Debate Over Increase In Holiday Prices During School Breaks

A campaign that was set up online against travel companies, has sparked a debate by MP’s in the house of commons. Paul Cookson said he was ‘sick to death’ of getting ripped off by holiday companies in a rant he made on Facebook entitled “School Holiday Rant”.

That Facebook rant went viral, with over 143,000 people sharing it online, and now Paul has set up an online group campaigning against the holiday companies raising their prices when school holidays occur.

One campaigner in the online group discussed how an holiday to Gran Canaria costs just £2,821 toards the end of May, but a week later plummeted to £5,887 in April, which just happened to coincide with the Easter school holidays.

Mr Cookson said that: “I think we expect the prices are going to increase during these peak times because some companies have to put on more entertainment, more food and drink so you can appreciate that.

“But it’s to how much, when you’re talking three, four or even five times the amount, it just doesn’t work.”.

The Commons Backbench Committee brought the issue to Westminster hall for debate, after over 166,000 people signed the online petition. Liberal Democrat MP, John Hemming said “Obviously parents are being charged a lot more for one part of the year compared to another part of the year … what matters is finding a way that people can go on holiday with their children and spend time with their children.”

Following a change in law, head teachers can now only grant children absence outside of school holidays if it is in ‘exceptional circumstances’, and can issue parents with a fine if they decide to take their child out of school without consent.

A British travel agent backed up the price increase by explaining that most school holidays fall in peak times, when demand is already high, and like other industries will raise their prices when the demand goes up.

One solution that is being discussed is to stagger school holidays throughout the country, which is an idea that has been welcomed by a lot of parents. Do you have any thoughts on this news story? Leave your comments below.