Surge in flight bookings over Coronation weekend as Brits prefer to head abroad

Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)
Jonathan Brady/PA) (PA Archive)

Britons are trading the King’s Coronation for a European getaway as flight bookings surge over the bank holiday weekend.

Tourism is expected to boom in London as people flock to watch King Charles III crowned on May 6, but some people appear to instead be planning a Spanish coastline retreat or exploring further afield in Canada with the extra time off work.

Amsterdam, Dublin and Florida are also proving popular destinations for May travel.

Monday May 8 was announced as a bank holiday to mark the coronation, in addition to existing May 1 and May 29 bank holidays, providing three long weekends in one month.

Holidaymakers are therefore able to use the May 8 bank holiday to jet away for 10 days – using only four days’ leave.

Barrhead Travel has reported a surge in bookings over the Coronation weekend, with bookings up 55 per cent compared with the same weekend in 2019.

The agency is reporting May as the third top booking month, behind summer months June and July. Popular destinations include Mallorca, Tenerife, Florida and Canada.

President Jacqueline Dobson said: “The top durations across this bank holiday period are mainly seven nights or longer – so it looks like people have decided to tie in their annual leave and take a long trip.

“The fact that we’re seeing long haul destinations, such as Canada, amongst the most sought-after places is a sign that holidaymakers are keen to tick-off long-awaited bucket list trips.”

All three long weekends in May are proving popular among Brits, according to data from online travel agent Opodo.

A spokesperson confirmed that 34 per cent of those booking travel over the three May bank holiday weekends are doing so over the Coronation weekend, 5-8 May. Thirty-four percent are leaving the UK on May 8 and 27 per cent on May 26.

Opodo reported the top three destinations as Amsterdam, Dublin and Alicante. Barcelona, Malaga, Belfast, Rome, Faro and Lisbon are also among the top 10.