firms, Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, says it's understandable that families are campaigning to take their children out of school during term time.

He said: "There's an obvious supply-and-demand mechanic behind pricing strategies but with the cost of holidays being hiked up to nine times over, that's downright scandalous. The cost of holidaying outside of term time can leave families feeling they have no other choice but to take their child out of school until the issue of overpricing is addressed.

'As a consumer champion, we've campaigned over the school holiday price scandal for some time now and, despite national outcry and a legal battle reaching the Supreme Court, the industry has not yet listened to the plight families are facing up and down the country."