School holiday complaint goes viral

So you’ve found the holiday of your dreams at the price you want to pay – but alas – it’s during term time…

We know this is a real annoyance for parents as airlines do tend to increase their prices as soon as the kids break up for school. Unfortunately, as an agent, On the Beach has no control over this and we have to reflect these increases in our prices also.

Parents were once allowed 10 days per year for travel during term time, however after recent changes to this legislation, this may only be granted in exceptional circumstances. Despite this, statistics suggest that this is not stopping parents from taking their children out of school. This could be because the money saved on the holiday compensates for the hefty fine received as a consequence.

A recent Facebook rant on the issue went viral, with thousands of parents in agreement that the way airlines operate is unfair. However, Alan Bowen of AGB Associates warned, “Capping prices at peak season would mean prices have to increase at other times. The consequence would be that demand would fall, profits would fall and businesses would fail”.

It’s for this reason that ABTA has urged local authorities to consider staggered term dates to tackle the problem of increased flight prices. It has advised of the importance of encouraging parents to plan in advance by booking during the peak January to March period when free child places are more readily available.

What do you think to staggering school holidays? Will this change the way airlines operate? For half term deals visit

Written on 6th February 2014 by

Emily Whitehouse

Marketeer and blogger for On the Beach. Lover of all things beachy.

  • nicole barritt

    It makes no difference if you are a single parent, i recently booked a holiday with onthebeach it said free child but infact it is not as if i was to travel alone the hotel price was just over £300 cheaper explain how to get around the fact that a child is only free if 2 adults are traveling please

    • Emily Whitehouse

      Hi, I understand this will have been frustrating for you. As an agent, we have to adhere to the separate charges put in place by our suppliers and often, they will charge single occupancy supplement fees which can sometimes look like you are being charged for the child on the order. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to give us a call on 08714743000. Thanks – Emily

  • tracy johnson

    Totally understand the pro’s & con’s but as this reads, and reading through the lines. It is basically admitting that the travel agents ARE using school holidays to make their profits! Surely if said holidays were more reasonably priced in this time then more families would book holidays…..there is enough hotels/holiday parks the world over to accommodate the demand!!!! Also I have found booking through operators likes ‘on the beach’ …. in or out of term time much more cheaper than high street agents for identical hotels/holidays. Again proof that the high street agents are ‘milking’ families for every pound!

    • Emily Whitehouse

      Hi Tracey, thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you’ve found us to be cheaper; we are proud to say that we continue to be up to 50% cheaper than high street travel agents – but still have to reflect the costs of our suppliers during school holidays. We will be keeping our ear to the ground regarding the outcome of the debate!