Christmas travel costs rocket with some fares more than double for big getaway

Passengers booking festive UK travel tickets during the five-day Christmas break can end up paying more than double compared to just a week earlier.

Travel money expert, FairFX, has analyzed the cost of one-way fares for popular flight, train, ferry and bus routes during the period of eased Covid-19 restrictions, found an average price increase of 105 percent compared to just a week earlier, with some routes considered even 215 percent more expensive.

The investigation follows announcements from all four UK governments confirming that travel restrictions will be relaxed for five days from December 23-27, allowing families and friends to meet.

When comparing single flights from UK airports including Bristol, London Heathrow and London Gatwick, FairFX revealed that flights on December 23 cost an average of 186 percent more than the same flight just a week earlier.

Flights from London Gatwick to Belfast were up a whopping 200 percent – a cost increase of £ 146 per person. Meanwhile flights from Bristol to Edinburgh increased by 172 percent.

Research by the travel money expert found that during the festive five-day break, train ticket prices rose by an average of 119 percent, compared to the same routes on December 23.

Passengers wishing to travel from Cardiff to Exeter can see prices increase by £ 45 per person, a hefty 151 percent increase from the previous week. A trip from London to Manchester on December 23 will also cost travelers an extra £ 31 as ticket prices are up 95 percent from a week earlier.

The FairFX research found that bus ticket prices have increased by 100 percent over the five-day Christmas period, meaning the average ticket price is around £ 23 more per person.

Traveling from Plymouth to Bath could cost 215 percent more over Christmas week – that’s an increase from £ 54 per person. Travel from Cardiff to London costs £ 7 more per person as ticket prices go up 33 percent.

Ferry passengers could pay more than 20 percent more during the Christmas holidays.

Ian Strafford-Taylor, CEO of FairFX, said: “It’s no surprise that travel will cost more during the Christmas season, as there is a clear supply and demand mechanism. However, some of these price increases are shocking and penalize those who follow the rules.

“A lot of people will be happy to see their loved ones over Christmas, especially after most of nine months in lockdown, but if they do, they can end up paying a lot more for their trip.”

Comparison of costs of flight routes

Flight route

Ticket costs for December 17, 2020

Ticket costs for December 23, 2020

% Increase

£ Increase

London Gatwick (LGW) to Belfast (BHD)

£ 73

£ 219


£ 146

London Heathrow (LHR) to Edinburgh (EDI)

£ 105

£ 300


£ 195

Bristol (BRS) to Edinburgh (EDI)

£ 25

£ 68


£ 43

Comparison of train travel costs

Road train

Ticket costs on December 17, 2020

Ticket costs on December 23, 2020

% Increase

£ Increase

Cardiff to Exeter

£ 30

£ 75


£ 45

Liverpool to London

£ 32

£ 67


£ 35

London to Manchester

£ 33

£ 64


£ 31

Comparison of the cost of bus travel

Coach route

Ticket costs on December 17, 2020

Ticket costs on December 23, 2020

% Increase

£ Increase

Plymouth to Bath

£ 25

£ 79


£ 54

Bristol to Birmingham

£ 15

£ 23


£ 8

Cardiff to London

£ 21

£ 28


seven pounds

Ferry trip comparison costs

Ferry route

Ticket costs on December 17, 2020

Ticket costs on December 23, 2020

% Increase

£ Increase

Scotland to Ireland

£ 129

£ 159


£ 30

Liverpool to Belfast

£ 169

£ 195


£ 26

Fishguard to Rosslare

£ 173

£ 187


£ 14


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