This week’s British Airways strike has caused chaos for an estimated 280,000 passengers who were due to fly with the airline.
But it has also rocketed up fares to destinations around the world by up to 2,100%, leaving the UK isolated amid sold-out routes and stratospherically priced flights.
While air ticket prices are typically fluid and rises during periods of heavy demand are not uncommon, one expert said the level of increase seen during this strike was particularly extreme.
A return flight this week from London to Nice, in the South of France, costs as much as £1,272 for less than two hours in the air.
That was the price offered on Monday morning for an EasyJet flight departing London Gatwick Monday evening, and returning Wednesday morning. Returning Tuesday cost a little less, at £1,055.
Those fares — which did not include seat assignments, checked baggage, or any food or drink — had sold out by 3 p.m. Monday.
Nice — the gateway to the South of France and the Italian Riviera — seemed particularly affected by the two-day strike. All eight daily EasyJet flights from Nice to London were sold out on Monday and Tuesday, the British Airways strike days. The cheapest return flight on Wednesday September 11 was £448.50 ($555) one-way.
Meanwhile, British Airways was charging £694 ($858) for a Nice-London Heathrow flight on Wednesday evening, as it struggles to get back on schedule.
British Airways is selling return fares to Nice on other dates in September for £58 — making this week’s flights nearly 22 times as expensive.