Monarch failure: Rival airlines accused of ‘profiteering’

A leading travel boss has hit out at airlines profiteering in the wake of Monarch Airlines’ collapse.

Andy Washington, chief executive of dnata Travel B2C businesses said he was seeing some airlines offering airline seats for half term holidays at prices “£1,300 pounds more than what customers would have paid for their Monarch flights” which have now been cancelled, after the company was put into administration at 4am today.

He said: “Whilst I understand supply and demand, cashing in on customers’ misfortune is disappointing to see from an industry which usually comes together in times of crisis.”

Meanwhile, ex travel agent Andrew Dickson, former owner of St Andrew’s Travel in Bolton, said Monarch airline customers who had been “let down by the airline’s failure”, and trying to re-book flights, were being hit by rocketing prices as the increase in demand was taken advantage of by other airlines.

He told Travel Weekly: “There is an absolute feeding frenzy going on. EasyJet and Ryanair quadrupled their prices in space of four hours between 6am and 10am and they are continuing to rise. Half term in two weeks and already hard-pressed families are now faced with tricky dilemna. Pay silly prices or disappoint their children.”

Debby King, director of Departure Lounge Travel, said a family of three heading to Marmaris in Turkey next week saw their £1,200 holiday rise 62% to £1,955 when they rebooked with Jet2holidays. She also had a family quoted £400 more for a Lapland holiday in December with Thomson and said that by the time they decided to book it had gone up another £400.

“Some of the prices have been crazy,” she said. “Other operators are cashing in, which seems unfair.”

But King said Thomas Cook had “sensibly” offered £100 discounts to her customers on like-for-like bookings for cancelled Monarch holidays to offset the increased price. Kathryn Darbandi, Cook’s UK director of retail and customer experience, said: “Our agents are working hard to help customers coming into store who had a Monarch package holiday booked through us.”

A Jet2holidays spokesman said fares increase automatically due to supply and demand. “We haven’t adjusted our fares, they are simply increasing in line with our business model,” he said.

Thomson said it was “doing our best” to help those booked on Monarch flights and holidays make alternative travel plans. A spokeswoman said some customers have even saved money by switching to holidays with Thomson flights.

An easyJet spokeswoman said “many fares” were around £50 on Monday and have since sold out due to “sharply increased demand”. She added that easyJet fares “start low” and go up closer to the date of travel.

Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said its prices are “only coming down this winter”.


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