Is it fair for travel companies to charge more during school holidays? It is a debate which has come to the fore in the past few weeks, since Paul Cookson posted on Facebook that he was “sick to death” of being “ripped off” by holiday companies who raise and lower prices between school holidays and term time. His post, intended for a few friends, went viral and spawned over 169,000 signatures to an e-petition, created by Essex mother of two Donna Thresher, calling on the government to limit price increases companies can levy during the school holidays. It seems a sentiment which is felt by many parents up and down the country and has even been debated my MPs in parliament this week.
But is it fair to say higher prices during a period of higher demand are a “rip off”? For many holiday retailers and travel companies, the summer represents the single part of the year they break even, let alone make a profit. So what is the answer? Capped price rises, removing tax at peak times, staggering school holidays or allowing parents to take children on holiday in term time? And could this lead to higher prices through the year for people without children?
We have reached out across the debate to ask the question “Is it fair for travel companies to charge more during school holidays?”