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 is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
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
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 North Korea elections: Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
£16000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: We're looking for...
£18000 - £34000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits: Flight Centre Group: Becom...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission + Award-Winning Benefits): Flight Centr...
£18000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre First and Business: This i...