1. ITV Report

Father's rant on holiday price changes help trigger parliamentary debate

A father's online rant about the amount travel companies charge outside term times has helped trigger a parliamentary debate.

Paul Cookson, 41, angrily said he was "sick to death" of being "ripped off" by companies after attempting to book a holiday for his seven-year-old daughter Phoebe.

Paul Cookson said the situation "just doesn't add up". Credit: ITV News

The same holiday with the same number of people cost £699 during term time, but increased to £999 during the school holidays.

Mr Cookson said the situation "just doesn't add up".

"When you see some of the prices that are just unbelievably expensive and inflated, you just think how can it be? It just doesn't add up".

The same holiday with the same number of people cost £699 during term time, but increased to £999 during the school holidays. Credit: ITV News

The rant seemed to resonate with frustrated parents angry over the price differences between booking a holiday during term time compared with school holiday periods.

A petition, originally set up by mother-of-two Donna Thresher, subsequently attracted 161,902 signatures.

It has gained enough support to trigger a parliamentary debate for later this month.

The petition has triggered a parliamentary debate for later this month. Credit: ITV News

Figures obtained by ITV News found that a family of four going to Orlando in half term could pay 62 per cent more.

The cost of going to Turkey for a week could rise by 58 per cent while a trip to Tenerife could increase by 42 per cent.

The travel trade, who blame the forces of supply and demand, suggest Britons should look to the German method of booking holidays.

The debate over the amount holiday companies charge outside term time is raging on. Credit: PA Wire

"Their summer break start in June and finish in mid-September, and they spread the dates when they take those holidays over that period. That means prices equal out," Sean Tipton from the Association of British Travel Agents said.

He added that the best way families can get a cost-effective deal is to book as early as possible.

The debate over the issue was brought into the spotlight earlier this month after Stewart and Natasha Sutherland were ordered to pay nearly £1,000 in fines for taking their three children to Greece in September during term time.

ITV News' Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports: