1. Reports suggest that it’s near-impossible to travel from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK as a rush of people take advantage of changes to working restrictions.
Citizens of both countries have been able to travel to the UK without a visa since the nations joined the European Union in 2007 – but until now they have had to apply for a work permit if they want a job.
This temporary restriction expires at the start of 2014, meaning any Bulgarian or Romanian can come and work for any UK employer (and be entitled to use the NHS and other benefits).
2. It’s hard to predict how many Bulgarians and Romanians will take advantage of the rule change. But the Daily Mail reckons demand is so high that it’s nearly impossible to get a flight to the UK on 1 January.
The piece goes on to say that WizzAir has doubled the number of flights from Romania to England to meet demand – and says that almost all flights are full, despite tickets going for up to £3,000.
3. Which is odd, because with just 24 hours to go WizzAir is selling flights between Bucharest and London for under £150.
And there are at least eight tickets available at this price on this flight.
4. Perhaps it’s different from Bulgaria. But both easyJet and WizzAir will fly you from Sofia to London on 1 January at a reasonable price.
5. It’s feasible that these prices are for the last remaining ticket. But we were able to book at least 25 seats on tomorrow’s EasyJet flight from Bulgaria to the UK.
EasyJet has previously told the Daily Star Sunday that there was no “evidence of significant increases to our passenger numbers from January 2014 on these routes”.
6. We don’t know how many more Bulgarians and Romanians will move to the UK when working restrictions are lifted.
But demand hasn’t been enough to fill up flights for the first few days.