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Gatwick’s top tips to save money when flying this winter

Head of Airline Relations at Gatwick Stephen King has, following 16 years working in the aviation industry, put together his tips on how to bag a flight bargain and save money when flying.

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Choose a mid-week flight.

There are huge savings to be made by booking mid-week flights versus weekend flights. The airlines team at Gatwick have crunched the numbers to identify savings in the region of 50% on a return flight, in some cases, when opting for a mid-week departure.

Pack a hand luggage size suitcase.

Most airlines will let passengers take on one carry on piece of luggage included in the ticket price, and then will charge for any further pieces of luggage. So avoid any additional charges on your ticket by just taking the one carry on suitcase.

Take that city break in winter rather than summer.

We have again crunched the numbers and there are savings of up to 70% to be made taking a city break in a winter month over a summer month. A winter trip also provides the opportunity to see the key sights out of the hustle and bustle of the busy summer months.

You don’t have to be flying first class to get the airport lounge experience.

Gatwick has a No.1 Lounge in both its North and South terminals, where any passenger can take advantage of unlimited food and drink, watch TV or browse one of the many magazines available (whilst of course stocking up on some magazine reading material for your flight). Passengers booking the lounge in advance of their trip can save £8 and it’s also well worth booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

Dress to impress.

Putting on a smart outfit, rather than your comfy tracksuit, really does stand you a better chance of being upgraded into the next class of cabin. This is especially important if you are travelling on your own, as it’s easier logistically to move a couple of people around the plane rather than a larger group.

Consider booking your return flight with a different airline.

There is no need to book a return flight with the same airline as your outbound flight. More than one airline might offer flights to your destination – so it’s worth taking a look to see if you can save money flying to your destination on one airline and back with a different airline.

Gatwick Airport, Head of Airline Relations, Stephen King said:

“There are huge bargains for passengers opting for a mid-week flight over a weekend flight. Anecdotally, I know from friends and family that they have a good amount of leave to take before the end of the calendar or financial year and there are some great value flights for passengers to take advantage of over the next few months.

“To give just a small flavour of some of the return fares available, for under £40 passengers can jet off to Dublin. Amsterdam, Barcelona and Copenhagen for under £50, and for under £60 they can take advantage of a huge range of destinations including, Bucharest, Cologne, Kiev, Madrid, Nice and Paris.

“These European cities really are year-round destinations, so those savvy enough to travel in these cooler months get to experience these great destinations out of the hustle and bustle of busier times of the year.”

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Gatwick

Henry Smith MP: Reforming Air Passenger Duty

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about reforming air passenger duty to boost trade.

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One way for MPs to raise issues in Westminster is through All-Party Parliamentary Groups. These Groups typically contain members of the Commons and the Lords, and include parliamentarians from across the political spectrum.

I recently established and was elected to chair a new APPG on Air Passenger Duty Reform, which seeks to encourage the UK Government to cut the rate of Air Passenger Duty (APD).

While the Government confirmed at the October 2018 Budget that short-haul APD rates will not rise for the eighth year in a row, keeping costs down for 80 per cent of passengers, there remains more to be done.

With the Band B long-haul rate scheduled to rise by £16 on 1st April 2019, reforming APD will help the UK compete on a level playing field with our European counterparts, boosting tourism, trade, jobs and growth.

The UK APD rate is the highest tax of its kind in the world. It is twice as high as the next highest, Germany. On long-haul flights it currently adds £78 to an economy ticket.

As we leave the European Union and look to forge a new identity for ourselves in the world as a global nation, it is critical we have a tax system that reflects that ambition.

With Gatwick Airport in the Crawley boundary, a significant reduction in the UK’s APD rate would signal to the world that Britain is open for business.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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