INCREASING numbers of British holidaymakers are crossing the border in order to get cheaper summer flights.
Travel groups have seen huge leaps in the number of families from England choosing to travel north of the border to jet off – and there are also rising numbers of Scots booking to fly from down south.
Travel agent Barrhead Travel attributes the rise in the number of passengers crossing the border to the substantial difference in the price of holidays over Scottish and English school vacation periods.
They have witnessed an 18% increase in the number of English families travelling to their holiday destinations from Scottish airports this year, and a 15% uplift in the number of Scottish families flying from England.
As youngsters in Scotland go back to school around two weeks before the English kids do, Barrhead reckons English families are trying to shave pounds off the cost of a break by booking from Scotland after the Scottish school holidays come to an end as it works out much more cheaply.
And it seems Scottish families are booking to fly from England before English schools break up for summer in early July.
Barrhead Travel chief executive Sharon Munro said: “The summer school holidays are obviously the most popular time for families wanting to take a trip abroad, but because of the massive increase in demand for holidays, prices rise at this time.
“For an English family of four, flying from England to Spain in August could cost significantly more than it would at the end of June. It’s much the same for a Scottish family looking to fly from Scotland at the end of June as opposed to the end of August.
“As school holidays in Scotland finish at the beginning of August, we’ve noticed a marked increase in English bookings for this time, as families know that’s when prices will have reduced as Scottish children are back at school. School holidays in England start in July, so increasing numbers of Scottish families are now eager to book to fly from England in the last week of June, first week of July.
“Taking this approach can help a family of three, for example, save as much as £600 on a trip to somewhere like Majorca, using Barrhead Travel’s exclusive charter flight programme, so it’s no surprise that families are willing to travel a few extra hours to cross the border.
“We’re more than happy to help families who are thinking about booking in this way.”