THE ABSENCE of all four British teams from the World Cup has not cut demand for flights across the Atlantic. Indeed, between now and the end of the competition on 17 July, discount tickets to the US are thin on the ground.

'The end of June is extremely busy,' said Martin Bedford of Quest Worldwide (081-547 3322), 'so anyone heading for America can't be too choosy.' The traditional low-cost carriers, Air India and Kuwait Airways, are virtually sold out on the London- New York route until July, and bookings are strong on all transatlantic airlines for the rest of the summer.

One bright spot is San Francisco (the venue for some of the soccer matches), where substantially increased competition on flights from London has kept fares low.