Airlines are piling more misery on hard-pressed families by pushing half-term holiday fares up to nine times the usual price.
Experts warned the May school break could be one of the most expensive half-term getaways for years.
Analysis by the Daily Mail of holiday prices in the week before and during half-term found a Ryanair flight to Nice on May 23 cost £12.99 – rising to £125.99 the following Monday.
For a flight to Lisbon on the same dates, the prices were £141 and £419 respectively.
EasyJet was charging £48.99 for a flight to Rome on May 23, but those heading off a week later must pay £118.99.
Analysis by the Daily Mail of holiday prices in the week before and during half-term found a Ryanair flight to Nice on May 23 cost £12.99 – rising to £125.99 the following Monday (stock photo used)
In another blow for holidaymakers, a study by iCarhireinsurance.com found the average cost of weekly car hire in Europe was £344 during May half-term, compared with £199 during the same period in 2019.
Consumer champion Which? said good deals are still available and that flight prices to some destinations are cheaper than before the pandemic.
But it warned travellers who did not shop around would face eye-watering prices.
Airlines are trying to claw back some of the billions lost when Covid-19 saw flights grounded.
Experts warned the May school break could be one of the most expensive half-term getaways for years (stock photo used)
Which? travel editor Rory Boland said: ‘It is depressing to see high half-term flight prices back, as this puts holidays out of reach for families whose budgets are already stretched due to the rising cost of living.
If you’re flexible about your destination, families may be able to beat the hikes by waiting until the last minute to book.’
Meanwhile, Heathrow boss John Holland-Kaye called for mandatory background checks on new recruits to be speeded up to avoid airport chaos this summer.
An easyJet spokesman said the airline’s pricing is ‘demand-led’ but added that many seats on summer flights are still available for less than £50.
A BA spokesman said prices ‘can fluctuate based on high levels of demand’.