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5 HOT STORIES NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK


This week’s top stories: 1. Parent seeks price cuts 2. Tax row rumbles on 3. Viking ship delayed 4. Ian Mounser tributes 5. Inquest nears verdict


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A dad who has devoted his spare time to campaigning for a reduction in school holiday prices is lobbying airlines to lower fares for under-16s. Paul Cookson, a sales director for an IT firm, has launched a Fairer Fares campaign to decrease prices for children flying in school holidays by increasing the age for adult fares from 12 to 16. The move follows the abolition of


Air Passenger Duty (APD) on economy flights for under-12s on May 1 and ahead of its eradication for under-16s next year. Cookson, who has an eight-year-old


daughter, said: “If the government agrees children are not adults until 16, then it’s only fair airlines do too. If one airline acts, others will follow.” Cookson, whose Holiday Price


Increase Group has 19,000 followers on Facebook, said the move would bring a significant saving for families. Airlines reacted by saying that they


were “not against” looking at ways to tackle the issue. Monarch said it would “welcome a discussion” with Cookson, while Virgin


4 • travelweekly.co.uk — 7 May 2015


Cookson (inset) wants the age for adult fares to rise from 12 to 16


Dad lobbies airlines to reduce fares for kids in school holidays Juliet Dennis


Atlantic’s government affairs team is setting up a meeting to find out more about Cookson’s campaign. Monarch, which charges everyone


over the age of two the same fare, last year offered free child flights during July and August. A spokeswoman added: “Monarch has openly encouraged the government to review APD on all air fares – not just for children.” A British Airways spokesman said:


“We have no control over when school holidays fall, but are happy to explore initiatives that help address the issue.” The airline has offered more discounted fares to early bookers and introduced deposits to allow passengers to spread payments across the year. A Virgin Atlantic spokesman added: “The child fare classification is industry standard for airlines set by Iata.” Thomas Cook Airlines said fares were


already competitive, citing new routes to Los Angeles from £399. A Thomson and First Choice


spokeswoman said: “We encourage customers, particularly those that need to travel during the school holidays, to book early.”


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