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UK flight and holiday home bookings skyrocket as much as 600% after roadmap out of lockdown announcement

Feb. 23, 2021
3 min read
UK flight and holiday home bookings skyrocket as much as 600% after roadmap out of lockdown announcement
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After months of doom and gloom, canceled flights, postponed trips and dashed hopes, the U.K. government has finally outlined the nation’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Though the path forward is cautious and restrictions are being loosened slowly, the country now has dates to work with. But given the uncertainty of the path forward, the government has maintained the right to push any of the dates back.

And for travel-starved Brits, the two most significant dates are as follows. From April 12 at the earliest, hospitality venues can serve people outdoors and self-contained accommodation, such as vacation rentals, can also reopen. Then, on May 17 at the earliest, indoor dining and pubs will be allowed to reopen, hotels and hostels will be allowed to reopen and international travel may be allowed to resume, but will be subject to conditions.

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Light at the end of the tunnel. (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)

Inevitably, following Monday’s news, Brits went into a booking frenzy to release their pent-up travel demand.

EasyJet reported flight bookings were up 300% and holiday bookings were up 600% week-on-week, while TUI U.K. said summer bookings surged by 500% overnight, according to the Independent.

Sun-soaked destinations such as Greece, Spain and Turkey were the most-popular booked destinations.

Meanwhile, staycation and holiday home figures were also striking following Monday’s announcement. According to home rental site Host Unusual, it saw a rise of 127% in bookings since the announcement — an increase of 86% since this time last year.

Founder Alex Wilson said that the searches are for late April and May and trending destinations include Norfolk, Cornwall, Devon, Suffolk and Dorset.

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“Pent up demand and lockdown frustration is translating into searches for as soon as the restrictions are eased — people seem to be looking for a coastal break and treehouses, beach huts and glamping escapes are in high demand,” Wilson told TPG.

Brits are searching for remote glamping opportunities. (Photo courtesy of Host Unusual)

Similarly, HomeToGo said it saw an 83% increase in searches week-on-week for trips starting as early as May. And overall, searches for stays in the U.K. this summer are up by 188% compared to last year, with searches for stays in Cornwall seeing the biggest lift.

The site also revealed that cottages and detached holiday homes are the most-popular option, accounting for 78% of its accommodation bookings. It said longer bookings for 14 days or more are up by 56%.

“Based on our latest data, we saw a huge spike of travelers in the U.K. searching for holiday rentals the day of the announcement compared to the week prior and we expect searches and bookings to continue to rise in the days to come,” Caroline Burns, head of PR at HomeToGo, told TPG.

Whatever your preference, TPG advises you to book flights and lettings with a flexible cancellation or rebooking policy, as despite the positive news on Monday, rules are still subject to change at the last minute.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.