Terror alert sparks surge for airline websites

The terror alert, which has week caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights to and from UK airports and thrown the holiday plans of thousands into disarray, also caused a surge of Internet activity as travellers struggled to change their journey plans.

Web activity monitoring company Hitwise said that British visits to the BBC News were up 50 per cent on Thursday when the news of the alleged terror plot emerged. The visits pushed the BBC site up the rankings to the 9th most visited Internet site in the world, up from 14th the previous day.

Naturally potential travellers also besieged the sites relating to British air travel as they sought to find out more about the chaos surrounding the security lock down that affected most British airports. The British Airports Authority website saw its traffic jump eight fold. Popular airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick also saw a leap in their traffic.

Customers also flocked to the websites of the major airlines such as Easyjet, Ryan Air and British Airways all saw their UK traffic jump dramatically rising 48 per cent, 76 per cent and 61 per cent respectively.

Alternative routes out of the UK were also popular with the share of visits to EuroStar up 53 per cent and the share of visits to Direct Ferries up 38 per cent.

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