I’m disappointed I won’t be able to see my parents this Christmas because airline tickets for my family cost £2,365.

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I’m disappointed that I won’t be able to spend Christmas with my parents because airline tickets cost £2,365.

I, like many others, have family who live in other countries, which necessitates booking flights for Christmas so we can all celebrate together.

We, like millions of others, were disappointed last year when we were unable to spend the holiday season together due to a last-minute lockdown and travel ban.

Things are looking up this year: the majority of people in the UK have received two vaccinations, and most travel restrictions for those who have been inoculated have been lifted.

However, just as we were rejoicing at the prospect of all of us being together again, I discovered that flights to Toulouse, France – which is only two hours away from London – were ridiculously expensive.

First, I looked at Easyjet, which offers a reasonable £24 outbound flight on December 2 but increases to £334 on December 22 (the date I want to leave).

When I chose January 3, 2022 as my return date, the price came to £244.

A pre-selected seat and a 23kg suitcase (you can’t travel with only hand luggage when transporting presents) cost an extra £79, bringing the total to £650.

(It’s also a non-refundable ticket.)

The trip would cost £1,940 for a family of three with a trio of 23kg suitcases and seats next to each other.

How is it possible to justify that price?

“As with all airlines, our pricing is demand-led, which means that as more seats are booked on a flight, the price will rise, so our fares start low and increase the closer it is to the date of departure,” an easyJet spokesperson said.

“The high demand for flights during the holiday season resulted in the highlighted return fare.”

“We always advise customers to book as soon as possible in order to get the best fares.”

“At the time of going on sale, fares between London and Toulouse for the dates in question were available for as little as £17.99 per person, and great value flights between London and France are still available for as little as £63 over the Christmas period.”

Skeptical, I double-checked the seat map for the booking to see how full the flight was and discovered there were nearly 90 seats left.

No matter how the airline tried to spin it, it felt like “price gouging,” which is when a company inflates prices far beyond what is considered reasonable.

(I understand that airlines must recoup significant losses, but is Christmas the right time to do so? Scrooge would undoubtedly approve.)

I persisted in researching the cost of flying with British Airways.

On my dates, the situation was actually a little better…

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Jenny Southan said she won't see her parents this Christmas, as airlines are charging thousands to travelAirlines are charging more than double when it comes to flying over ChristmasEasyJet flights jump from £24 to £334Jenny said it would cost her family thousands to travel to France over Christmas

Jenny Southan said she won't see her parents this Christmas, as airlines are charging thousands to travelAirlines are charging more than double when it comes to flying over ChristmasEasyJet flights jump from £24 to £334Jenny said it would cost her family thousands to travel to France over Christmas

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