Holidaymakers hit with fuel surcharges as oil prices soar

Caroline Cassidy

If the cost of living hasn't already put paid to your holiday abroad this year, the soaring price of oil just might. The current unrest in Libya means production of crude oil has been cut and, with concerns that trouble may spread to other Middle Eastern oil producers, the price is on the rise once again.

Travel firms increase fuel surcharges
Travel firms increase fuel surcharges

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In response to the rising costs, travel firms are either launching or increasing fuel surcharges for holiday-makers. Both Thomas Cook and Thomson will now charge between £15 and £40 per person depending on the length of the flight while British Airways surcharges have now hit between £75 and £125 per person.

Thomas Cook chief executive Ian Ailles told the Daily Mail: "We've worked hard to keep the impact of the rising fuel costs on our holidaymakers to a minimum but the fuel levy is an unavoidable result of the rising price of oil.

"These increases represent on average less than a four per cent increase to our holiday price."

The added costs may, however, mean Brits think twice about a foreign holiday this year but a staycation isn't always a cheaper option.

Rochelle Turner, from Which? Travel, explained: "In recent years, people have become used to taking two or three foreign breaks a year, but I think that is coming to an end. We may well see a return to just one fortnight overseas.

"However, it is not always cheaper to take a holiday in Britain. We know that accommodation prices rise as soon as the schools break up. You also have to factor in the high cost of eating out."

And with petrol prices pushing past the £1.30-a-litre mark it's likely that many will choose to stay at home this summer.

What do you think? Will fuel surcharges put you off taking a holiday abroad or is it still cheaper than holidaying in Britain? Leave your comments below...