November is typically the lowest season for economy class travel across the North Atlantic, with no school holidays in the UK and only holding Thanksgiving in the US to stimulate demand.
But after the announcement that UK travel to the U.S. will reopen on Monday, Nov. 8, air fares are skyrocketing, with desperate travelers willing to pay two or three times the normal fares to see loved ones or return to properties that were left empty for 20 months.
The first UK departures to the US after the opening of the border on November 8 will be with British Airways and, almost simultaneously, with Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow to New York JFK.
Economy class flights on the Virgin Atlantic flight are currently selling for £ 1,740 outbound, or £ 2,144 with a return flight a week later.
British Airways is £ 10 cheaper for the outbound flight, with a £ 995 price reduction option if a return flight is included a week later.
The fare of £ 1,730 at BA is exactly the same on all eight British Airways departures to New York that day.
Much of the demand is driven by British travelers desperate to see their loved ones. Travel from the UK to the United States has been banned since March 2020 due to a series of presidential proclamations.
Rising fares are declining rapidly on most routes.
Traveling from Heathrow to New York a week later, for a one week stay, the Virgin Atlantic fare drops to £ 352 round trip, with BA even cheaper to £ 337 round trip.
The November 8 reopening is becoming very popular on other routes.
Virgin Atlantic’s Manchester-Orlando link is completely exhausted westbound from Monday 8th to Thursday 11th November. Traveling on 15 November for a week, the fare remains high, with £ 981 (round trip) without checked baggage.
Between Heathrow and Miami on American Airlines or British Airways, no seats are available, in any class, on November 8th. The option offered by AA is a one-way trip through Chicago for £ 1,639 one way, and potential travelers warn that there is only one seat left at this rate.
In comparison, United Airlines ’£ 960 return fare for the basic economy between London Heathrow and San Francisco seems like a relative bargain.
Bid hunters can find many deals later in November. Between Heathrow and Miami, departing on 15 November for a week, British Airways has seats available at £ 395 round trip, offering a much cheaper option for people ready to travel further at either end of the journey instead. to pay the Virgin Atlantic fare from Manchester to Miami. Orlando.
For the first week of December, Virgin has a cheap fare of £ 372 (round trip) between Heathrow and Los Angeles.
But there are also upper-class buyers at Sir Richard Branson’s airline, at a fare of £ 9,341 round trip.
Also on November 8, British Airways will put its Airbus A380 “SuperJumbo” into service, initially with short jumps in Frankfurt and Madrid.