Airlines have reported holiday search surges of up to 700 per cent in the wake of yesterday's White House 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”.
As of 8pm yesterday, British Airways Holidays claimed an increase in searches of “nearly 700 per cent” for its US holidays. 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 surge in demand will lead to rising prices, 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, the lowest price recorded in five years.
A search on Skyscanner this morning, for return flights UK–US next month, indicates little change in prices so far [see post below, 8:12am].
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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
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.Internet Explorer Channel Network