Over-estimating their importance

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I AM constantly surprised that holiday companies get the blame for school holidays price variations.

No, they don’t charge more during school holidays; they charge less during termtime. Like the husband who doesn’t drink more at the weekend; he drinks less in the week.

Think about it. Holiday firms need a set number of planes to carry the rush of school-holiday traffic. And hotels for people to stay in. And staff to run both.

What are they supposed to do with those planes, hotels and staff when schools are open? Are planes to sit idle, hotels remain empty, staff stay home unpaid?

Are all these assets to disappear and cost nothing in term time, only to spring magically into existence when schools close - all to suit the convenience of the teaching profession?

Holiday companies are not to blame. They have to pay for staff, planes, hotels, coach drivers all year round. So, what do they do to attract term-time customers? They drop prices.As any business.

You might just as well try to punish businesses for holding January sales, which they need to shift surplus Christmas stock!

The fault is entirely with the school system, which expects the world to dance to its convenience. The arrogance and incompetence of this beggars belief.

Small firms can’t have all their staff taking holidays while schools are out. They’d go broke. Why not arrange staggered school holidays?

Have three groups of schools, with schools in different towns in different groups. So a third of schools are off at any time, thus spreading holiday demand, making life easier and cheaper for everyone. Holiday times would rotate, so each group gets prime hols one year in three.

Why should the whole world dance to the schools’ tune? They greatly over-rate their importance in the scheme of things, especially as they turn out 25% of functionally-illiterate or innumerate pupils. Any business turning out 25% of its product as faulty doesn’t deserve to survive, let alone have special privileges.

Roderick Buck, Aughton Road, S26