Holidaymakers face new flight surcharges
Holidaymakers are facing fresh price hikes as two of the UK's biggest travel firms have introduced surcharges to compensate for the rising cost of oil.
Thomas Cook and Thompson, the biggest package holiday companies in the UK, have announced they will be adding a levy of £15 for short-haul flights and £40 for long haul flights. That means a family of four could end up shelling out an additional £160 for their flight.
The new charges will come into effect immediately at Thomas Cook and will apply to all its brands including Airtours, Manos, Club 18-30, Sunset and Neilson.
The Thompson charges will apply from Friday. Holidays booked through its sister company First Choice will also be affected.
The £40 surcharge will affect flights of seven hours or more. Flights to destinations that are between three and seven hours will incur a charge of £25 while flights of three hours or less will be charged at £15.
The charges will apply to all new bookings, including flight-only and package holidays.
Ian Ailles, chief executive officer of mainstream for Thomas Cook UK and Ireland says: "We've worked hard to keep the impact of the rising fuel costs on our holidaymakers to a minimum but the fuel levy is an unavoidable result of the rising price of oil."
According to reports, other travel firms are expected to follow Thompson and Thomas Cook by introducing charges. British Airways has already increased its fuel surcharges, costing customers between £75 and £125 per person.
The hikes come as the cost of oil continues to soar. Spiralling problems in the Middle East are continuing to push up oil prices ahead of the governments planned fuel duty rise of inflation plus 1p on 1 April.
For more read: What does the future hold for gold and oil prices?
The average price of petrol in Britain passed the 130p a litre mark.
An increase in the general level of prices that persists over a period of time. The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over a period, usually 12 months. If inflation is up 4%, this means the price of products and services is 4% higher than a year earlier, requiring we spend and extra 4% to buy the same things we bought 12 months ago and that any savings and investments must generate 4% (after any taxes) to keep pace with inflation. Since 2003, the Bank of England has used the consumer prices index (CPI) as its official measure of inflation (see also retail prices index).