Plane tickets could soar 10% this summer amid travel chaos during holiday months
Travelers have already endured months of chaotic airport scenes, with long queues and interrupted flights due to understaffing. Now they could also see the plane tickets going up
Image: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Airline passengers face 10% fare hikes this summer despite the lingering threat of travel chaos.
The boss of low-cost airline Wizz Air said today that the average price of its tickets is likely to increase by almost 10% during peak months.
Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary warned last month that fares would be higher this summer due to growing demand.
This means families will pay more to travel abroad while risking being hit by delays and cancellations.
Travelers have already endured months of chaotic airport scenes, with long queues and interrupted flights due to understaffing.
Martyn James, of complaints service Resolver, speculated that airlines could increase prices to cover an expected increase in compensation claims for canceled flights in the pipeline.
“People will be outraged that they are paying even more,” he said. “Airlines told us they had faced unprecedented demand, but had oversold flights and were understaffed.”
EasyJet canceled 70 flights today, partly due to an air traffic control strike in Italy. Video has emerged showing luggage falling off an overloaded conveyor belt at Manchester Airport with luggage strewn on the floor around it.
And passengers at Bristol Airport continued to suffer long queues after a week of horrific security delays and waiting times for baggage loading.
Peter Dacambe, 39, his wife and children aged six and three were two days late returning from Menorca. They were due to fly to Bristol on Sunday but easyJet canceled the flight while they were at the airport. “It was chaos,” said hospital consultant Mr Dacombe. “Nobody knew what was going on.”
Julian Hamilton/Sunday Mirror)
They finally managed to book a flight to Gatwick on Tuesday.
The prospect of higher fares comes as the threat of strikes at airports risks further disruption. Unions are demanding better wages for staff, many of whom lost money when laid off during the pandemic.
Industry chiefs say they face a shortage of workers, from cabin crew to baggage handlers. But the base salary of many airport workers remains low. Vacancies currently include aircraft cleaners at £10 an hour and airport security guards at £10.85 an hour.
Rowan Griffiths/Daily Mirror)
Hungarian carrier Wizz, which operates routes from the UK, is among the airlines that have caused cancellation chaos for passengers in recent weeks.
Still, chief executive Jozsef Varadi said today he expects “higher-digit” increases in the second quarter, which runs from July to September.
Ministers have been urged to impose tougher penalties on airlines that overbook routes. MPs want the Civil Aviation Authority to get more power.
Conservative Karl McCartney said ‘stronger action’ was needed, adding: ‘Given the high executive pay and profit levels, large on-the-spot fines could work.’
Lib Dem spokeswoman Sarah Olney said: ‘We need urgent action to tackle this cowboy behavior.
Pilots’ union Balpa has warned that some airlines are “sailing close to the wind” when it comes to having enough pilots to meet demand this summer.