Fact checked: Football fan flies to Wembley via Menorca as it’s cheaper than train

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A Sunderland soccer fan is travelling to London by way of ­Menorca to look at a match at Wembley, because it’s cheaper to fly on a finances airline than getting a practice or bus, stories The Solar this week.

James Jelly, a 33-year-old buying supervisor, says he’s travelling to the capital for Sunderland’s League One play-off in opposition to Wycombe Wanderers at Wembley Stadium this Saturday.

He claims a £23 whole air fare with Ryanair from Newcastle to Menorca and on to London Stansted is the most affordable possibility, with trains to the capital operating into the tons of of kilos and even coaches dearer than flying.

However is it actually cheaper to fly this route by way of Europe? The Impartial fact-checked the story.

Can you actually fly from Newcastle to Menorca to Stansted for £23?

You are able to do higher than that: Mr Jelly overpaid for his flights. The Thursday 19 Could flight from the Tyneside airport is at the moment priced at £9.99 for the primary leg, and €9.99 (£8.55) for the onward departure on Friday from the Spanish island to London Stansted – a complete of £18.54.

How rather more costly is a practice or bus?

The Solar says flying is “cheaper than getting a practice or bus to London”. However Megabus is considerably cheaper than a finances flight.

The most costly daytime journey from Sunderland to Victoria Coach Station on Mr Jelly’s day of departure, Thursday 19 Could, is £15.96, together with reserving price. On Friday 20 Could, the fare falls to £15.48.

Does the practice actually value £260 return?

“One lad I do know paid £260 for a return to London on the practice,” Mr Jelly instructed The Solar.

It’s unclear the place that determine got here from. How a lot you pay for a practice from Sunderland to London relies on how a lot flexibility you need on whenever you journey – with the higher finish (essentially the most versatile) definitely within the tons of of kilos.

A direct one-way practice from Sunderland to London King’s Cross with Grand Central on Thursday is at the moment priced at £44.50, and on Friday £50.50. Comparable fares can be found for journeys house after the match, amounting to round £90-100 return. Nonetheless, an ordinary Anytime return from Sunderland to London, with most flexibility, prices £344. Off-peak returns, additionally providing flexibility inside sure hours, value £125 on Grand Central solely and £158 on any operator.

Cheaper fares can be found to London from Newcastle Station – a 40-minute drive from Sunderland – with finances operator Lumo, sometimes costing £30-£40 every approach.

So the aircraft beats the practice, anyway?

Time to think about the extras. Mr Jelly has to journey to Newcastle Airport. On the Tyne & Put on Metro, the fare from Sunderland is £3.90.

“A superb Samaritan has supplied him a raise from Stansted to London, the place he’ll keep on Friday night time with a relative,” stories The Solar. Mr Jelly due to this fact avoids the £20.70 Stansted Specific rail fare.

His mysterious benefactor might want to cope with Stansted’s tough and probably costly pick-up and drop-off preparations, and presumably the central London congestion cost, too.

It isn’t clear who will probably be paying for gasoline for what’s presumably a round-trip for the Samaritan; the price is more likely to be a minimal of £15.

“British Airways wished £161.99 for a direct flight”

It is a puzzling assertion. BA is cancelling a big variety of flights from Newcastle to London Heathrow, which is pushing up fares. However it’s not clear to what the very exact £161.99 declare refers.

On Thursday the bottom one-way BA fare between Newcastle and London is £80.73. This consists of 46kg of cabin baggage.

What is going to Ryanair’s baggage price add to the price?

Mr Jelly instructed The Solar: “I can’t await it now I’ve booked it. I’m going to pack my shorts and make a little bit vacation out of it.”

He will probably be laborious pressed to hold rather more, since Ryanair’s most cost-effective fares solely embrace one small piece of hand baggage that matches beneath the seat in entrance.

Added baggage prices between £12.99 to £59.99 relying on measurement.

What concerning the £28 Menorca airport hostel between flights?

The Solar stories that Mr Jelly will keep in a single day in a Menorca hostel, near the airport, spending £28. The one attainable candidate near the airport terminal is the Lodge Rural Biniati, which is charging over £100 on Thursday night time.

The Hostel & Gymnasium Relise in Sant Lluis, a three-mile stroll from the airport, is accessible for £24 for a bunk in an 18-bed dormitory on the identical night time.

Some other journey admin required?

Mr Jelly might want to present proof of vaccination (a primary course accomplished lower than 270 days in the past, or a booster) or current restoration from Covid-19 to the Spanish authorities as a way to enter Menorca in a single day. This isn’t required for direct journey between Sunderland and London.

So are finances flights actually cheaper than cross-country trains?

Provided that you search for the acute fares on both finish. It’s straightforward to seek out examples the place a pair of low-cost flights at off-peak occasions (comparable to in mid-Could) may work out cheaper than an on-the-day or Anytime practice fare between two UK locations.

For instance, you can purchase a Ryanair flight from London Stansted to Bordeaux tomorrow for £9.99, and one other on Wednesday from the French metropolis to Manchester for €12.99 (£11). So I can theoretically journey by aircraft from London to Manchester for beneath £21 by way of France, in contrast with £185 on the direct practice.

However as with this case, that fails to match like with like: on-the-day air fares are sometimes extraordinarily excessive, and the price of attending to and from the airport are glossed over, in addition to lodging throughout your connection. Extra importantly, few would decide to pay £185 for a London-Manchester practice when many extra reasonably priced choices can be found.

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