ritish Airways is preparing for a busy Easter weekend as travel industry experts predict a surge in late bookings to beat the chilly UK weather.

Today 98,000 customers are expected to travel with BA as they tag on an extra day to make the most of the Easter weekend.

More than 450,000 people are booked to travel to holiday hotspots around the world over the extended Easter period.

Richard Tams, British Airways’ head of UK&I sales, said: “With spring delayed by an icy blast of Arctic weather, the Easter break would appear to be more important than ever for families looking to escape to the sun. Flights to North America, the Middle East and the continent are especially busy.”

The most popular long-haul destinations are in the US, with New York, Miami, Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco topping the poll. Dubai, Moscow, Toronto and Johannesburg are also busy with bookings.

For short-haul breaks travellers are jetting off to European destinations such as Barcelona, Geneva, Amsterdam, Rome, Nice, Berlin and Madrid.

The Association of British Travel Agents says its members are reporting very strong demand for last-minute overseas holiday deals as customers look to escape freezing UK temperatures.