Recovery on track as Brits plan a 'double bash' this festive season

12/08/21 Recovery on track as Brits plan a 'double bash' this festive season

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has today launched thousands of tickets on sale to allow people to book ahead for Christmas 2021.

After the disappointment of Christmas 2020 which saw plans changing at the very last minute due to Covid restrictions, research by LNER has shown that the appetite for a bigger Christmas this year is strong with 65 per cent of people planning a ‘double-bash’ to make up for 2020.

Demand for rail travel on LNER services is significantly on the increase with nearly 200,000 weekly journey searches from potential customers on the LNER website, which is just short of pre-pandemic levels. Along with this, passenger journeys exceed 90 per cent of their pre-COVID levels covering on average 375,000 journeys per week in the past several weeks. These promising numbers show that recovery is well under way for the LNER route and this winter will see more people looking to travel by rail.

The LNER route plays host to some of the UK’s favourite festive towns and cities, which will reap the benefits of leisure and weekend travellers returning for day trips and short breaks over the winter. Almost half (48 per cent) of people are looking to travel away from home this Christmas to see family and friends and 30 per cent of those are looking to book at least six weeks in advance.

The Advance tickets, which are available for up to 4th January, will be welcome news for those looking to make plans for the winter. Six out of 10 of those polled are looking to make travel plans ahead this year and 68 per cent are looking to make Christmas ‘extra special’ this year. Those looking to treat themselves could benefit from planning and booking ahead as 47 per cent said they would consider upgrading to First Class on a train this Christmas.

LNER Managing Director David Horne said: “Over the past couple of months we have seen signs that leisure rail travel is on the rebound, with our long-distance services becoming busier than they have been in the past 18 months.

“The fact that the number of customers planning journeys on the LNER website is almost equal to that of our pre-pandemic numbers is hugely promising. We’re pleased to see that customers are feeling confident to travel by rail and we’re excited to host people who are looking to explore the East Coast route this winter.

“Whether they are planning to go ice skating in Edinburgh, Christmas shopping in Newcastle, heading to the Christmas Festival in York or seeing the Christmas lights in Leeds there is something for everyone to experience after the disappointment of last Christmas. We hope that our customers can feel secure when making bookings with us and that planning ahead will give them something to look forward to in the coming months.”

From Monday 13 December LNER will operate a new weekday service in both directions between Middlesbrough and London King’s Cross. The new direct service connecting Teesside with London offers fares starting from £20.60 in Standard and £60 in First Class when booked at
Advance tickets offer great value and include a seat reservation to ensure customers can book in confidence knowing they’ll have the comfort of a seat for the duration of their journey.

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