Travel industry under fire over school holiday price hikes

The travel industry has once again come under fire for raising prices for holidays taken during the school holidays.

The Daily Mail has reported that package travel firms are “penalising more brutally than ever” parents who take children away during the school holidays. It says families travelling over the Easter break could pay up to £2,300 more for their trip.

The National Association of Headteachers accused the travel industry of cashing in on the plight of responsible parents. A spokesman told the newspaper: “We know holiday companies are out to make a profit, but you have to ask how much.”

Education secretary Ed Balls has threatened to come down hard on parents who take their children out of school during term time, threatening fines and even jail, according to the report.

An ABTA spokesman said the prices quoted were not realistic. He said: “They have compared the cheapest possible deal with the most expensive, and they are probably based on brochure prices, which are just a guide.

“As we’ve said for years, there are market forces are work. Prices rise during Christmas, Easter and August because they are also the main times for holidays in many different countries too, so pressure on flights and beds comes from all outbound markets – not just from the UK.

“Package holidays are the most family friendly section of the market, as they regularly offer free child places and child fares.”

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