A $23,000 plane ticket to London

Headed to London for the royal wedding? Be prepared to spend a fortune on airfare prices.Still looking to score a last minute spot among the crowd outside Westminster Abbey? Be prepared to spend a fortune on airfare. By Jessica Dickler, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Airfares to England next weekend are sky high, but that doesn't seem to deter many tourists eager to get there in time for the Royal Wedding.

More than 600,000 tourists are planning to visit London during the last weekend of April this year, according to Lisa Kearns, a spokeswoman for VisitBritain.

British Airways, alone, will be carrying more than 250,000 people into London next week ahead of the Royal Wedding celebrations. While there are still seats available from New York and Los Angeles to Heathrow Airport in London, the price is several times the normal rate.

"If someone wants to book now there is availability but since it's so close they will pay a premium," said John Lampl, a spokesman for the airline.

On British Airways, basic round trip fares start at $245, but those cheap seats are long gone. Now the price for a seat in economy is over $800 not including the fuel and taxes surcharge, which tacks on another $500-$600 a ticket bringing to total cost to at least $1,400 per person.

For those that planned ahead, the average cost for a flight to London from the U.S. for the end of April was $947 last month, according to Expedia. For those that waited to purchase tickets until April, however, the price jumped to $1,220 on average.

"If you waited this long, you are facing business type airfares," noted Tom Parsons, travel pricing guru at BestFares.com.

And if you fancy a first class seat, prices start at $18,204 from New York and $22,512 from Los Angeles, not including the fees. Total cost: About $19,000-$23,000.

Of course that includes a fully flat bed with a 400-thread Egyptian cotton duvet and some "special catering" to commemorate the wedding of the century, like champagne, cupcakes and chocolate, according to Lampl.

"The prices are high because the airlines are trying to cash in," said Ike Anand, director of airline strategy for Expedia. And, "it's not just limited to the airlines," he said. "If you were to look for a hotel too you would see very high prices."

"You'll be paying 5 star hotel rates for a 2 star hotel," Parsons echoed.

Still, some say it's a small price to pay to share Friday, April 29 with William and Kate. With crowds already swarming the city's center, the event is proving a huge draw for tourists from all over.

"It makes sense that people would want to travel to be there along the wedding route to celebrate this special day in history," said Anja Winikka, senior editor of TheKnot.com. "Its also a good excuse for an international vacation, London in springtime is beautiful," she added. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.30%4.43%
15 yr fixed3.30%3.27%
5/1 ARM3.34%3.46%
30 yr refi4.27%4.39%
15 yr refi3.27%3.25%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,083.80 -2.83 -0.02%
Nasdaq 4,472.11 -1.59 -0.04%
S&P 500 1,987.98 0.97 0.05%
Treasuries 2.51 0.04 1.83%
Data as of 7:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Facebook Inc 74.98 3.69 5.18%
Ford Motor Co 17.84 0.06 0.34%
Yahoo! Inc 36.17 1.46 4.21%
Bank of America Corp... 15.62 0.10 0.64%
Apple Inc 97.03 -0.16 -0.16%
Data as of 4:02pm ET

Sections

Would you pay $7.76 for a Big Mac? The Economist's iconic Big Mac index is a lighthearted way to compare currencies and buying power around the world. More

The government says health insurers are charging lower premiums, thanks to a provision in Obamacare. More

In New York City, business travelers have ditched meals at Starbucks in favor of Seamless takeout, according to a new report. More

Chinese buyers are now the biggest international players in the U.S. housing market and some states are seeing billions of dollars in real estate deals as a result. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.