06th March 2023

Train Price Hikes: Some UK flights now three times cheaper than trains

London - 2st March, 2023 - With UK rail fares set to rise again this weekend by a further 5.9%, new data from travel app Hopper reveals it can now be cheaper to take a plane than a train between major cities in the UK and Europe.

Hopper compared return fares for weekend trips between major UK cities in spring 2023 to find many train fares are now more expensive than flights. For example, flights between London to Edinburgh are on average £32 return, with the cheapest train tickets for the same weekends costing on average £100 – more than three times the price.

It’s not just flights between UK cities that can be cheaper than trains. Hopper’s data also reveals Brits can jet off to many European destinations for less than the cost of an intercity train ticket. For the same spring dates in 2023, the average cost of a return flight to cities in Europe starts at just £56:

  • London to Milan = £56
  • London to Warsaw = £60
  • Manchester to Milan = £68
  • London to Krakow = £69
  • London to Copenhagen = £80

Sebastien Texier, travel expert at Hopper offers his advice for travellers looking to get the best deal on a weekend break, “With rail fares going up again this spring, Brits should consider all their travel options to reach their destination including trains, planes, and automobiles.

“When it comes to bagging a bargain price, travel apps are helpful as they can show future prices for trips and allow you to see the cheapest times to travel across the year. You can also use price alerts for the destinations and dates that you’re keen to travel to find out when it’s the best time to book, so you’re always guaranteed to get the best deal.

“For travellers who’d like to take advantage of the cheap flights available, we’d encourage people to check out the provider’s sustainability initiatives to see how they are helping to create a greener and more sustainable travel experience.”



To calculate the average UK train fare for spring 2023, Hopper identified the cheapest return weekend train fare for ten dates from 10th March and 14th May 2023, leaving on Friday and returning on Sunday. An average was taken for prices across these dates to give the final price. 

The same dates were compared for flights between the same cities, as well as routes to popular cities across Europe. An average was taken for prices across these dates to give the final price. 

All prices were drawn from and Hopper. Prices are correct as of 28th February 2023.

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