British Airways quotes £3.2m for family's two-week holiday to Mexico

Simon Calder

Long-haul holidays over Christmas and New Year are highly appealing, but can be pricey.

Debbie Andrioli from Stratford-upon-Avon starting browsing for a family holiday on Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

“I feel the time is right for a once-in-a-lifetime, big holiday as the children are getting older,” she told The Independent.

“I also loved the idea of winter sun, so thought Mexico would be ideal.”

The average daily high on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is 28C, compared with 7C in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Ms Andrioli selected British Airways economy flights from Heathrow airport via Dallas to Cancun, as well as two weeks’ all inclusive accommodation at the highly rated Iberostar Paraiso Lindo.

This property, halfway between Cancun and the lovely resort of Playa del Carmen, promises to be “your own secret paradise”. It has “a picturesque and infinite beach bathed by the Caribbean that people all over the world travel to see”, as well as food so good that “your taste buds will never be the same”.

For children, there is a pool, a waterpark, wave pool, a lazy river and a kids’ club.

The only problem: the price, which she described as “a bit steep”.

For a family of five, the total price is £3,178,612 – helpfully quoted per person, at a shade under £636,000 each.

Any haggling? The price per person of a once-in-a-lifetime holiday (British Airways)
Any haggling? The price per person of a once-in-a-lifetime holiday (British Airways)

She tweeted the British Airways chairman and chief executive, Alex Cruz, saying: “It is all inclusive, but I think it’s a bit steep.” She asked: “Can we haggle?”

The fall in the value of the pound since the European Union means that sterling is weaker against the US dollar and Mexican peso. But a cost-per-day of £215,500 is about 200 times higher than travellers would expect at the very height of the peak season.

In contrast, the cheapest trip from Heathrow currently on offer from British Airways is £116.50 per person, travelling to Prague for a two-night breaks in a four-star hotel.

The family’s holiday is over 5,000 times more expensive.

Value seekers: the family in Italy (Debbie Andrioli)
Value seekers: the family in Italy (Debbie Andrioli)

Ms Andrioli said: “It’s obviously a glitch on the system, but it just shows you can’t really trust the websites.

“The prices are so random and the BA website is really bad.”

The holiday has now been taken down from the website, and the issue is being addressed by British Airways.

A spokesperson for the airline said: “We always want our customers to feel like a million dollars when they’re on holiday with us, but our holidays to Mexico start at £843 per person, so nobody ever needs to pay that much.”

On the dates the family wants, the UK’s biggest holiday company, Tui, has a fortnight for five at the Oasis Palm in Cancun for £7,592, including nonstop flights from Gatwick.