Join Simon Calder’s mailing list for valuable tips and savings on travel.
Receive the Travel email from Simon Calder.
The Independent’s writer Simon Calder, also recognized as The Man Who Pays His Way, has been covering travel topics since 1994. Every week, he delves into a significant travel matter and its implications for readers in his opinion piece.
In the midst of the global challenges we are currently facing, the inquiry I received from a reader seems to be of lesser importance.
The predicament that “Old Banker,” as the reader refers to themselves, is currently grappling with is whether or not to make a reservation for a flight to the Canary Islands.
As we anticipate the future (as Slade famously sang 50 years ago in “Merry Christmas Everybody”), many potential travelers are confronted with the dilemma of when to book their trip.
“Old Banker explains that they have attempted to make a reservation for a trip to Lanzarote in November of the following year with British Airways.”
According to them, their schedule for winter 2024-25 does not include any flights to the Canary Islands except for two per week to Tenerife.
“Is it possible that they have forsaken one of the most beloved winter destinations in Europe?”
Currently, British Airways has launched the sale of numerous flights to various destinations across the globe for any day in November of the following year. Typically, tickets become available for purchase 255 days prior to the departure date, so you can secure a flight from London to Lagos or Los Angeles, among others, for any day in the 11th month of the upcoming year.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to reserve a flight with BA to Lanzarote. As stated by the reader, BA only offers flights twice a week (Fridays and Saturdays) from London Heathrow to Tenerife South. However, you will not be able to find any British Airways flights to any other Canary Islands. This may change in the future.
You may be wondering, “Why don’t I just reserve a flight with a different airline?” If you depart on November 1st and return two weeks later, easyJet offers three outgoing flights from London Gatwick and two incoming flights. The fares start as low as £101 for a round trip, which is a great deal for a 1,700 mile journey each way.
I do not recommend booking at this time, even though the fare may seem tempting.
Initially, the options for flights are expected to expand. British Airways has already finalized its flight schedules for Heathrow and London City in November, but its Gatwick branch is managed by a different subsidiary, BA EuroFlyer.
According to reports, the schedule for the upcoming winter is still being determined. I am unable to locate any available British Airways flights from Gatwick to popular Spanish cities such as Alicante and Malaga.
I reached out to British Airways on behalf of the reader and a spokesperson informed me: “Our complete schedule for winter 2024 is not available for purchase at this time, but will be in the future. We continually monitor our worldwide network.”
In the upcoming winter season, British Airways will offer a daily flight from Gatwick to Lanzarote. I am certain that this service will continue in November 2024.
In the future, it is improbable that BA will have a fare of £101 for a round-trip ticket. However, travelers should consistently compare similar options. All fares from British Airways permit a large carry-on bag and a smaller piece of cabin baggage. If you want to bring a roll-along case on easyJet flights, the fare increases to £157 for a round-trip ticket.
The most important factor to consider is that a significant amount of time, 11 months, can bring about various changes, such as family gatherings or work obligations.
Unlike Christmas 2024 flights – which you might wisely book as soon as they go on sale early in January – I cannot see any point committing to an itinerary for what is a very low-season time of year. For a flight to the Canary Islands in November next year, I would not even look until the start of October 2024. Who knows what will happen by then?