Heathrow flights could be pricier from next year
Passengers choosing to fly from Heathrow are generally subject to paying higher fees already, compared to other airports dotted around the country – but a five-year investment plan could see prices shoot up even further.
prepaid cardsThe objective of the £3bn five-year project is to secure the funds to put towards the new Terminal 2 and improvements in customer service.
“Heathrow faces stiff competition from other European hubs and we must continue to improve the service we offer passengers and airlines,” Heathrow chief Colin Matthews said.
He expects passenger numbers to increase from its current level of just under 70mn to around 72mn by 2018/9, and said that the funds would be ploughed into improving check-in and baggage facilities and the opening of the new Terminal 2.
However, in order to secure this investment, Heathrow wants regulators to allow it to charge airlines more to use the airport between 2014 and 2019.
The knock-on effect means passengers departing from Heathrow will face “incredibly steep price rises”, which airlines worry might “penalise” customers.
If the plan is approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), charges will go up by the equivalent of £19.33 per passenger for 2012/3, reaching a possible £27.30 per passenger in 2018/9.
British Airways said: “We hope the regulator (the CAA) will give a fair ruling in the months ahead, which doesn't penalise customers and airlines.”
Virgin Atlantic also voiced concern over the plan, suggesting it was not in the best interest of passengers.
“We are totally committed to improving the passenger experience at Heathrow. However, we believe this can be done without a repeat of the incredibly steep price rises we have seen in airport charges in the last few years,” the airline said.
The CAA will publish its final decision in January 2014. If the plan is approved, passengers will be looking for ways to cut back on holiday costs.
Organising your travel money in advance to avoid expensive airport rates can help; and taking a prepaid card is a great way to stay on top of your budget whilst overseas.