Travel news latest: US flight searches up by 700pc as experts warn of rising fares


Airlines have reported holiday search surges of up to 700 per cent, in the wake of yesterday’s announcement that UK travellers will be permitted to enter the US from November. 

Virgin Atlantic saw a 91 per cent increase in bookings in the single hour following the announcement, its CEO Shai Weiss describing the move a “major milestone” for the aviation industry.

British Airways Holidays claimed an increase in searches of “nearly 700 per cent” for its US holidays, as of 8pm yesterday. According to the tour operator, the most in-demand destinations are New York, Orlando, Las Vegas, Miami, Los Angeles and Boston.  

Travel industry analysts have warned that the new demand will trigger a rise in fares, for the first time since March 2020. According to research firm Hopper, return flights between the US and Europe, including the UK, cost an average of £410 pre-announcement. This was the lowest price recorded in five years. 

However, a search on Skyscanner this morning, for return economy flights UK–US in November, indicates little change in prices so far [see post below, 8:12am]. 

Scroll down for more of today’s travel news.

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Live prices for economy UK–US return flights

There are still bargains to be had on UK–US flights. This morning, prices on Skyscanner for return flights in November are as follows:

  • UK to Orlando starting from £313 
  • UK to New York starting from £306 
  • UK to Las Vegas starting from £419 
  • UK to LA starting from £327

Prices do rise significantly for the final week in November, as Thanksgiving falls on Thursday November 25.

Boris Johnson ‘delighted’ by US announcement

Mr Johnson said he was “delighted” that Mr Biden was reinstating transatlantic travel, saying: “It’s a fantastic boost for business and trade and great that family and friends on both sides of the pond can be reunited once again.”

Yesterday’s White House announcement came after The Telegraph revealed that Boris Johnson would press Joe Biden, the US president, to change Covid travel rules and let Britons fly to the United States when they meet in the White House for the first time today.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Johnson had appeared to be out of the loop on developments in Washington, saying he thought there would not be a change in the travel rules this week.

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