Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Have all the Lanzarote flight deals jumped in unison?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Wednesday 23 January 2013
Q. Last August I booked a flight from Gatwick to Lanzarote for November 2012 and paid £160 return. Looking at booking well ahead for November 2013, I was staggered to see that the price had gone up 73 per cent to £277! All airlines I checked seemed to have hiked their prices this year - are they in collusion?
A. The bosses of Monarch, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways will be wryly amused by your question. The main carriers that connect the UK with the Canary Islands are just as fiercely competitive to Lanzarote as they are for many other desirable destinations. That is why Britain, and specifically London, is the best place in northern Europe to begin a journey to many Spanish locations.
November is a splendid month to claim a reviving burst of sunshine, still-warm sea and relaxation in one of the finest Spanish islands. Lanzarote has a winning combination of great beaches, weird volcanic scenery and architectural flourishes by Cesar Manrique.
More pragmatically, November is the cheapest month of the year in which to travel, with no school holidays intruding to push up prices.
I expected to find return fares in the £150-£200 range, and without any trouble I found plenty of availability on Monarch at around £170 or £180. Fares on Thomas Cook and Thomson were typically £100 higher – but frankly only someone desperate to lock in to specific dates would pay nearly £300 for a return flight. The two holiday companies may sell a few at that sort of price, but in fact their focus is on using most of the capacity to sell inclusive packages. With almost a year to go, they can both be relaxed about the level of bookings, knowing that there will be a surge of interest come September when everyone finishes their summer holiday and seeks a winter break. By the start of October, you can expect much keener prices from both – and with a few days to go, prices for complete packages will probably fall to £200 or lower.
I can imagine your impatience to get a holiday booked, but please relax. I have been lucky enough to fly to the Canaries, including Lanzarote, many times in November, and none of those has been on a full aircraft. So even the day before, you can expect to get a good deal.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 2 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 3 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
- 4 News agency criticised for describing Amal Clooney as 'actor's wife' in coverage of human rights trial
- 5 David De Gea to Real Madrid: Real finally get their man with £29m bid for Manchester United goalkeeper
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...