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The sky-high cost of Britain’s last-minute Easter getaway rush: Families hit with £900 train ticket from London to Newcastle, with flights to Paris and Madrid costing more than £3,200 – while a trip to Tenerife is £9,000

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Families on the hunt for a last-minute Easter weekend getaway are facing eye-watering costs for flights to Europe or exorbitant rail fares to travel around the UK.

The cheapest return trip to Tenerife for a family of four (two adults and two children) leaving a London airport on Good Friday and returning on Easter Monday is the starkest example, at £8,937 for an economy flight with British Airways.

But those hoping to escape the miserable British weather also face shocking prices across the rest of Europe – with return flights to Mallorca for a family being flogged for as much as £4,048 with easyJet. The cheapest is £3,826 with the same airline.

MailOnline analysis found that British Airways return flights for a family from London to Libson are on sale for as much as £5,009 – with WizzAir offering the cheapest to the same destination at £1,656.

Families can expect to pay as much as £3,897 for return flights to Madrid with British Airways, with the cheapest currently priced at £1,768 using the same airline.

Last-minute return flights from London to Rome are being sold for as much as £3,600 for a family of four with BA and £4,973 from London to Barcelona with Vueling.com. The cheapest flights to Rome and Barcelona for a family are £1,915 and £1,437 respectively – both with Vueling.com.

The cost of a last-minute Easter getaway is laid bare, with flights as much as £8,937 to Tenerife for a family of four

If families want to stay in the UK, the cost of getting around by train is also extremely expensive this weekend. The figures are for a family of four leaving on Friday and returning on Monday

If families want to stay in the UK, the cost of getting around by train is also extremely expensive this weekend. The figures are for a family of four leaving on Friday and returning on Monday

Elsewhere, Easter flights from London to Nice are being flogged for a maximum of £5,872 with BA, while the cheapest is £1,949 with easyJet. And in France, flights to Paris are as much as £3,277 with BA, while the cheapest are £1,084 with easyJet.

Sky-high costs of flying away this Easter 

LONDON – PALMA (MALLORCA)

£3,826 (cheapest)

£4,048 (most expensive)

LONDON – TENERIFE

One option – £8,937

LONDON – LISBON 

£1,656 (cheapest)

£5,009 (most expensive)

LONDON – MADRID 

£1,768 (cheapest)

£3,897 (most expensive)

LONDON – NICE

£1,949 (cheapest)

£5,872 (most expensive)

LONDON – ROME

£1,915 (cheapest)

£3,600 (most expensive)

LONDON – BARCELONA

£1,437 (cheapest)

£4,973 (most expensive)

LONDON – PARIS

£1,084 (cheapest)

£3,277 (most expensive)

LONDON – PRAGUE

£1,240 (cheapest)

£3,963 (most expensive)

Prices checked on Skyscanner on March 28, 2024. Return economy direct flight from/to a London airport for two adults and two children with same airline, leaving Good Friday and returning Easter Monday. 

Earlier this week, travel expert Paul Charles, chief executive of travel consultancy The PC Agency, told MailOnline: ‘Low-cost airlines don’t exist anymore. Higher costs, including wages, fuel and increased supplier fees are forcing airlines to hike fares and pass on those costs to passengers.

‘Easter is one of the most popular times of the year to travel and demand is as high as it’s ever been. With this strong demand, airlines are able to charge more than ever for seats, knowing they will fill them.

‘There is no sign of fares falling either, as forward bookings for the summer period are still very strong. It’s a sure sign that the economy is picking up again.’

But it’s not just international holidays which which pose a problem – as the cost of travelling within the UK over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend is still significant, while the roads are set to be packed.

That is in part to the fact that rail firms such as LNER have scrapped all Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets on trains between London and Edinburgh to introduce new fare which becomes more expensive when trains are busier. 

LNER trains between London and Newcastle leaving on Friday and returning on Monday are going for as much as £925.20 for a family of four.

Meanwhile LNER trains from the capital up to Edinburgh are as much as £1,197.60.

Where Off-peak and Super Off-Peak trains are available, fares are cheaper but will still be out of reach for many hard-pressed Brits.

An Off-Peak return from London to Glasgow with LNER/ScotRail for a famly of four is £536.10, while a super off-peak GWR train from London to Newquay is £422.40.

For an Off-Peak return from London to Manchester, families will be set back as much as £327 with Chiltern/Cross Country. 

A London to Cardiff Super Off-Peak train return with GWR are being sold for as much as £296 for a family of four. And a London to Birmingham family return ticket with Chiltern comes in at a much more affordable £60.80.

Despite the extraordinary rail and flight prices, two million British holidaymakers are set to jet off abroad over the Easter weekend, with one airport bracing for ‘record-breaking’ passenger numbers.

