Christmas is a peak time of year for travel, and around five million Britons will be heading abroad from UK flight hubs this season. However, new research reveals that some airports take the opportunity to hike up parking prices during this time, with some travellers facing tickets as high as £121 for one week of parking.
The price hike is referred to as a “Christmas airport parking levy” and takes advantage of the seasonal rush.
A comparison by Airport Parking Shop looked at the cost to park as UK airports and revealed that Luton airport is the most expensive to park in.
Customers will hand over a whopping £121.99 to park from the 25, 26 or 27th of December.
This is more expensive than some return flights they have on offer, including a return journey to Krakow which costs just £111.98.
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Besides Luton, other airports where it is cheaper to get a return flight than to park over the Christmas season are Bristol, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Stanstead.
At these airports you can get flights to either Gdansk, Vienna, Dublin, Stavanger and Kerry from £31.98 to £68.98 during the 10 days from 21 to 31 December.
Parking at these airports, for the exact same number of days there are between flights, runs from £31.99 to £121.99.
The parking experts then looked at parking stays between 21 December and 31 December, and compared them with post-Christmas dates of 7 and 14th January.
They found that parking ticket costs fall an average of 15 percent in January.
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However, the biggest price drop was found to be at Birmingham Airport where parking prices are boosted 50 percent over the Christmas season.
The report also highlighted some good news for passengers flying from Manchester, Leeds Bradford, Glasgow and Newcastle airports where prices stay largely consistent regardless of the date.
Though Manchester sees a minor fluctuation of one percent, Leeds Bradford, Glasgow and Newcastle airports see no changes between the last 10 days of December and the first 14 days of January.
The price of parking varies massively depending on which airport you are departing from.
Christmas travel: The data also revealed that opting for a long-stay rather than a short-stay carpark made for the most savings
On average, the most expensive day over Christmas to park at an airport this Christmas is Boxing Day.
It is also one of the busiest days for UK airport car parks, as data from Airport Parking Shop shows that more bookings have been made for December 26th than any other date from 21st-31st Dec.
The average cost across the 13 airports for Boxing Day parking is £76 and Leeds Bradford Airport is the cheapest.
The cheapest day overall for parking is New Year’s Eve at an average cost of £66.
If you’re hoping to make a saving while travelling, the experts suggest opting to park in a long-stay rather than a short-stay car park.
Alice Fowler, Product Manager at Airport Parking Shop, said: “The majority of the UK airports we looked at hiked up their parking prices to take advantage of the Christmas 2019 travel rush, with Luton Airport charging the most at £121.99 and Leeds Bradford Airport coming in the cheapest at £45.
“If you’re travelling over the next 10 days and haven’t booked your parking, we would advise that you quickly start shopping around and stick to long-stay car parks as they tend to work out cheaper.
“Consumers as should watch out for the ‘Christmas Airport Parking Levy’ – where some airports are increasing the price to park to cash in on the Christmas travel rush.
“If you’re travelling on Boxing Day, then we recommend some of the offsite car parks as it’s the most expensive day to park up.
“Using a price comparison site, like Airport Parking Shop, will also help you to make an informed decision while saving time on visiting lots of different sites.
“Consumers can also make savings – on average, our customers save up to 60 percent on airport gate prices.”