Carriers urged to reduce fares for kids in school holidays

Carriers urged to reduce fares for kids in school holidays

A dad who has devoted his spare time to campaigning for a reduction in school holiday prices is lobbying airlines to lower fares for under-16s.

Paul Cookson, a sales director for an IT firm, has launched a Fairer Fares campaign to decrease prices for children flying in school holidays by increasing the age for adult fares from 12 to 16.

The move follows the abolition of Air Passenger Duty (APD) on economy flights for under-12s on May 1 and ahead of its eradication for under-16s next year.

Cookson, who has an eight-year-old daughter, said: “If the government agrees children are not adults until 16, then it’s only fair airlines do too.

"If one airline acts, others will follow.”
Cookson, whose Holiday Price Increase Group has 19,000 followers 
on Facebook, said the move would bring a significant saving for families.

Airlines reacted by saying that they were “not against” looking at ways to tackle the issue.

Monarch said it would “welcome a discussion” with Cookson, while Virgin Atlantic’s government affairs team is setting up a meeting to find out more about Cookson’s campaign. 

Monarch, which charges everyone over the age of two the same fare, last year offered free child flights during July and August.

A spokeswoman added: “Monarch has openly encouraged the government to review APD on all air fares – not just for children.”

A British Airways spokesman said: “We have no control over when school holidays fall, but are happy to explore initiatives that help address the issue.”

The airline has offered more discounted fares to early bookers and introduced deposits to allow passengers to spread payments across the year.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesman added: “The child fare classification is industry standard for airlines set by Iata.”

Thomas Cook Airlines said fares were already competitive, citing new routes to Los Angeles from £399.

A Thomson and First Choice spokeswoman said: “We encourage customers, particularly those that need to travel during the school holidays, to book early.”


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