On Monday, the Thomas Cook tour company and airline abruptly shut down, leaving some 600,000 tourists stranded on holidays around the globe. While governments and officials are busy attempting to help people get home, it appears rival airlines are busy jacking up prices to take advantage of needy customers.
According to The Guardian, flight websites predicted that prices on flights in and out of Manchester will continue to rise in the coming months. And, at least one airline is confirming this to be true.
“Our pricing, as is common practice in the travel industry, is based on the principle of supply and demand,” a spokesperson for Jet2 confirmed to The Guardian. “As supply reduces, an inevitable consequence is that prices increase. However, we are looking at adding more supply (flights and seats) to help customers at this time.”
And it looks like those prices on Jet2 are already soaring sky-high. As Business Insider noted, one traveler found the cost on one Jet2 flight had almost doubled within an hour of Thomas Cook's collapse.
Absolutely disgusting from @jet2tweets @Jet2Holiday within the space of an HOUR they’ve doubled the price of flights following the news of #ThomasCook collapsing. Yet another Typical greedy airline. #jet2 pic.twitter.com/3xDTlq60mn— Olivia Howat (@olivia_howat) September 23, 2019
Another found one particular flight’s prices had tripled.
Paid for two fights to Menorca with Barclaycard and they’ve told me to contact Thomas Cook.— James Dunkerley (@dunkerley_james) September 23, 2019
Tried another flight with Jet2 and £47 yesterday £145 today.
How are they allowed to do this?
One passenger told The Sun, they found a London to Orlando, Florida flight that went from $545 to $2,467. While British Airways admittedly told Sky News that the flight prices are based on supply and demand, they denied targeting Thomas Cook routes and passengers.
“When a particular route ceases to operate prices do indeed increase substantially, but this generally occurs over a matter of weeks and months. I expect it will be similar in this case as the additional demand will increase prices on other carriers,” Jack Sheldon, founder of flight price website Jack’s Flight Club, told The Guardian.
He noted that apart from easyJet and Ryanair, he does expect to see increases on long-haul routes to many Caribbean destinations from London. Sheldon added, those increases will be even more prominent from Manchester “where Thomas Cook was quite dominant, in terms of direct routes to many holiday destinations.”
However, there should be a light at the end of this very expensive tunnel toward the end of the year.
“This will be a short-term hit, with rises through the winter months as capacity is removed,” one tour company operator who wished to remain anonymous told The Guardian. “But we expect to see other carriers take over Thomas Cook’s slots and once those are swallowed up prices should steady.”