Turkey, Dubai and the Canary Islands are among the most popular destinations amid wet and windy weather forecast for the UK, although trips to Dublin are also in demand.

Travel trade organisation Abta said airports are reporting ‘strong numbers’, with 175,000 due to leave from Stansted, 105,000 from Luton, 160,000 from Manchester, 79,000 from Birmingham, and 89,000 from Edinburgh between Friday and Monday.

Manchester Airport managing director Chris Woodroofe said: ‘It’s exciting that record numbers of people will be taking off from here this Easter: 320,000 people will travel (through the airport) over the bank holiday weekend – that’s up 7% on April 2023.’

Families would need to fork out thousands of pounds for an escape to the sun in Tenerife (pictured)

Families would need to fork out thousands of pounds for an escape to the sun in Tenerife (pictured)

Meanwhile, trains going up to Edinburgh would cost families over a thousand pounds for the weekend

Meanwhile, trains going up to Edinburgh would cost families over a thousand pounds for the weekend

Glasgow predicts more than 90,000 passengers over the four days, while Birmingham Airport said it expects a 27.2 per cent increase in departures on last year over the full Easter period.

Cost of getting away by train this Easter 

London – Newcastle (LNER*)

Friday 1427-1730 – £587.10

Monday 2017-2330 – £316.90

Total: £925.20

London – Edinburgh (LNER*)

Friday 1400-1827 – £598.80

Monday 0900-1341 – £598.80

Total: £1,197.60

*LNER have scrapped Off-Peak tickets

London – Glasgow (LNER/ScotRail)

Off-Peak Return: £536.10

London – Newquay (GWR)

Super Off-Peak Return: £422.40

London-Manchester (Chiltern/CrossCountry)

Off-Peak Return: £327.00

London – Cardiff (GWR)

Super Off-Peak Return: £296.40

London-Birmingham (Chiltern)

Family Return: £60.80

The figures, taken on March 28, are based on a family of four leaving London on Friday and returning on Monday. 

Bristol, which predicts 30,000 holiday trips on Easter Sunday alone, advised: ‘If travelling with Easter eggs, passengers are advised to keep any chocolate treats in your cabin baggage and to make sure they’re easily accessible as they may need to be opened for a quick check.’

Liverpool Airport expects around 60,000 passengers over the four days, which is around 7 per cent higher than last year.

It comes as drivers are being warned over long delays on roads as more than 14 million Easter getaway trips are expected to take place.

From 4pm on Thursday, the RAC expects the M25 to be the busiest route in both directions between the M23 for Gatwick and the M1 in Hertfordshire-with journeys taking more than two hours – over double the usual time.

The RAC and transport analysis company Inrix commissioned a survey which suggested 2.6 million leisure journeys by car will be made on Good Friday.

The lengthiest delays are expected to be between 11am and 3pm, meaning drivers are advised to set off as early as possible in the morning or wait until later in the afternoon.

Two popular routes for holidaymakers – the M5 southbound between Bristol and Taunton, and the M3 between the M25 and the south coast – are likely to be congested.

Some 2.3 million getaway trips are planned for each of Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday, with 2.0 million expected to take place on each of Thursday and Easter Monday.

A further 3.3 million leisure journeys have been planned by drivers who are undecided exactly what day they will travel, leading to a total of around 14.5 million getaway trips between Thursday and Easter Monday.

Meanwhile, around 20,000 cars are expected to travel through the Port of Dover between Thursday and Easter Monday.

Car traffic at the port faced around a 10-minute wait at French Border Control on Thursday morning.

Ferry firm Stena Line said bookings on Irish Sea routes are up 115% on an average weekend at this time of year and have increased by 26% on Easter weekend 2023.

The RAC and transport analysis company Inrix commissioned a survey which suggested 2.6 million leisure journeys by car will be made on Good Friday. Pictured: Afternoon rush hour on the M6 through Cheshire yesterday

The RAC and transport analysis company Inrix commissioned a survey which suggested 2.6 million leisure journeys by car will be made on Good Friday. Pictured: Afternoon rush hour on the M6 through Cheshire yesterday

Wightlink said there is still availability for last-minute bookings on ferries to and from the Isle of Wight.

Brittany Ferries said sailings to France and Spain are ‘busy’, though overall volumes are in-line with last year.

Elsewhere, Network Rail is urging train passengers to check their journey details before they travel because some major routes will be closed due to engineering work.

The West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes will be shut for four days from Good Friday.

There will also be disruption in the areas around Glasgow and Huddersfield.

Tourist board VisitEngland said around 11 million people in the UK are planning an overnight Easter trip, generating an estimated £3.2 billion boost to the economy.

MailOnline contacted British Airways and easyJet for comment.



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